When The Patient Admits, the Doctor Must Learn to Listen

The Patient Admits 

by Avery M. Guess
reviewed by Minadora Macheret, author of Love Me, Anyway

Pushing the boundaries of how trauma is experienced, expressed, and treated, Avery M. Guess’ chapbook, The Patient Admits (dancing girl press, 2017), asks its readers and, especially, medical professionals, to consider a different navigation and reception of the traumatized, mentally-ill body. The Patient Admits is a collection of seventeen poems that explore the experience of child abuse, chronic rape, mental illness, and subsequent institutionalization in a psychiatric facility. These poems are reflective of the patient's experience of the act of telling, the use of medical language to contain and break the understood/known body, and the ways in which metaphor has the potential to create slippage within the patient-doctor exchange, as an opening for the patient to speak and have their story heard.

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