Tag Archives: Fall 2010

Another Found Poem – Anatomy of Love

John A. Vanek St. Petersburg, Florida, United States (Fall 2010)Poet’s statement: I am a physician by training, but a poet by passion. Poetry provides a vehicle that takes me to places that logic won’t go. It is a way of understanding the incomprehensible, both in life and in medicine. I now prescribe poetry PRN (“as needed”), […]

When children die

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia Publication Acknowledgement: This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005).  Angus Easton died surrounded by loved ones who had done everything possible to ease his suffering. Angus was obviously the apple of his family’s eye, and no […]

End of season liquidation sale

Catalina Florina Florescu Jersey City, New Jersey, USA   I saw before me a nightmare where bodies lay in a heap. Fixed like statues, their immobility belied their carnal appearance. I asked a nurse, why are these people piled like garbage? The nurse replied that it was a still from a homemade video. When these […]

Therapeutic beauty

Elizabeth Lee Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA A longer version of this article was published in American Art, Volume 18, Number 3. © 2004 by The University of Chicago Press.   Abbott Handerson Thayer, Angel, 1887.  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of John Gellatly In the late 1880s, the painter Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) and […]

The Tyranny of Optimism – A Hectic in My Blood

James B. Rickert Bloomington, Indiana, USA Poet’s statement: “The Tyranny of Optimism” was written after I had spoken to a cancer support group. I became angry when it became apparent that all of us had experienced well-intentioned healthy people asking us to do the impossible: put aside all negative emotions—not mourn the loss of our […]

Unbent, Unbroken

Richard D. Sontheimer Salt Lake City, USA Poet’s statement: The human midbrain is about emotion. The forebrain is about analysis. Human behavior results from a delicate conversation between the midbrain and forebrain. Medicine, primarily an analytic activity, is done largely within a data-enriched forebrain. The emotional midbrain is the ugly stepchild of medicine. Young physicians […]


Ron Domen Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA Poet’s statement: Being a physician provides very real and intimate encounters with many lives. For the physician who also writes poetry, the poem is an opportunity to capture the seemingly disparate, random particulars of life and of patient’s stories and to seek universal truths. However, most of the poetry I […]


Shira B. Ellenberg Chicago, Illinois, USA   We stand in a close circle around Michelle as she hands out yellow isolation gowns. We are putting on gloves, preparing ourselves, taking deep breaths. We are solemn, doe-eyed and beginning a collective inaudible tachypnic chorus. She tells us about the first time she performed post mortem care. […]

A Journal of Rehabilitation

Eliette Markhbein New York, New York, USA Poet and artist’s statement: I started to write poetry a year after a traumatic brain injury and damage to my spine, the result of being struck by a speeding car. It stemmed from the necessity to escape pain and mental chaos as well as the physical and emotional […]

The fisherman’s lasagna: a love story about prescriptive photomontage and anorexia

Nancy Gershman, prescriptive artist Art For Your Sake, Chicago, Illinois, United States Lauren Lazar Stern, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (Fall 2010) Can Sally,1 a 32-year old struggling with anorexia also be a responsible student nurse on an eating disorder unit? The answer is never under-estimate the power of denial.2 The very qualities that masked Sally’s obsessive […]