Other Side of the Room
– by Dr. Jennifer Wolkin – July 23, 2018 –
Visceral Love Letters
Long before there was ever an oath
– in his name, Hippocrates
knew there was nothing funny
– about the humors.
He knew what real wounds
– were made of-
how rage could elicit full-body
– infirmity by sucking bile directly
from its ducts & how adrenals
– grew tentacles one for every
worry & another for all the shame
– havocking homeostasis
ravaging organ systems
– & leaving love letters like
a duodenal ulcer &
– heart palpitations
– begging to be heard.
Muir Woods Meditation
I sit legs in lotus
by ancient Redwoods
grounding in the
subtlety of my self-
a speck reconciling
With every inhale
this sequoiac salve
& hear whispers
in my ear:
Author Statement – Dr. Jennifer Wolkin
I’m a health and neuro psychologist, speaker, mental health advocate, and mindfulness-meditation practitioner. I just started my MFA in creative writing and literary translation at Queens College, and I couldn’t be happier about pursuing this dream.
I am most passionate about writing at the intersection where the mind, body, brain and spirit meet – about the holistic human experience – through the eyes of both my own experience, and through my professional lens. I’m touched by the profound pain that is both individually and collectively felt, how this pain can displace someone/myself from others and their/our own selves, and yet, the profound capacity for resilience, healing and growth.
It feels like a calling for me to give voice to those who have sometimes literally lost their brains or parts of it (often, the mind following suit) in one way or another, and to also note what it’s like on the “other side of the room” (ie, the clinician’s side), and what that brings up for me, as witness to this pain. I wish to give voice to the voiceless, through words, and help heal both others and myself in the process.
About the author – Dr. Jennifer Wolkin
My name is Jen. I’m a health and neuro psychologist, speaker, mental health advocate, and mindfulness-meditation practitioner. I just started my MFA in creative writing and literary translation at Queens College. I have recently been published/forthcoming in Third Point Press, Streetlight Press, Sooth Swarm Journal, A Beautiful Space, British Journal of Medical Practitioners, Flypaper, Ars Medica, theSame, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Unbroken, Ink & Voices, and others. My non-fiction work translating and sharing the science of brain research and mindfulness has been published in Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, Mindful.org, PsychCentral among others. They are compiled and can be found on my blog BrainCurves.com.
Did you like these poems by Dr. Jennifer Wolkin? Read more creative writing from the medical field:
Vacuum Extraction: A Miscarriage Story
No Pain, No Gain: Chronic Illness is a Puzzle, a Riddle, a Battle
Reconstructed Life: Life after Breast Cancer
For David: Remembering the Victims of AIDS
We’re Here, Now: Living with Terminal Cancer