Clinical interview

napo2016button2Enters the doctor, looking like Daddy cool.
Understanding look. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel?”
I don’t play his game. “Are we talking Aeolian, altered or augmented?
Sotto voce: “Tests have been standardized so that test-takers are evaluated in a similar way”

I make him switch gender.
She raises her eyebrows: “Subatomic, cellular or human?”
I like her. “Classical Cepheids, D–σ relation or surface brightness fluctuations?”
She could be a sister. A brother. A mother to me. A soul mate. A saviour. A therapist.

I whist and eye her brain.
She yawns. “10 gigohm, I get it. The highest resistor code.
I might play your game. Do you feel mesa, micro or mega agitated?”
Lord Pascal strike me down. How many candelas per square metre can one woman be?

I pluck my eyebrow.
Me: “You’re searching for an order of magnitude?”
She: “Not just anyone can perform a psychological evaluation.”
Meanwhile I’m wondering: On a scale of 1 to 10: how did I get here?

“Okay”, I say, “which decade?”
One raised eyebrow.
“Frequency?”
1 hertz

This poem was already in the making when I read today’s prompt: “Today I challenge you to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words.” #NaPoWriMo day 24

This poem  started with the question “On a scale from 1 to 10…”, which made me wonder which scales exist. It turns out  many more than I know of, and I spent quite some (interesting) time on Wikipedia.

I’ve tried to capture some of the possible dynamics between interviewer and interviewee. The power play the interviewee tries to impose on the conversation. The clinical language/way of thinking versus the thoughts of someone in, well, a different mode.

There’s a lot more I could say about this one, but I believe poems should be read rather than explained. So if you want to know more, read it again and see what the next reading brings you🙂

2 thoughts on “Clinical interview

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