While digging through several month’s worth of paperwork on my desk, I came across a literary gem. A short poem:
I don’t think
There’s a lot of room
For physicians in aesthetics.
What does it look like?
What color is it?
That’s what you have architects for.
Architects don’t understand medicine.
The understand building.
They understand pretty pictures and design.
They don’t understand patient flow.
They think they do.
Everybody is a little bit different.
There are many delightful elements to this poem. It is written in a sort of thoughtful first person. The subject, at least on the surface, is an unusual one – yet, it seems to be exploring something deeper. It is short, which is always a plus. The voice is very natural, even when using literary devices like parallelism (“They understand building./They understand pretty pictures…”). It has arresting little surprises (“They think they do.”).
I wish I had written this poem, but I didn’t. It is a kind of found literature that I will dub a “note poem” because the verse is actually a passage from my former coworker’s interview of a physician about a building expansion project. Matt, the former coworker, would type his notes as he conducted phone interviews. The notes would be printed out and included in the job folders along with the corresponding articles he wrote. He wrote a lot of articles and, as a result, produced a lot of “note poems.” I remember posting one in the break room. The articles were good; the poetry was better.
With any luck, Matt kept some of his note poems. They would make a nice collection, or chapbook, as poets call them. If he didn’t, maybe I can get a grant from Poetry magazine to have an undergraduate go through the job folders here at the office. All I know is that would be one great staged reading.