The Jazz of East New York

Eric Dessner MD is an ophthalmologist in private practice in Brooklyn, NY.

He’s the founder of

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The Jazz of East New York

He was knee-deep into his 80s, when he first strode into my exam room with a 

smooth, arthritic strut. 

He wore a pencil mustache underneath a fedora and a loose-fitting, African patterned print

in beige, black and gold. 

With a slow dexterous turn, he sat down in my chair and extended the brass handle of his 

walking stick without a word.

And that’s how he spoke; with an understated regard for the essential, while remaining tight-

lipped about the rest.

It was as if to say, that almost anything can be said with the three buttons on a trumpet or

the slide of the trombone

He admitted that, “He couldn’t put a finger on,” when he’d last seen an eye doctor, “but there 

had been another nice fella–

Didn’t remember any talk about glaucoma, though” Either way, I said, “You ought to follow

up with one of us, because–

this stuff can sneak up on you.” And as he turned to leave, he replied, “Well then, I think I’ll just 

lay with you for a while.”

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April 30, 2023 9:48 am

“that almost anything can be said with the three buttons on a trumpet or/the slide of the trombone.” A powerful image that speaks volumes of the character and of the poet’s keen observation. Beautiful, resonant poem!

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