8824 NE Russell St.
Portland OR 97220

Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


Black Lamb welcomes submissions from new writers. Email us.


If you have questions or comments regarding Black Lamb, please email us.

Archive for April, 2012

April 2012 in Black Lamb

Volume 10, Number 4 — April 2012

April 1st, 2012

The All-Medicine Issue

In this All-Medicine Issue of Black Lamb, editor Terry Ross reflects on the enormous changes in medical practice during his lifetime and wonders if we haven’t lost any feeling for the meaning of life. In No segue, Rod Ferrandino tells how a heart attack transformed him from a vigorous man in middle age into a an old man. Elizabeth Fournier descrives a Native American funneral in Medicine wheel.

In Bend over and say, “Aaah,” Ed Goldberg holds forth on the practice of medicine in the USA. John M. Daniel celebrates the value of massage and meditation in Mellowship. In A health care dialogue, Greg Roberts gives us a surreal tale of a man needing a doctor. Dan Peterson tells of his lifelong phobias in Blood, needles, & aneasthesia. And Toby Tompkins details his wife’s treatment for cancer in Waiting for magic.

In our Honorary Black Lambs column, we welcome authors Emile Zola and Anita Loos into our pantheon. Advice columnist Millicent Marshall answers readers’ question on our subject of the month. And Professor Avram Khan gives us a medicine-themed word puzzle.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Medicine Issue, Month summaries | Link to this Entry

No segue

I'm happy to wake up alive every day.

April 1st, 2012

The All-Medicine Issue


Most of the major transitions in my life have been, if not seamless, at least gradual: from toddler to little kid to teenager and all the way into middle age. Some changes were a bit abrupt: college cocoon to “real” world, drinker to non-drinker, not-dad to dad, but overall the process of life seemed to roll along without quantum leaps or falls.

My merry little apple-cart was dumped in July of 2011. There I was, an active middle-aged guy playing full-court hoops, jogging, pumping iron, cutting firewood, swinging a maul, and doing a lot of “etcetera” when, suddenly… Bam! Heart attack!

Just three days later I’m an old man shuffling out of a hospital and my wife has to drive me home. Instead of popping a couple of preemptive Advil tablets before going for a run, I stand in the kitchen and scratch my head as I try to remember if I already took my umpteen unpronounceable meds that morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Medicine Issue, Ferrandino | Link to this Entry

Life & death in an age of medical miracles

April 1st, 2012

The All-Medicine Issue


The reach of medicine has changed, in my lifetime, beyond all recognizing. The advent of penicillin and other antibiotics, the eradication of polio, even the demise of smallpox have occurred over the last sixty years. With these advances have come open heart surgery and other cardiac procedures, organ transplants, and entirely new ways of viewing and treating mental illnesses. We also now have ways to keep people alive almost indefinitely.

Because of these life-saving tools, we have altered our attitude to various life-ending procedures. Assisted suicide is now accepted, although controversial. And abortion is widely available, without stigma. We’ve also changed our attitude to who should decide about such forms of death. Where once doctors pronounced people terminal in their own homes, individual citizens are now routinely asked, not told, in hospitals, when to pull the plug, when to shut down the respirator.

What was once thought ghoulish — the desecration of a corpse — is now considered almost mandatory: what right have you to deny others the use of your organs once you have stopped using them? This new wrinkle on political correctness flies in the face of most religions’ views, which demand dignity for the physical receptacle of the soul of the deceased. Can it really be niggardly to deny others the use of your recently functioning entrails? Apparently so; apply for a driver’s license and watch the eyebrows of the clerk when you tell her you will not agree to be an organ donor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Medicine Issue, Ross | Link to this Entry


  • Blogroll