Dr. Steven Ablon

October 30, 2010

Steven L.  Ablon has published four books of poems: Tornado Weather, (Mellen Press), 1993, Flying Over Tasmania, (Fithian Press), 1997,  Blue Damsels, (Peter Randall Press), 2005, and Night Call (Plain View Press), 2011. His work has appeared in many magazines. He is an adult and child psychoanalyst and an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The following poems are excerpted from Night Call.


The lesson for today is life
inscribed in bones we dig among,
muscled, tendoned, the ruined veins,
heart as frozen as gray snow.
The face is the burnt white moon
raveled, the seas scalpelled for us
a thousand times without reproach.
I turn the grooved brain in my hand.
Which lobe for laughter, which regret
stinking of formaldehyde.
Who kissed the crater cheek, this chin,
this death we call Penelope.


Dr. S. Drives Us Back

Today he has taught us
how to interview the heart,
how to ask it:
Are you full of sadness?
Are you broken?
Have the scars not healed?
How did this happened to you?
And were you broken before that?
And before that?
We sit in the back
of his Impala,
the three of us
blown like embers.
At the red light of warm
October, his white hair
sighs like a sail becalmed.
From my place in the middle,
my knees touching the seat
I ask,
“Do we have
to grieve
every day?”



Not the light but loneliness attaches
a moth to the swinging door.
Not light but languor like the stairwell’s
fresh white paint, my patient becoming
moth under white sheets, a fragile sojourn
crushable to powder. I could swat that moth.
I could toss it by its wings, drop it to
the trash. I could smother it
or catch it, release it out the window,
the taste of cashmere in its mouth.


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