“You never want to be caught, you never want to be kissed,
you’re just an old antidisestablishmentarianist in our midst”
— Duke Ellington, You’re Just An Old Antidisestablishmentarianism
Never did pre-med, never yearned to be an MD, though eventually
went into that line of work in order to serve poor folk
who otherwise wouldn’t get any health care at all.
During school I spent those pony-tailed days horsing around
plus organizing against the bloody Vietnam War: did not
attend graduation or take no Hippocratic oath — instead
instead had ‘em mail my diploma. Then after post-doc
training instead of taking a chief residency, becoming
a professor, took un$ought jobs nada else applied for.
Learned Spanish in order to communicate.
1st board-certified internist ever accepted
a job at our community health center.
Later on ran a pilot Medicaid program
which truly pissed off rich white shoe
physicians required to participate.
Their anemic society invited me —
tieless — to a fancy dinner with
the AMA’s (never joined) Prez.
Thought maybe they’d offer
some toast but instead I was
roasted as a Communist.
Proceeded to set up/ staff
homeless clinics nobody
would give funds to.
Put bunch of time in on
jail wards ministering
dying AIDs patients.
Today got a flyer
in the mail from
an old nemesis.
Dr. Sarnet [sic]
if you join we
will send free
Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed homeless and prison clinics as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards.
Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Arkansas, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Slippery Rock, Appalachian State, Grinnell, American Jewish University and the University of Edinburgh. Gerry’s writing has also appeared widely including recently in such U.S. outlets as Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry Circle, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Fiction Southeast, Military Experience and the Arts, Poets And War, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review and The New York Times. Pieces have also been accepted by Chinese, Bangladeshi, Hong Kongese, Singaporian, Canadian, English, Irish, Scotch, Australian, New Zealander, Australasian Writers Association, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Romanian, Swedish and Fijian among other international publications. Mount Analogue selected KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2017. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He’s also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016).
Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids, five grandsons and looking forward to future granddaughters.