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Poetry and Medicine
November 24, 1999


Author Affiliations

Edited by Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;282(20):1898C. doi:10.1001/jama.282.20.1898

This is what's held back in the body
now in a dark room unable to move.
This is where second thoughts gently ask the first,
"What's going on inside your head?
What were you thinking?"
This is word for word
struggling to get out of bed
in the face of people.
This is off-the-wall writing
after I've stared at the walls for hours.
This is magnetic poetry
with a bipolar disorder.
This is Roethke waking to sleep
and taking his waking slow.
This is Plath shutting her eyes
and all the world dropping dead.
This is the second nature
of a hopeless romanticism.
This is me sick of myself,
eating the words eating me
to get a taste of my own medicine.
This is a short poem folding
under the pressure put on its words.
This is off the subject (me).

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