From the Editors

SPRING 2019 EDITION In 2008, six physicians at Stanford Medical Center formed a writers’ circle.  They spanned specialties and training levels, and they met each month to share their work, first in private and then at public readings around campus.   Because of their affiliation with Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse program, they took the name Read the full article…

Performing Grief

A self-conscious medical student writes a second person account of his first code blue. As his patient dies, he reflects on the“Performance that permeates the entire profession,” the tension between role and authenticity, and the relationship between self-consciousness and suffering.

The Anesthesiologist: A Perspective

* on listening to Beethoven’s Opus 135, string quartet no. 16, third movement A wind of dried tears speaks to me whispers beyond the window pane My patient waits so long in the holding room he has fallen asleep I wake him to have him slant sleep again I will hide his person within his Read the full article…

The Secret of the Birds

A subclinically autistic boy—precocious, detached, and fascinated with flight—grows up to face history as an investment banker in Manhattan at the turn of the century.

Five Stages

Carissa Anne Lee – Five Stages – Oil Pastel

The Fault in His Scars

A bus driver recovers from oral cancer and a broken heart at a palliative hospital in India. And a physician reflects on the ways in which suffering shapes identity.

A Walk in the City

Between deco ornamented buildings and sky cleaving steel saxophones sway, next to turned up hats, belting tunes of jazz and heated blues. People pass by, busses rev and stop, breakfast stands dot sidewalks among a rhythmic flow of feet. From pointed peaks, a tired tower lets go of a grand adornment. It falls upon a Read the full article…

To Spear a Glass Animal

A medical student writes a 1980’s power-ballad to her heavy metal-listening art teacher: a single father and glass blower named Moe. Images of molten glass hint evoke the fires of hell…and the demons that await Moe when he loses his health insurance.

The Hanabiko Exam: Meeting Koko

A psychiatric researcher builds human connection with his subject—a famous, 280 pound gorilla—and then offends her with an ill-timed Freudian slip.