ice in lit: painkiller direct

The Ice Cubicle has received its first literary contribution about ice! “Numb,” a poem by John D. Lund.

If you wanted to know about making hand-sewn, carefully crafted chapbooks in Victoria in the late 1990s, John was the guy with the knowledge because he usually had one on the go. We used to cross words at slam poetry competitions, but we both moved to different cities in the early ’00s so it was a pleasure to re-enter John’s poetry world this week when he forwarded me this freshly-written poem.


Two cloths soaked in ice cold water
Water wrung out
Four ice cubes divided by two
Placed in the centre
Of each white cold cloth
One hundred percent cotton wrapped
Tight around cubes of ice
On the right, on the left
Pressed against tight muscles
Jaw snapping at words
Attempting to bend “C” curve
Straight towards I
Open, close, open, close
Yes, imagine the directness
Of I
Relax, let the ice freeze the jaw
Against questions, against pain

icepack for johnsjaw

More about John D. Lund’s relationship to ice, which sounds like a winter-born one:

Until recently I would say that my relationship to ice is one of an adversary. Ice and cold block my freedom to travel, ice is dangerous roads, ice is no way out of this city with a small town mind and just when will winter end? On May 18th, Red Deer (Alberta) had at least 5 cm of snow if not more.

Now ice is an escape from pain. Ice extends the time until I take painkillers for chronic TM Joint pain. I fall into a comfortable half sleep with two ice packs held against my jaw.

Ice is followed by heat. Ice is what keeps my drink cold at the Velvet Olive. The Velvet Olive a watering hole for artists and other folk working to develop Red Deer’s culture scene. Thank the Goddess for Ice. Thank the Goddess for the Velvet Olive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.