the migraineur addresses dr. honeydew and beaker

Rita Maria Martinez
Content Warnings
"Dr. Honeydew, I wanna be like you,..."
Dec 28, 2020 9:51 PM

Dr. Honeydew, I wanna be like you,

so carefree, so zen, so blithely unaware

of danger, unscathed by Murphy’s Law,

protected by a bubble of ignorant bliss

as the ceiling caves in amidst your erratic

science, peace exuding past each pore,

your pulse steady despite explosions

and chemicals bubbling over at Muppet Labs.

He’s so calm and cool cause he lacks eyes.

The glasses just for show, jeer balcony hecklers

Statler and Waldorf. Not true, I say. Not true!

Dr. Honeydew, I wanna be like you. Instead,

I’m skittish Beaker terrified of unexpected flashes

of light, shrieking whenever someone cuts me

off in traffic, afraid of being ambushed by pungent

perfume in the elevator, frazzled by unexpected sounds—

the cry of an ambulance siren, the sudden pop

of a balloon or potato chip bag—all potential catalysts

for an apocalyptic migraine because mother nature

has cursed me with auditory acuity, with superior

olfactory receptors. Beaker, I feel you. I know

how it is to be wound a bit tight, genetic destiny

molding one into a Nervous Nelly. I know

what it’s like to be sabotaged by miscellaneous gadgetry.

In my universe substitute test tubes and Bunsen burners

for the cacophony spewed from blenders and vacuums,

plus the snore escaping from a sleeping spouse,

how it pierces the evening silence, how the mattress quakes

initiating the launch sequence for a paroxysm of fear.

Rita Maria Martinez loves all things Jane Eyre. Her poetry collection—The Jane and Bertha in Me (Kelsay Books)—is inspired by Charlotte Brontë's classic novel. Martinez's work appears in publications like The Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Her poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama and in the anthology Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish. Martinez's recent poetry raises awareness about the challenges and triumphs inherent in navigating life with chronic daily headache (CDH) and migraine. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter @cubanbronteite.