Poem by Joseph DeMare, 2016 Ohio Green Party Candidate for US Senate, on mild heart attack


Joseph DeMare, the Green Party candidate for US Senate in Ohio experienced a mild heart in October. He wrote this poem.

Apical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

by Joseph DeMare

For the past week
I have been having an argument
with my heart

I know I can’t win because,
nothing is more stubborn
than a heart

It keeps beating no matter what
the rest of us does, laughing,
loving, running or laying about

Though, oddly, sneezing gives it pause
It insists on continuing
dancing its intricate dance
of electrical impulsing, muscle contracting,
blood flowing, and in between resting

Oh sure, it beats faster or slower
depending on if we’re loving passionately
or lounging languidly, but the
beat goes on

But MY heart has this thick
clump of cells
at the very tip…

For the past year and a half
I have been driving myself as if
I was two people

Working and telling everyone I know
everyone I don’t know
trying to convince everyone that
there is danger ahead and that
we must turn this ship and
turn off the burners and
raise the sails, if we’re all to survive.

And…last week my heart said,


It paused long enough to get my
attention and politely pointed out
that I am NOT two people

I can NOT save the world alone.
I had to poke myself full of tubes
and wires to hear it, but I did
get the message.

There’s this thick clump of cells
at the very tip of my heart
that’s willing to crash the whole thing
that’s willing to stop even the beating itself
if I refuse to face reality

And the irony is not lost on me
that this small clump of cells is like
my small group of friends, willing to trip
up the orderly political parade to
protect the marchers and spectators alike
who refuse to admit the bridge is out and
that they are marching towards oblivion.

Just as stubborn as my friends are
my heart ignores my arguments
won’t let me work anymore
seventeen hour days, gently
but firmly says I can do
so much, but no more.


Jacob Bloom

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