The Same Barber Chair


Not to have crossed

room means chamber

XII means cranial nerve, hypoglossal

VI abducens, and I say this from memory

my own photo reminds me of a Cloud Atlas

the random page from a journal

In the days we used phone books and oversized maps,

blew the dust off a giant atlas in a domed room scented with oak and leather

the same barber chair keeps showing up in my dreams

haze around the perimeter

sideburns on my black and white set

quarks and photons and scatter, cosmic rays or the glasses you pretended to buy in a Johnson Smith Catalogue.

M-mode and rabbit ears, things only a cardiologist would understand

or a boomer

I still listen for HAL in my dreams

the only computer I’ll ever feel sorry for

Who was Apollo?


Spring Ahead

Spring reminds us of renewal at the end of winter agony. Now is the time we look forward to the change in nature, a blooming and thawing of the human spirit; longer days with a warming of the heart. We are reminded of the metaphor of spring in classic tales such as the opera La… Continue Reading

Kisses Before Death

I kissed two patients in hospitals before they died. I’m not talking about family. These were people I hardly knew. The first was my first patient in medical school. Mr. Leakey was a seventy-nine year old male with a child’s face and unruly thinning hair. I spent hours trying to understand his varied complaints of… Continue Reading

When in Roam

When in Roam You won’t find a room When in Roam You won’t understand the language When in Roam You won’t find a spot for your car When in Roam There’s no point in looking When in Roam You’ll never sit down When in Roam There won’t be a thing to eat When in Roam… Continue Reading

The Breezeway

Why don’t I have socks? I hate getting dressed for school when I can’t find socks. Breakfast is ready but I can’t find socks. “Mommy, I don’t have socks.” “Look in the laundry room. In the round laundry basket.” Why doesn’t she say she’s sorry? “I’m going to be late for school. My feet are… Continue Reading

A School Lunch

It was Mrs. H. in second grade, who told Sal and Douglas to get behind the bookcase because they weren’t behaving properly. Unfortunately, she forgot to tell the kids their punishment was over before lunchtime. About two hours after recess we returned to the class and found the two boys standing behind the bookcase in a… Continue Reading


I knew him you did too the silly kid with a chipped tooth and gnarly hair   He stood over there A houseplant   sowed from stale air and a wet bed   From streams of sun seeping through the thickened foliage of our cluttered home   It penetrated delicate layers of his pale skin… Continue Reading