Floyd Skloot

April 24, 2020 Skloot Floyd



What I knew about
Parkinson’s disease was
tremors, slurred speech,
shuffling gait. I knew
about Muhammad Ali
and Michael J. Fox,
my cousin Jerry in
a wheelchair with
his face a waxen mask
of the face I remembered.
I knew nothing
about these surges
of anxiety brought on
by nothing at all,
or the way dreams
could come to life
in bed and transform
me into a hissing
panther on all
fours, teeth bared,
one paw lashing
out at my wife.
I never imagined myself
stilled from the inside
out, gut filling with
waste, feet at once
numb and afire,
folding into themselves
and losing their grip.

Floyd Skloot‘s ninth collection of  poems, FAR WEST, was published last year by LSU Press, which has given the book its L.E. Phiiabaum Poetry Award for 2019. LSU also published his collections THE END OF DREAMS (2006), THE SNOW’S MUSIC (2008) and APPROACHING WINTER (2015). His work has won three Pushcart Prizes, The PEN USA Literary Award, and been included in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE WRITING, BEST SPIRITUAL WRITING and BEST FOOD WRITING anthologies.