Thursday, September 17, 2009

Placing my Ears on the night table

I just discovered this amazing canadian poet and psychiatrist named Ron Charach who writes poetry about psychiatry and mental illness in a very simple beautiful way. His poem "Psychiatrists on the Subway" really hits home for me (its exactly how I felt today, funny enough, on the subway).

Psychiatrists on the Subway

One rarely spots psychiatrists on the subway
rubbing the haze of a long day's sessions
from their lean temples,
or thumbing through paperbacks that deal
with anything-but.

Wouldn't they like an update on who's
In the world and how they're doing?
Or would the ridership be wary of men and women
whose briefcases rattle with the tic tac
of pills, whose ears perk
like armadillos' at conversations
two seats over?

More likely we locate them in a bad joke,
in a wing-chair beside a firm couch,
a suicide statistic, a product seminar
with deli sandwiches courtesy of Pfizer or Roche
or Eli Lilly;
perhaps on the beach of a convention hotel
with a panorama of thong-clad beauties
who seldom talk revealingly

Before bed a psychiatrist sets his ears on the night-table and prays for a night of long silence from a god who prefers to listen.

You can also listen to Charach himself reading this poem, here.

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