Just another Medical Humanities Blog

Poems for January 2010

Posted by mcdoc on January 1, 2010

Brian McMichael (1961 – )

Dark Star

The unimaginable mass in his abdomen
Pushes mercilessly through his back
Passes instantly through the hospital bed
And sinks into the center of the earth
Pinning him in position
– a specimen in a collection
a great recumbent termite queen
a distended and humbled, Jabba the Hut

Pregnant like a blister
Without shame or irony
He tells me, “I try to drink a 12-pack a day.”
Do I hide my shock?
An awkward attempt at connection,
Or is it that I’m trying to surprise him
right back in the kisser
By predicting that he no longer gets a buzz
that some people drink like that
just to keep from getting the shakes,
“Yep, and so I won’t hallucinate like I did last Wednesday.”

In Labor –
ed breathing
We deliver him by
Caesarian invasion
crossing the Rubicon into his homeland
by “tapping his belly”

He is polite and grateful
Chatting easily about his
Interesting and lost career

Cause and Effect
Ascites fluid – Clear and golden
Streaming into sterile vacuum bottles
Produces a startlingly nice head,

We fastidiously capture his
Disturbingly milky elixir
Easy blame slips away

7 liters later
He breathes easier
While at the same moment
The other person in the room,
His dark star child
Begins to grow again
Inside his belly

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


One Response to “Poems for January 2010”

  1. virgomusic said

    Beautiful. Nice job, baby! 🙂

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