Best way for the ones who suffer
by gershon hepner
a disease is treating it,
best cure for rejected lover
is writing with the wryest wit
of the torments and the stings
that are love rejection process,
therapeutic more than things
quacks prescribe in dangerous doses.
Talk therapy is good, but writing
is therapy I recommend;
readers may find it exciting
driven round a loving bend.
Those who cannot write have one
alternative. The morning after
they realize their love’s undone,
best relief may come from laughter.
Inspired by an article on gout by Geoff Nicholson in the NYT Book Review (“My Literary Malady, ” August 3,2008) :
The nearest I can come to a tragic, fictional association with gout is in George Eliot’s “Middlemarch, ” where Tertius Lydgate, a doctor who once had ambitions to make great scientific discoveries, ends up trapped in an unhappy marriage, treating the gout of rich old men and even writing a treatise on the subject. The implication is that it’s humiliating enough to suffer from gout, but it’s much more humiliating to treat it in others — more yet to write about it. I’m not claiming a tragic destiny for myself any more than I’m suggesting that gout is proof of my genius. Rather, I’m hoping that one day soon gout will become more accepted and maybe even fashionable, like attention deficit disorder or sex addiction. No doubt it would help if some contemporary, irredeemably hip young writer were to come out of the gout closet. The problem is that literary hipness is such a fragile flower that it’s hard to imagine anyone whose reputation could withstand such a revelation.