To get rid of these coal eyes Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

Tired eyes, or contact dermatitis eyes — not black — or eyes from working in a coal mine. As one with a graduate degree in occupational health, I have a fetish for personal protective equipment, both literally and as metaphor.

But also think “kohl eyes” like Cleopatra, and failing to imitate her beauty. But really Elizabeth Taylor as a bewitching version of that — narrative! — and Richard Burton writing her effusive love poetry.

You can’t wash out sentiment.

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Even if the governor expands Medicaid Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

He actually did expand it already, which was not expected, and the New York Times suggested the expansion may have saved a lot of trouble in the disaster response

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I love you. Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

This line is the most confusing one in the whole thing.

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Mining misery for content is a public
relations mess waiting to happen
Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

Charleston is small enough that everything anybody said in town was, everyone believed at the time, fodder for future reporting about the chemical spill. And there was public signage everywhere revising the story of the spill every day. Thinking along these lines, the narrator is self-conscious about potentially ruining somebody’s life by rewriting his or her narrative, whether a romantic interest or a medical subject or oneself.

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D is for deidentified Caucasian male.
E for enabling, N for not listening, T for not trying.
Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

The joke here is it’s not about one guy, or maybe not even about a guy. Does “DENT” it refer to the subject, or to an unempathic ENT doctor? Or to MCHM as a chemical acronym? Or to the act of vocal production, or poetic production, itself?

N.B. You go from “nosedent” to spelling out “DENT,” like saying to the subject “Do I have to spell it out for you?!” Solve the riddle! Dentition ties in with the act of using teeth for speech production.

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Whoops—
about to slip down
Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

From the song “Workin' in a Coal Mine,” which may or may not be about West Virginia coal mining. The “I can’t go on” part of the song got stuck in my head when I was data-mining in West Virginia and felt tired and homesick. So about lapsarianism (literally — I had to work through Sunday Mass). And about constant jokes that the real crisis in West Virginia is the state itself, the chronic disease and the failing education and the deregulation that assured its downfall. Which relates, selfishly, to my own downfall as narrator, falling on ice patches as Bill Murray did in Punxatawney (which looks vaguely like Charleston in my messed up brain). Or to being downriver from the spill. Or me slipping out information I shouldn’t yet, personally and professionally. Or “falling in love.”

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The entrance to my ED is wild, wonderful Lawrence Welk suds Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

“politics back to the center,” “sweetest in the middle,” “wild, wonderful West Virginia” — you fill in the rest (solve the riddle!)

Here the fluid is sudsy like MCHM-contaminated water, yet buoyant like Lawrence Welk big band schlock — and of course Welk orchestrated, like a narrator does, and with a bad accent to boot

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Tie-in merchandise for either in the anchor department store polar fleece Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

“Fleecing” somebody idiomatically for money, like Freedom Industries, or for content or information like medical data

Also an actual workout display I saw at a JC Penney’s of lightweight running gear inappropriate to the season and filled with New Agey inspirational banalities directly opposite to the zeitgeist — and yet central to the discussions that animate the central relationship discussed here

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You like to talk around things, and alternatives to treatment are Janus double-doored.
With these thangs, these roadway prodges, you’re either in, or you’re out.
Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

Long joke about principles of privacy protection and informed consent in medical research. This poem, and the relationships that inspired it, are about narrative play and identity shifting. How do we reveal ourselves if we’re just making up a storyline we want as we go along?

Project Runway joke written in January.

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Smelling salts roadway Bottle Service by MoMilli 24

It was just industrial rock salt, but sounds more Poppins Edwardian like “the vapors” of lovesickness

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