Bring a Torch

REM's latest single notes that leaving New York is never easy. You might think they're talking about giving up on a relationship, moving on. In fact, they're singing about the Port Authority Bus Terminal at Christmastime. The ten o'clock riot at Gate 83 was more harrowing than anything I dealt with in the SICU.

A happier memory from New York came from a week earlier, when I attended a poetry reading to hear an accomplished medical student. Good stuff! And I'm sure we'll be seeing more of it in print, soon.

After the readings, there was an audience-participation haiku contest based on this story:

A 74-year-old Georgia woman is in serious condition after a man dressed as Santa Claus hit her in the face and head with a large piece of wood for no apparent reason, according to Local 6 News.

Police in Atlanta, Ga., said Elkin Donnie Clarke, 49, attacked Annie Ruth Nelson, 74, with a two-by-four piece of wood as she walked down a downtown street this weekend.

So inspired, I jotted down the following:

Santa rearranged
Old St. Nick with a yule log
could it be ... Satan?

Alas, I lost the haiku competition. I can't recall the winning entry, other than it contained the term "glory hole." Tough crowd. Almost as tough as those holiday bus passengers.

Maybe next year.