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Bad Ideas: An Anthology

I really shouldn't show this, but it has been told to me that my personal insights of depression and all of its side dishes are by far more compelling than any original thoughts I might have for this world. So I show these: some poems that I wrote during the year in which I was no longer a practicing physician, yet still somehow severely depressed. I'm much much better now thanks to modern medicine and therapy. But these allow a little view of the inner workings of my mind back then.

I AM NOT A POET BY ANY STRETCH, but one day these words just fell out of my computer, like talking with food in your mouth that goes into someone else's space.


Breathe in.

Breathe out.


Breathing quiets that voice.

Forgetting to breathe?

The voice deafens.

The voice hates to breathe.

Hates when I breathe.


Breathing opens space

For the voice.

Lets it out

Instead of cramming it inside

With me.

Much less crowded that way.


Even my yoga instructor

Tells me to

Breathe. (It does not go well)

Breathing gives me breath, air and oxygen.

Ammunition for a

Resigned sigh.


They tell me breathing is

Important for


Breathe in, breathe out.


The only other option

Is not to.


Coin Toss

One measure in the world of medicine

Is the LD-50

It signifies the dosage of a substance

At which half of the recipients dies.

Lethal-dose 50. Get it?

As in: 50% die if they get that dose.

It usually refers to things,

Such as toxins or medications.

But in the world of Trauma medicine

There is a similar measure.

LH-50. Lethal Height 50.

The height from which

50 percent of people who fall


For solid ground

LD-50 is around forty-some feet

— about four stories.

One can look this up on the internet

With the use of a smart phone

While standing on a ledge

or a bridge.

One can then look up the

Height of that very

same bridge

For some

A 50/50 chance of death isn’t

certain enough.

That is to say

50/50 is not

lethal enough.


How does one get anything done

With all of this screaming?

Non-stop, and so angry.

There are swears. So many swears.

What is it going on about now? Does it really matter?

It’s something done wrongly, something done poorly, something fucked up.

If it’s not fucked up, the screaming finds a way.

It is.

It is fucked up.

Which one is fucked up again?

Does it matter?

So noisy.

Card Trick

Choose a hobby, any hobby.

I did. Singing, drawing, watercolors, improv, acting, writing.

Now poetry, apparently.

I’ve chosen them and tried them.

Downright enjoyable each and every one.

Compliments. So many.

Likes on social media posts.

DM’s on Messaging apps.

Such praise. Such accolades.

Friends are all so polite.

I hear, see, taste, or feel

Only the flaws.

“Don’t quit your day job,” a voice says.

Whoops, too late, now you tell me?

So many flaws, it turns. Twisted, gnarled, hideous.

Only the flaws. How did it become so convincing?


Was everyone else so wrong?

Choose a hobby, any hobby.

I did.

Over and over.

Ammunition for my harshest critic.

Then I quit my day job

Leaving me free to listen to him.


The tadpole, leg buds and a shrinking tail

An inchworm, a silken chrysalis

A website, a vision to sell books online

The swanling, insults absorbed

Is it too late for me to book time at a primordial workshop?

Where is my cocoon?

How do startups actually succeed?

Who gets the actual last laugh?

Is metamorphosis

(Amphibian, insect, technological, allegorical or otherwise)

Is it only for the young?

Who decides the exact cutoff?

You’re only as old as you think you are

Age is in the eye of the be older

Youth is wasted on the young

Clichés as old as I feel…

Perhaps it is not

A metamorphosis but a rebirth

Renaissance man but in a truer sense

Phoenix, ashes, blah blah blah

I await such a time

To emerge

Like Venus from a clam shell

Only not from a shell, a husk

Hollow, burned, blackened.

Bum Deal

Hello, yes.

I'd like to file a complaint.

Wasn't it supposed to get better by now?

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