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Books, Journals, New Media
September 15, 2004

Poetry

Author Affiliations
 

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(11):1373-1378. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1373-a

Spinning and tumbling,
hands held tight to a DSM,
racing through the routine
questions of sleep and sex,
twisting toward tobacco,
straining to split
grief from depression,
I perform compulsory moves,
even a moment, perhaps, of listening.
Finished in fifteen minutes,
speeding to jump
to diagnosis, I nail
my twisted landing
deep in corporate shadow.
    But I remember
when psychiatry was ballet, how we danced
to Debussy and dressed technique
with beauty. Back then we studied
the moves of masters, waited for time
between beats, and danced slow
as the limping step of patient partners
whose gaze we held
just beyond reach of our hands.

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