Some observations concerning the desirability of a new paradigm for medicine

We physicians have never had a clearly defined mission. That mattered less when expectations were lower and we could do less. Now though, the reigning paradigm is grounded in basic science, excessively confident, inpatient-centric, and broadly focused on treatment of symptoms and signs, on diagnosis and therapy. The development of a new medical paradigm seems…

Disposable – Walker Thomas

“You can call me Mr. S,” my ninth-grade biology teacher told the class on our first day, “for the sssss a snake makes.” Eyes sunken behind wirerimmed glasses, he had a wide mouth with no lips that I recall, and long, stubble-blue cheeks like leather stretched tight to the bone. While he lectured, a red…

Ezra Pound: Prototypical Beat? – Michael Washburn

We today tend to remember Ezra Pound (1885-1972) for the immense density and erudition of his work. Pound’s many preoccupations included Confucius, medieval China, Bertrand de Born, the Provençal period, ancient Egypt, the beauty of the Farsi tongue, and his fellow early twentieth-century modernists. Of course, we also remember many unpleasant things about the man,…

Spiders in the Drain, and Other American Horrors – Brett Bezio

The wolf spider gestured to me from across the tub, unfurling four legs from behind the metal cover obscuring overflow drain to greet me, naked and alone in a foot of bath water. This memory stands in isolation, as remote memories of a young child often are. The memory itself creeps from a drain, simply…

Walking, Encumbered: Dispatches – Nicola Sayers

For the longest time, I walked alone. I walked to think. I walked to see. I walked to be seen. I see them, now. They wear pretty summer dresses, or jeans. In winter, brightly coloured scarves. Their light backpacks sit squarely on both shoulders; inside each, I imagine, is a book, a notepad and a…

Diamonds or Snow – T.S.J. Harling

Image by Alex Avalos, via Unsplash This is the place you go to bury or burn the person you love. – You are in a cinema with friends, or a boyfriend, or your family. No-one is ill, no-one is cross, and you have enough money to waste on a cinema ticket and popcorn and fizzy…

An Ode to Cross-Dressing – Clara Schwarz

I tightly pull back my hair into a slick, low bun, parted far on the right side of my skull. With a several pumps of hairspray, I even out the edges and create a stiff look. I squeeze the top button through its hole and stand up straight as I clip the bow into its…

Bettina von Arnim Accuses Me of Unfaithfulness – Charles Haddox

I dreamt one night about a bright-eyed young woman with dark hair who accused me of being unfaithful to her. Her accusations were apparently true, which troubled me deeply after I awoke. I had never been unfaithful to anyone but had myself suffered the pain of betrayal once or twice when I was young. I…

F*ck Cancer: Fighting the Odds in 21st Century America – Leah Mueller

  No one is ever prepared for these dreaded words: your husband’s got cancer. I should have known, but I didn’t. For months, my husband Russ complained of muscle weakness, nausea, blood in his stools, and dizziness. His new primary care provider, a man lauded by his young receptionist as a “genius”, said, “If you…