"We do not feel strongly enough that we are part of a global community, part of a larger we . . . This is where art can make a difference . . . engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. It can make the world felt." Alafus Eliasson, "Why art has the power to change the world," World Economic Forum,
This year's contributors in all genres reflected social issues as a felt experience, none more than Patrick Synan, winner of Bacopa Literary Review 2018's Poetry Prize for "Outside the Clinic." Synan paints the scene so clearly that without being told directly, we understand this woman waiting outside the clinic is poor and ill, driving a van she could only afford because it was auctioned off, and we cannot look away.
We know she's not one of the chosen ones (deadened to the weather / of the season and the soul...), but part of the rest of nature, rising to another chapter of slow death. And we readers--even if chosen ones driving a late-model car on our way to a private doctor--feel this woman's panic as she calls the same three names, knowing she won't get in today:
Patrick Synan is a young poet from New Hampshire who studied literature at Boston College and teaches in Boston. "Outside the Clinic" will be included in his forthcoming chapbook, The Walls Around the Ring (The Orchard Street Press Ltd)