“Doc Oils”


  1. Bolinas Seventies – 48 clicks by ‘Nam talk but a time warp from civilization which refugees’re ravenous to avoid, hippies shot off The Gov’t’s road signs soas folks from the outside couldn’t locate our coastal enclave.

Should Marin County re-lay asphalt sidewalks, the community would strip ‘em bare that day, maybe put in wood planks.  Every once in a blue moon, the Sheriff might jail ringleader Louise.

I was a mere Stanford med student interning with local GPs who injected the Jefferson Airplane, Jesse Colin Young, etcetera red-blooded men with enough penicillin to stay clean of groupie VD when on their world tours.

Plus along with multi-talented certified midwife, Helen, I traveled north to The Russian River, south to San Francisco’s Panhandle doing tons of natural childbirth home deliveries which turned out real fine.

Grateful Dead’s manager gave me every album in deep gratitude despite my refusing his top-notch Maui Zowie till we pulled his kid out safe ‘n sound.

Or really crappy like that zonked underage acidhead runaway from Ohio – I was unable to make her pusssh then she staredstaredstared as g-d awful detritus dropped.  Clueless.

Finally getting around to the title, one morning the new Feel-Good in town hangs out a shingle, “Ervin Oil MD,” soz I amble on over to welcome the graybeard sez he right quick just up and moved away from a renowned Manhattan practice that’d invented The Stupendous Incredible Alpha Wave Machine.

After it is all installed, Dr. Oil (he often insisted on such formalities) offered me professional courtesy.

Got hooked with electrodes from red plus black cables into my scalp.

Since virginal readings were evidently problematic, the family doc soothed, “Now don’t worry, Son, not to be concerned, I can heal Bad Vibes register as Beta Waves.” After a pause, the physician continued, “Even though diagnosis sure’s for free, everybody’s gotta contribute ten buckaroos for the cure.”

Which was lotsa moolah in that era but what choice’d I have to assure Attractive Vibe Alpha Waves?

Ervin Oil simply replugged negative then positive lines to reverse the coils, “Voila, success, spread the word, refer the world!”

  1. Almost half century past, recalling Ervin like a skewered snake oil doctor pulling something out of Molière asses, what this retiring physician become tin woodsman living in Portola Valley’s Oz forest needs now are cabin-keepers who can oil my poor joints and ears plus the wife’s rosewood furniture.
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About Gerard Sarnat

Gerard Sarnat has won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize and been nominated for Pushcarts. Gerry’s authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published in magazines and anthologies including Gargoyle, American Journal of Poetry (Margie), Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, OCHO, Brooklyn Review, Lowestoft, Tishman Review, Tiferet plus was featured in New Verse News, Edify, Poetica, Songs of Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords and Floor Plan. Among other publications, Deronda Review, San Francisco Magazine, Radius, Foliate Oak, Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project, Veterans Writing Project, Anti-Heroin Chic, Aois, Poetry Circle, Tipton Review, Creative Truth, Harbor Village, Indian Ruminations, KYSO, Flagler Review, Poets and War, and Ordinary Madness’ debuted feature sets of new poems. Mount Analogue selected Sarnat’s sequence, KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY, for distribution as a pamphlet in Seattle on Inauguration Day 2017 as well as the next morning as part of the Washington DC and nationwide Women’s Marches. In May “Amber Of Memory” was the single poem chosen for Gerry s 50th college reunion symposium on Bob Dylan; the Harvard Advocate accepted a second plus Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Johns Hopkins accepted concurrent pieces. In August Failed Haiku presented his work first among over a hundred contributors. In January 2018, among other acceptances, six Sarnat poems were featured in True Living Documented Relentlessly [TL;DR], his work was front page in International Journal Of Modern Poetry, and pieces were accepted by Australian, Israeli, Canadian and Indian publications. In February, two Dadaist publications accepted some of Gerry’s new-styled work: Maintenant, plus a ten-poem sequence is being featured in Outsider Poetry. The UK’s Ink Pantry accepted a spread and will interview Sarnat for a featured run. Beautiful Loser’s main spread was Sarnat’s poetry accompanied by an interview. The Editor’s Note for Rumblefish’s Winter 2018 issue describes Sarnat as “previous reader-favorite.” A set was featured in March’s Surreal Mannequin Haus. The UK’s Winamop will repeat-feature a sequence of Gerry’s work this summer – this time incorporating photos as well as newer concrete poetry. Ditto Ginosko. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, interviews; visit GerardSarnat.com. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry’s worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children, four grandkids.