November 2003

Michael Salcman


Michael Salcman Michael Salcman is a physician, brain scientist and essayist on the visual arts. Former chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland, he is President of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. His poems have appeared in Raritan, Harvard Review, Barrow Street, Notre Dame Review, Atlanta Review, Poet Lore and in two chapbooks, Plow Into Winter (Puddinghouse, 2003) and The Color That Advances (Camber Press, forthcoming).
Dirty Glasses    Click to hear in real audio

He carries them everywhere—
flecks of blood in the crossbar of his glasses,
microscopic crud in the narrow gap
between the brass and the top-half of each
bifocal lens, worries if his patients,
relatives and friends can see them
above his nose and nearsighted eyes.
How often has each ort of blood been ground
down and recompacted with a new donation?
What part of  brain or blood vessel is buried
there near the temples and the hinges, bronze
colored beneath his graying hair?
A lifetime of cutting after nerves in arms and legs,
unroofing spines and opening heads is planted there
with more success than death since the last time
his eyes forced a change of lenses
and he was left without a new direction
or the ability to see into the distance before him.



Michael Salcman: Poetry
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