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  • Letters to the Editor
  • Darren Carter and Allen B. Weisse
Darren Carter
1609 North Claremont #2F
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Allen B. Weisse
New Jersey Medical School
185 South Orange Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07103-2757

In the Waiting Room

The magazines are fairly old and they showa fair amount of wear and I sit among humanbeings about whom the same could be saidand I wonder about their problems—but Ithink mostly about mine.

I think about the words of a modern sage, arabbi of much learning and well-tempered faith.It makes no sense, he says, for people in awaiting-room to ask God for a favorable outcomeof a dreaded test. After all the die has beencast. The malignancy machine (or whatever) iseither whirring away or it is not. Better topray that we'll be able to cope if the resultsturn out to be bad. Even God cannot tossphysical laws to the wind.

But who cares about a God like that? I want aGod who can do whatever it takes to make theresults come out right. Perhaps God won't, butat least I can ask. By God I can ask! Here inthis merciless silent room, surrounded bythese mysterious people, I don't give a damnabout logic. Let the news be good, I say!Please let it be good!

Please let it be good! That's my prayer,and I'm sticking to it!

William C. Campbell

Cancer Cravings

(Dedicated to Willem Titles, a brave Basuto)

I once lived aliveAnd saw death dying;I moved my limbs about the earthlyPleasures unthinking,Not caring four or five:For Time and Space in joyWere never dreaming,And health to me then was etern'llyMarried and Possess'd—My ego and I were met.

But now this rackingWrenching pain keeps gnawingOut my sap and thought:What good this livingDeath in Analgesic Stupor?Christ how long?

This burning in my throat—This separation of my very fibres—This heaving corticating spasm—This death alive in living—Why must the good in agonySurrender to the unknownBeating tom-toms of the cancer cellsThat scream in triumphant orgyAs they ramp and raveThrough my senseless frameTearing out my last sensationsAnd pouring oil in acidDown my nerves and veins.Christ, how long?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!You disseminating vilifying monsters!Cowardice in your Freudian joyAs you whip my blacking embers—Dance your last hereBefore I defeat your victoryAnd leave you livingAlive in dying Death!

Ronald Singer

Permission to reprint letters printed in this section may be obtained only from the authors.



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pp. 516-520
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