My Lady Trigemina

IMG_2653My Lady Trigemina

My Lady Trigemina
is a black spider
she lives in my brain
in a word-stumble of a location

her claws strike crystalline flashes
spinnerets weave fibres of nausea
chelicerae deliver the molecules of pain

when I was 14 I visualized
cutting her into halves then halves again
imagining a diminishment of pain
I persisted with this strategy
but unsuccessfully

we’ve been on a long journey together
the Lady and I
I have attempted poisonings of various forms
starvations and manipulations
needles heat cold and yes
all those fascinating alternatives you helpfully suggest
botox does make her curl and hibernate for months
but then she is back refreshed from her break

and I could write a list poem of useless weapons
of magnesium
and feverfew
and coffee
and not-coffee
and osteopaths
and acupuncture
and exercise
and vitamin D
and everything else that works for a brief spell
and then i am left with
nails and hooks
spikes and sparks
and my lady Trigemina laughing


Hubert Airy was a 19C doctor who studied migraine. This drawing shows how his migraine aura grew over the course of about 20 minutes.
This article is worth a read

It’s hard to write during those two or three days a week of chronic migraine. Though when I do manage the oddness quotient of what arrives on the page is increased.
The words may hang beautiful in my brain surrounded by crystal sparks, but much gets lost on the journey through the pen and I find I have written of red peacocks falling bokeh and vanishings

The accompanying poem however was written during the post-dromal stage