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Keytone Deficiency


by Bill Yarrow


A doctor's walls reveal quite a bit
about a physician, do you think?
Those pictures of black jazz musicians
leaning against silk saxophones
inspire confidence. But the paintings
that are one painting chopped
into three parts—those scare
the ennui out of me. I do respect
diplomas, but when the name
on the degree doesn't match the doctor
in the room, I'm plainly uncomfortable.
What about those 19th century French
ad posters for lemon seltzer and parasols?
A doctor needs twenty-foot walls to hang
those things! Beware superfluous color,
internecine abstraction, or foetus clouds.
Ornate frames indicate mental instability.
If you recognize the artist, the doctor is
a charlatan. If you encounter macrame,
leave the practice, consult a  soothsayer.


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