I didn’t need
to go to the doctor,
I needed to read
Jane Kenyon.
I needed Van
Morrison in the
with a slight breeze
through the window
over my desk.

He said to keep
my arm straight,
but I didn’t.
I went home and wrote
with the music up
the way I used to.
Knowing the thing
that wore out my
left thumb
was the space bar.
That’s the way it goes,
it’s gotta go some
That’s the way mine

Better that than being
a doctor in love with
my own voice, punching
the tape recorder key
in the hallway,
as I document myself.
Better that than a cortisone
injection, than being cut
open any more than I have
already been.
Disemboweled on a table
so they can get to my
so it’s convenient
for them.
Pay first.
For services that will
never be rendered.
Unlike anywhere else,
no other industry would
survive this kind of

I have eight good
fingers left,
I am using them,
I am using them
just like my voice
which will keep talking

Love heals,
hate poisons.
There is nothing
I hate more
than doctors.
It is poor logic
to seek their
in an effort
to heal.
Better to turn
to what I love,
music, poems
Pretty much
in that order.

That is precisely
the problem,
I keep forgetting.
I sit in silence
and worry,
and wonder how much
the worry will prove
like a perfect mathematical
I worry and I wonder
about the worry,
and worry about how much
I wonder about worrying.
Forgetting to put on music,
worrying about the thumbs
and fingers, and elbows,
and nerves
and groin muscles,
and knee and calf
and ankle,
and neck
and trapezius,
a word I love to say,
the only reason not to
regret the experience
of anatomy,
most of which drove me
to say a poet shouldn’t
speak such words,
shouldn’t hear them
in case they ever threaten
to come back.

Love heals,
hate poisons.
I hate their forms,
I hate their lack
of brilliance
of giftedness,
of innovation.
I hate their stuffy
rooms in claustrophobic
I hate their plastic plants,
their artificial flowers.
I hate their dreary color
their cheap upholstery.
Their bad taste in reading
I hate their dull-witted
help who can’t muster up
enough interest in life
to merit language.
I hate their condescension,
their patronization,
the worst when they are women.
No one ever has to grow a bigger
penis than a woman who goes
into medicine.
Hate poisons.
I feel poisoned by doctors.

I spend the afternoon de-toxinng
with music I like,
marking poems in red ink.
I can do my own blood letting,
I have eight good fingers

Drug it.
Cut it off.
Hope we don’t get
the right one,
when it should have
been the left.
Mistakes do happen.
Especially around here.
Sign the contract
consenting to arbitration
before you come in my door.
Pay before you speak.
Answer my questions when
I tell you,in the way I expect.
Do not volunteer any unsolicited
It will only serve to confuse
I have the things I know
in order and do not want
to rearrange them.
This is a masturbatory process,
you’re here so I can feel good
about myself,
confusing superiority for service.

Love heals.
I love Jane Kenyon.
I love Van in the afternoon
when the sunlight makes
a mottled pattern
on my desk.
I love watermelon,
blood red
like the tomatoes
I’m not supposed to eat.
I love sweet white corn,
thin-skinned kernels
delicate to the digestion.
I love the Havilland china
I have chosen to seek out
one piece at a time,
so that each will be
a treasure.

I hope doctors reincarnate
in a poetic hell, although
it’s karmically ill-advised
I know to do so
a place where sensitivity
causes them suffering.
No, I think a place where
their lack of sensitivity
is mis-aligned with the world,
a world of poets and musicians.
Kenyon in the waiting room racks,
natural fibers on the chairs.
a tuber rose or two,
star gazer lilies.

I don’t want their anti-
inflammatory drugs,
an inflammatory response
is appropriate for the life
of a poet.
At issue is what is done
with it,
used against them
instead of myself.

I made a mistake,
it isn’t eight.
I have seven good
fingers left.
I am using them,
I am using them
all up
because I’m still here
and still can.

Love heals,
hate poisons.
I didn’t need to go
to the doctor.
I needed to read
Jane Kenyon.