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Between Hours

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While accommodating playfulness and even a bit of audacity, both psychoanalysis and poetry deeply respect formality of structure, nuance of affect, and the multifaceted resonance of the spoken word.Twinship of the analytic and poetic discourse is also evident in the parallels between a fumbling pause in free associations and an aching line break in a poem, a telling parapraxis and an inspired metaphor, an acknowledgment of the repressed via its negation and the irony of simultaneous hiding and revealing in verse, and so on.To put it bluntly, psychoanalysis is two-person poetry and poetry one-person psychoanalysis. Nowhere is this juxtaposition more apparent than in this book of poems by psychoanalysts, which is the first ever collection of its sort.

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Salman Akhtar


Salman Akhtar comes from a family of renowned poets and writers. He is the author of seven collections of poems. Three of these, The Hidden Knot (1985), Conditions (1993), and Turned to Light (1998) contain his poems in the English language and the other four in his native Urdu. He is also a prolific contributor to the psychoanalytic literature, having fifty-six authored or edited books to his credit. A psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, editor, and teacher by profession, Dr Akhtar holds the rank of Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA. He is also a Supervising and Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and their beloved dog, Majnun.

A big black cloud

dropped two smiling raindrops

in the purple courtyard

of the lotus on a satin lake.

A blue owl

and a pink mynah

flew out of the flower.

And the flower undulated with waves of lusty pride.

(On John Ross’s and Ann Maloney’s Wedding)

When the mundane and the sacred became twins.


Gerald Garguilo


Gerald J. Gargiulo is a member of the American Psychoanalytic as well as the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is a former president of the NPAP Psychoanalytic Training Institute in NYC and is currently on the editorial boards of The Psychoanalytic Review and Psychoanalytic Psychology. He is the author of three texts and over ninety professional articles. His most recent book is a personal memoir entitled Broken Fathers/Broken Sons. Dr. Gargiulo practices in Stamford, Ct, and has had a life long interest in poetry, philosophy and theology along with his studies in psychoanalysis. His wife, Julia, was a life long companion in these pursuits until her recent passing.

Past the mid-point of

Our lives

When wisdom’s consolation


The rush of time,

We recall when first we made the


And knew it as our own.

But life betrays

By seasonal design:

Before each May

Our absence grows,

Compassion’s shadow then brings

No relief

And Autumn tells—

We are a memory of light

Fleeing the forgetfulness


Forrest Hamer


Forrest Hamer is the author of three books of poetry: Call & Response (Alice James Books, 1995), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award; Middle Ear (Roundhouse Press, 2000), winner of the Northern California Book Award; and Rift (Four Way Books, 2007.) His work appears in three editions of Best American Poetry, and he has taught on the poetry faculty of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops. He is a graduate and faculty member at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, in private practice in Oakland, and a staff member at the Masonic Center for Youth and Families in San Francisco. For years he imagined that his writing life and clinical life existed mostly in parallel but were not related necessarily to each other. But, over time, the two careers developed in tandem, coming closer to each other. He now strives to be more conscious of the fact that the poems he authors are written by a psychoanalyst, and the psychoanalysis he practices is conducted by a poet.

How, at the end of a long and complex story,


Sheri Hunt


Sheri Hunt is an adult, adolescent and child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and is certified by the American Psychoanalytic Association. She is on the faculty of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her interest in writing and poetry led her to becoming a, editorial board member of The American Psychoanalyst. She has been editing its poetry column for over ten years. Dr. Hunt has had numerous publications ranging from medical topics to essays and poetry. Her inspirations include family life, her work, which deeply immerses her in the inner worlds of patients young, middle aged and old, and the mountains, islands and waterways of the Pacific Northwest.

You look sleep’s

Sheer, black glassy drop

Spit in its eye

And jump!

Like crossing a street

When it’s not your turn

And you feel air then steel

Whizz neatly by

In a single carbonized gasp.

A night’s sweated ice

Wakens you with a yell

Not sure where blankets end

And you begin.

But, it must have been

A helluva fight.

Purple mottled sky bruises

Where wet has left sugared marrings


Alice Jones


Alice Jones’s books are: The Knot, which won the Beatrice Hawley Award in 1992, Extreme Directions (The fifty four moves of Tai Chi Sword), published by Omnidawn Press in 2002, and Gorgeous Mourning, published by Apogee Press in 2004. She has also published two chapbooks, Anatomy and Isthmus. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Orion, Denver Quarterly, Zyzzyva, and in anthologies including Best American Poetry of 1994; Blood and Bone: Poems by Doctors; Appetite: Food as Metaphor, Verse and Universe: Poems about Science, and Orpheus and Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology. Awards include fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the National Endowment for the Arts, the First Annual Narrative Magazine Poetry Prize, and the Lyric Poetry Award and Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. She practices in Berkeley, CA, and is a Personal and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.


Eugene Mahon


Eugene Mahon is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City, where he also has a private practice in adult and child psychoanalysis. He was born in the West of Ireland where the wind accents the human voice with its moaning and the human voice accents the wind in turn with its own music of defiance. This legacy, after a brief detour in Internal Medicine, pointed him inevitably toward psychoanalysis. When he’s not writing poetry or plays (on Freud, Shakespeare, Beckett, Bion) he is seriously engaged in the Art and Science of psychoanalysis in all its clinical, theoretical and applied manifestations. He has published many clinical articles on dreams, mourning, memory, play, working through, the dissolution of the Oedipus Complex as well as articles on Shakespeare, Coleridge, The Golden Section, Prejudice, Purgatory. He has published a fable entitled Rensal the Redbit (1960) and one of his poems Steeds of Darkness was set to music by the American composer Miriam Gideon.


Rebecca Meredith


Rebecca Meredith is a writer, poet, and graduate of Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Although she now lives and has her analytic practice in Seattle, she grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in New Orleans, and much of her work comes from her affection for its culture and land. Rebecca’s poetry and prose has appeared in numerous literary magazines and other publications, and in 2010 she was chosen to be the first Poet Laureate of the city of Redmond, Washington. She has recently published her debut novel, The Last of the Pascagoula.

Down in Kosciusko, the widow women

hire black men to come out and cut the yard,

and white men to come in and fix the sink.

They smoke cigarettes at twilight on the porch,

another lightning bug amid the closed day lilies.

Inside, the pendulum clocks strike

from walls filled with men’s smiling faces

at weddings, graduations, family reunions—

a roll call of the departed, and the simply gone.

And even though they aren’t there any more

to take up the lunch box and go to the school bus factory


Arlene Kramer Richards


Arlene Kramer Richards is a Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Freudian Society; Fellow, Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; member, APsaA and IPA. Author of 7 children’s books including How to Get it Together When Your Parents are Coming Apart (Random House Children’s Books, 1976), and coeditor, Fantasy Myth and Reality: Essays in Honor of Jacob Arlow (IUP, 1988) and papers on female sexuality, perversion, and gambling. Dr. Richards is a practicing psychoanalyst and lives in an apartment in Manhattan and a house in Garrison, NY with her husband, the well-known psychoanalyst, Arnold Richards.

Out with it. Why let all that good stuff rattle around in your head?

Circulating through reverberating circuits?

Keep it coming. The foolish along with the pointedly


There, that man sitting beside me on the bus. Old.

He fastens his folded newspaper to his several times re-folded

brown paper bag

With three bronze paper clips.

Having reorganized the books, I’m ready for a girl-scout


Arnold Richards


Editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association from 1994 to 2003 and before that of The American Psychoanalyst, Arnold Richards is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and received its Distinguished Contributor Award in 2004. He is a member of the American Psychological Association–Division 39, the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, the New York Freudian Society, the Psychoanalytic Association of New York, the Western New York Psychoanalytic Society, Honorary Member of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis/Karen Horney Clinic and the New Jersey Psychoanalytic Society. He is the former Chairman of the Board of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and a current Board member.

(Muriel Weinstein died two summers ago. She fell off a mountain in Switzerland, where she loved to climb)

You celebrated your self

and rightly so.

You reveled in your senses,

pampered them with aliment


Elise Sanders


For Elise Sanders writing poems has been an organic outgrowth of her work as a psychoanalyst. Through poetry she is able to extend language and imagery to access the unconscious and facilitate transformation. She lives in Minnesota where she has had the opportunity to study writing at the Loft Literary Center, and work privately with poet Juliet Patterson. Elise has a private practice in Minneapolis, and is actively involved with the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Walking her dogs, gardening, and knitting give her a break from all her verbal pursuits!

Bellied in

tender luscious baby green

tiny crocus heads nod

neighborly daffodils skirt

lamppost legs


sidewalks ebb and flow

around the boat basin pooling

at the feet of Alice

wondering in the rabbit hole

about the faint young sun

a pinch of breeze

just warm enough to embrace

and hold with anticipation

in strawberry fields forever.

holder of my delicate dreams, the rooms emptied,

except for echoes of memories in the chambers

a continuous round of families and friends



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