Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Still Achy Breaky Heart

"Happy, happy birthday, baby
Although you're with somebody new
Thought I'd drop a line to say
That I wish this happy day
Would find me beside you"-
Popular song lyrics

Yes, my heart
is still breaking
(yes even after
all these years)
still again  today
for all of my lost loves
(although more for some
than for others)
but all of them
still near and dear
to my easily seduced and
easily cuckolded
achy breaky heart

Sometimes I cannot help
but to cry
over all of the spilled milk
of bygone kisses
and caresses
the perfumed remembrances
of falling nylons and
unzippered dresses
of passionate love making sessions
in all sort of sordid locations
and then forcing myself
to go to confession
early the next morning
(at least to the man
in the mirror
if to no one else)

Looking back
I seem to have
an unbriddled knack for
creating havoc
and wreckage
in most
(if not all)
of my romantic escapades
(winner take all
erotic contests of
will and ego and
briused emotions and feelings)

Perhaps it is because
I have never properly learned
how to drive down
the super expressway of life
(always looking for
the nearest exits and the
shortest of short cuts)

Going that fast
it is easy to miss
the turn off
like the one up ahead
that reads

Peace and Serenity
Next exit...

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dispassionate Shades Of Blue

Blue blue
dispassionate shades of blue
singing lonely folk songs
in my white socks and
smelly feet

Feeling blue
need to be blue
singing lonely folk songs
in my white socks and
smelly feet

And the gull's cry
is a lonely cry
as I walk along
the water's edge
singing lonely folk songs
in my white socks and
smelly feet

"It's hip to be miserable
when you're young
and intellectual
in a fit
you'll admit
you're a misfit!"

I am giving very serious thought
to growing either a van dyke
or a very pointy goatee...

Yo Mon...
please don't bogie that dube!

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It Was Bound To Happen

It was bound to happen
every time the
powers that be
mess with the
space time continuum
bodies get splayed out
and turn up
scattered everywhere
at the shopping mall
at LAX
another elementary school here
another high school there
home invasions
no known motives
no goods taken
but innocent blood shed
for no apparent reason
cars wrapping themselves
around trees
overturned tractor trailers
spilling their cargoes
ten thousand pounds of
tomatoes spilled across the
tying up traffic for
hours on end
people sleep deprived and
on edge
on medications
of all sorts

Daylight Savings Time
they call it
Spring forward
Fall backwards
and then hit the deck
as our bleary eyed neighbors
nerves frayed to the breaking point
reaching for pistols
knives and shotguns
turning on their own
the old folks at home
the good people
next door and
down the lane
and very often on

Messing with
the Space Time Continuum
makes people nervous
gets everything out of whack
best to roll over in bed and
hit the snooze alarm
maybe this time
maybe next time
it won't feel so bad

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Am I Ever Going To Do In Paris

I want to revisit
gay Paris
where I spent
my misspent youth
studying at
the Sorbonne and
sundry faculties of
the University of Paris
Oriental Languages
Political Science
Falling in love

I want to be
twenty one again
I want to fall asleep
and wake up with
a full head of hair
a disease free and
pain free body
a youthful libido
money in my pocket

Not to mention
hours on end wandering
the hallowed halls of
The Louvre
Boulevard St. Michelle
Rue Moufftarde
Notre Dame Cathedral
Garden de Luxembourg
Champs Elysee
Place du Lion
General LeClerc
Ile de la Cite
shopping all day
at Bon Marche and
Le Printemps
riding the Metro
Gare du Lyon
Charles de Gaulle
Boulevard Peripherique
Quartier Latin

I would like to again taste
Crepe Suzette
Sandwich Jambon
munch on a
creamy Camembert and
freshly baked baguette
sip some wine
smoke Gitanes
sip cognac
sit for hours
at sidewalk cafes
Le Figaro
Le Monde
Le Canard Enchaine
Cahiers de Cinema

I would like to
chase the ghosts of
lovers long lost
along the quays of
Le Seine
watching the
bateau mouche
float serenely beneath
Le Pont Neuf
to once again enjoy
the view from the top of
the Eiffel Tower

I want to once again
spend hours
haunting the old
movie theatres
in the old banlieus
Jean Seberg
Catherine Deneuve
Jacques Tati
Jerry Lewis
Belle de Jour
A Nous La Liberte
A Bout de Souffle

Should the good fortune
ever again befall me
what ever am I
going to do in Paris?

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Is Poetry?

Poetry is the way
our species
learns how
to howl
at the moon

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Spider Web Entanglements Of The Human Heart

More's the pity
this spiteful
vengeful and jealous
heart of mine
cutting through the thicket
breaking off the overgrown vines
to reveal a veritable
jungle of
buried regrets
love affair hangovers
more regrets
vats of bitterness
distilled by time
into a vinegrette
of emotional spices and
chopped up lies

I do wish that
I had been a better person
charging down the
white water rapids
of my life
but at that
breakneck speed
of descent
toward the inevitalbe
fate of the
oncoming falls
I did a lot of
collateral damage that
I sincerely regret

But there are no
do overs in life
only left overs

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Point Blank

They're shooting
each other
here in Philadelphia
at the rate of
two or three or four per day
most of the guns
are illegally bought and sold
and traded
on the back streets
of every major city
in America

We are told that
there are
some 300 million guns
in private hands
one for every
man, woman and child
in the USA

And they are shooting
each other
almost every night
at point blank range
in the head
in the neck
in the back
in the face
in the groin
all the livelong day

Drugs and gangs
mental illness
poverty and despair
suicidal acting out
some wishing to die
at the hands of the police
(protect and serve)
or at the hands of
a drug king rival
contract hits
killings to silence witnesses
revenge shootings
domestic violence
you name it
we have them all

And given the fact that
Congress cannot
seem to muster the courage to
pass new gun control laws
(thanks in large part
to the incessant lobbying
of the NRA)
the national murder rate
continues to climb
and no one in America
is safe from
gun violence

So can I interest you
in a handy-dandy
saturday night special?
(for your own
self protection
of course)

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Enola Gay

Look up
cherry blossoms of
hot ash fall
burning the skin and
blinding the eye

We all saw
the flash
that left
human shadows
on the wall
and that was all
that was left of
family and friends

High above the city
the Enola Gay flies
like a moth drawn
to the flame

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Apple Green

I found the little town of
Apple Green
quite by accident
having taken
a side trek off of
the beaten path

I was riding on the
Toonerville Trolley
when I decided to
get off some
two stops
short of the
end of the line

I happened to
catch a glance
of a small hut
(a tiny house really)
out of the
corner of my eye
and I thought
to myself
this is a place
I have never seen before

I was delighted
that this little town had
a little town library
complete with
that rarest of species
a librarian
with owl-like glasses
comfy sweater
her hair swept up neatly
in an impeccable bun

I wandered next
into a nearby
coffee shop
the only one that
I could see
and I ordered
a large cafe latte
but all that I received
was a cup
of freshly brewed coffee
along with a very pleasant
and welcoming smile

Where exactly am I?
I asked the waitress

Don't you know?
she replied
You are in
the town of
Apple Green

Then she asked me
if I'd taken the
Toonerville Trolly
to get there

When I told her
that yes I had
she put down
her order pad and pencil
Then she leaned
towards me and
stared straight
into my eyes
over the brim
of her glasses

That's quite remarkable
she said
Why's that?
I asked

The Toonerville Trolley
she said
has not stopped in
the town of
Apple Green
for the past
forty years

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Jake In The Neighborhood

In the course of my life
(to put food
on the table and
to keep a roof
over my head)
I have had to be
a jack of all trades
(only later in life
did I earn a
MSW degree)

I have worked as
an insurance salesman
driving instructor
social worker
fund raiser
public relations guru
real estate sales
financial planner
gas station attendant
sous chef
taxi driver
state civil servant
city civil servant
book store clerk
bus boy
dish washer
bar tender
baby sitter
lawn mower helper
food store clerk
among other things
too numerous to mention
(and not necessarily
in the aforementioned order)

My work life
often took me
into neighborhoods
that were well outside
my comfort zone
but the nature
of the work
had me climbing stairs
in low income housing projects
and in areas of the city
where the police and firemen
feared to go

I have been in crack houses
looking for abandoned babies
rat infested tenements
slum housing of every
stripe and kind
I was one of those
intrepid warriors of the
working class
forced by necessity
to rush into circumstances
where angels have feared to tread
(I'm not bragging
just explaining)

Some how
(mostly by the
Grace of G-d)
I have managed
to survive it all
and to even have
been able
to have reached
the age of retirement
even though
I've had to go into
dangerous  neighborhoods
(mostly in NYC and
where no white man or
white jew
had ever gone before

In short
I was and still am
(in many ways)
the proverbial
Neighborhood Jake 
(a so-called Jake
is the street code word
for Jew)

Some of the neighborhood residents
would shout out the term
as a warning to their neighbors that a
Jake was in the area
either to sell them
things that they
didn't want or need
(at shy lock prices)
or as a representative of
the Man
come to enforce
some law or regulation
that could lead to
state supervision or to
the removal of their children
(into foster care)
or even to their arrest
and incarceration
on various and sundry
(and very often)
trumped up charges

Being the official
Neighborhood Jake
was a shitty job
(but as the proverb goes)
someone had to do it

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Come Toro

Come Toro
come you big
black beast
I see you
pawing the earth
your nostrils flaring
with your rage
I see your eyes
burning red
how you would love
to gore me to bits

Come Toro
come charging
at the big red cape
show me your power and
your unimaginable strength

Come Toro
you who fear
no man
no sword
you who will hold
your ground against
all odds

Come Toro
I am here with you
in the center
of the bull ring
having already
been gored
many times before
in defense of all
the worldly things
that I have loved
here see
my many scars
I do fear you
for I am
not as strong
nor as brave as you
and I know full well that
only one of us can survive
this day

Come Toro
If I give in to my fear
my cowardice will
stain us both
what glory is to be gained
by killing a coward
such as me

Come Toro
you see me
shivering with fear
did you think
I would die
as bravely as you
you magnificent beast
all I want to do
is to run away
I look for courage
but I have none

Come Toro
do to me
what you must
and let us not pretend
that either of us
can defer
the inevitable outcome
for even a moment longer
before my last ounce
of courage deserts me

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Squirrels Win

I give up
I surrender
I am waving
the white flag
the squirrels win
I am talking about
the mother and daughter pair
that have decided
to set up
in my upstairs bedroom
window air conditioner unit
and who now call it home

I tried to shoo them off
I tried to scare them off
I even poked one
with the sharp end
of a letter opener
all to no avail
rather than be
chased out of their
comfortable home
they have chosen
to fight back

I am amazed
at their tenacity
and courage
I am in admiration
of their ability to rebuild
no matter how many times
I attempt to evict them

I must say
that I am not
all that surprised
that they have
picked my air conditioner
as their summer home
as it has all of the amenities
that any urban squirrel family
could desire
a great view
easy access to
a steady supply of food
(by way of the fruit trees
that I and my neighbors have
planted in our front yards)
a lovely southern exposure
situated high enough
above ground
to escape any predators
who might venture to disturb
their peaceful slumbers

Perhaps I should
charge them rent

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An Innocent Kid

An innocent kid
goes to the store
to buy
a bag of skittles and
a can of soda
until a guy named
a self appointed
racist vigilante
decides to put
a bullet into his heart
for the crime of
walking the streets
of his own neighborhood
while being young and black

Like OJ
Zimmerman gets
a fair trial
that acquits him
of all charges on
the grounds of
stand your ground
and self defense

For some the verdict
is deserved
for others the verdict
is a perversion of
six of one and
a half dozen of
the other and
for the rest of us
watching this travesty
of a trial unfold
on live TV
it's all well and good
unless the kid
happens to be yours and
you happen to be
his father and
his mother
Trayvon Martin

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Small Arms Fire

The sound of
the small arms fire
outside my window
is less frequent now
more muffled
more distant
interrupted on occasion
by one or two louder
more sinister explosions
(so-called cherry bombs)

a roman candle or two
will light up
the view that
I have from
my upstairs bedroom
casting cryptic shadows
that dance
against the wall
as if illuminated by
yet another mid summer
flash of lightening

My mind
returns to more
distant battlefields
to all of the wars
that the USA
has ever fought and
is still fighting
where soldiers
in their millions have
suffered and died and
are still suffering and dying

It is once again
the 4th of July
America's birthday
yet none of the
many tons of explosives
being detonated
in the nation's honor
sound celebratory

My cat Katrina
is hiding under the bed
as she always does
during thunder storms and
especially on the 4th of July

She wants to know when
all the shooting and fighting
will come to an end

And so do I

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Do You Remember The Time

Do you remember
the time that
you told me
that you would
never abandon me
just before
you abandoned me?
Well, that really sucked.

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013


The crux of the matter
is that
each of us
still wants everything
that we can possibly get
from everyone else
and therein
lies the dilemma

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Revolution Through Art

Revolution through Art
is still possible
but do not look
to anyone else
to be your leader
You are the leader
of your own sideshow
while riding in
your own side car

At the next fork
in the road
do you want to go
left or right?

You look up
to ask the driver
only to find
that there is
no one seated
in the driver's seat

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Billy Walsh

His name was Billy Walsh
and he was
the incarnation of
when I was growing up
as poor white trash
back in the old
South Brooklyn
slum neighborhood
that me and my mother
laughingly called home
(the rotting streets
and old delapidated houses
of  Neptune Avenue on the
wrong side of the tracks
just off the dividing line
known as Ocean Parkway)

Whenever I saw
Billy Walsh
sashaying down the street
in my direction
my stomach would knot up
and my breathing
would suddenly echo
in my ears
like the rushing
gushing sound of
Niagra Falls

Billy was just
a few years
older than me
a tough Irish kid
who mostly seemed to
live on the streets
a permanent fixture
of the neighborhood
where he held
reign and sway
over the rest of us
mere mortals
who were always
being told to
mind our own business and
to keep our noses clean
so that we could all
grow up to live the
so-called American Dream

Billy would shake us kids
down for our nickles and dimes
or for the grocery money
that we carried to
Edelman's to buy
household basics
(mostly on credit
with old man Edelman
keeping the ledger book
marking down the names
and amounts
of who owed him what
and exactly how much
so that all of our
welfare queen moms
could settle up with him
when the government checks
would finally arrive on the
first of every month
leaving just enough money
to pay the back rent and
not much else)

I could tell that
Billy had spotted me
as I stood
standing (cringing?)
idly on the
street corner

He made a beeline
straight for me
and I knew that
it was too late to
escape or to fade
into the landscape
like some urban cameleon
(a trick that all
of us street kids
had to quickly learn if
we wanted to be around
to see our next

there was never a cop
around when you
desperately needed one
(unless they happened
to be in the area to
pick up the precinct
pad money that they
would shake down
from the local
shop keepers
dealers and

Hello Billy
I said meekly
(hoping to catch him
in a forgiving mood
but no dice)
a quick right punch
to my stomach
was enough
to double me over
and to knock the wind
out of my lungs

Billy didn't linger long
over my prostrated body
(my capitulation having been
so quick and easy
and total
that I was considered to be
small pickings
hardly worthy of his attention)

I knew that Billy Walsh
didn't even know my name
but all of us neighborhood kids
who happened to live
in the environs of
P.S. 100
sure as hell knew his

philadelphia, pa. 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Last Night I Dreamed Of You

You've been gone
for so long
that I dreamed
that you were dead

You were gone for
so long
that I had to
have you buried
deep into a very
hard and frozen
no tombstone
yet stands
to mark your
resting space)

Not knowing how
to behave
what piece of us
was I srtill trying
to save?

In my dream
I once again heard
your voice unchanged
from the grave
How could that be
I wondered
(was I deranged?)

Are you a ghost
or some poor player
still strutting across my
mind's empty stage?

For I have
never truly learned
how to forgive and forget
or how to put out
the still burning embers
of my rage

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pleasant Dreams

I hail from
the mean streets of NYC
where many of my closest friends
are now RIP
their lives DOA
mostly just because
of where
they happened
to have been born
(the wrong side of the tracks)
more often than not
their funerals had
to be paid
by passing around
a communal
collection plate

We were just kids
back in the early fifties
growing up under the
nuclear shadow of
(which is government
gobbledegook for the
USA's insane
cold war policy of
Mutually Assured Destruction)
vis a vis the USSR
Amerika's favorite preferred enemy
(at that time)
an enemy
who was supposedly
always aching for
a nuclear show down
with the so-called
decadent nations
of the so-called
Free World

If you did not happen to have
a Fallout Shelter handy
in your back yard
(assuming that you also
happened to have one -
a back yard that is)
if a nuclear war
were ever to break out
most of us knew
that we would all
soon be toast
if ever
a mushroom shaped cloud
should suddenly
appear on the horizon
despite our vigorous
duck and cover
school sponsored drills
that would have us all
dive under our
school desks with
our hands protecting
the back of our heads
(all the better for
kissing our asses good-bye)

Ever since
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
whole generations
have grown up and
matured under the
ever present threat
of the nuclear
mushroom cloud

This knowledge
has shaped us and
warped us and
fashioned us into
the nihilistic
phantoms that
we've become

One would think
that a rational race
of human beings
would have made
getting rid of such
horrible weapons of
mass destruction
our generation's
highest calling
our highest priority

On the contrary
now every rogue nation
on planet earth
wants to own
a nuclear arsenal
of it's own
a chicken in every pot
a nuke in every garage

We are all of us
falling asleep
every night
under the shadow
of the nuclear
hangman's noose
yet on that scaffold
swings the future existence
of all human kind

pleasant dreams

Philadelphia Pa., 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013


Ever notice
how a school of Dolphins
will sometimes
race along
with the bow of an
ocean liner
under full steam
leaping fifteen feet
straight into the air
at 21 knots
just for the
glorious fun of it?

Yeah that's what
I'm talkin about!

Sometimes it
takes a dolphin
to know one!

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When I Die Remember Me

When I die remember me
hang my balls
on a cherry tree
oh honey
oh baby mine-
(A bawdy parody 
of the song lyrics of
a pop tune of the late 50's)

It is a very strange feeling
standing over one's own
prospective grave site
after making final
pre-arrangements for
one's own prospective funeral

I am not terminal
at least not yet
G-d willing
not too soon

The bible promises
(or at least offers the possibility)
of three score years and ten
as the likely life span
of a human being

For some
three score and ten
is more than enough
for others
it is too short
not enough time
too brief a span of time to
accomplish all that
the human heart desires

I am sixty-six years old
four years to go
if the biblical injunction
holds true

Some might think of this
as a death sentence
without reprieve
others as an opportunity
to finally be able to
lay down the burdens of life
to enjoy eternal rest or
to participate in further
adventures yet to come

We do not know the answer
as no one has yet
returned from the grave
(not even Harry Houdini
though he promised to try)
to tell us (the still living)
what life (or after life) is like
once we have made
the final crossing

Some say that Jesus
returned from the dead
to speak to his disciples
(I think that the jury
is still out on this one)
others say that Jesus
was able to raise
Lazerus from the grave
only to see him
murdered for a second time
(Some say that Lazerus'
nick name was Lucky
but I think the were
just trying to be funny)

I have made provisions
to have my body cremated
(dust to dust)
and to have the urn
buried at a grave site
with a small plaque to
mark my final resting place

Now that all of the
have been made
I find myself in no
special hurry
to shuffle off this mortal coil
just yet

I have many more things
that I would like to do
more places to see and
more people to meet
before I finally go
to meet my Maker

And when that final
judgement day does come
I hope that I am able to make
a good impression
and a good accounting
of the life that I have lived
for better or worse
for good or for ill

For I agree with the bard
Robert Browning
who wrote that
a man's reach should
exceed his grasp or
what's a heaven for? 

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Ever Aging Home

Whenever I get discouraged
at the present condtion of
my ever aging home
so much in need of repair
and general sprucing up
I try to see
my homestead
through the eyes of a
homeless man and
my gratitutde for
having a simple roof
over my head
overwhelms me

I have lived
in this house now
for the past thirteen years
I see my humble abode
as a tall masted ship
on wind tossed seas
and as her captain
I am pleased to walk
her battered decks
and to chart her
a steady course
as we sail from
port to port
into the shrouded future

She is a good ship
full of the booty that
I have gathered
through hard work
and blood and sweat and tears

She has lasted
more than half a century
though today she has a
harder time
not showing her age
but I wouldn't trade her
for a newer model
so long as she
continues to stay afloat
and I have no doubt that she
can last
another fifty years
so long as her captain
doesn't lose heart
in his ever faithful
landlocked boat

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Kool- Aid Drinkers

Between yea and nay
lies the no man's land
of maybe
and that is where
the possibility
of possibility begins

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

What If I Were To Tell You?

What if I were to tell you that
TheTwilight Zone
was a real place
would you live your life
How hard or how easy
is it for you to accept
radical change?
Are you more inclined to
go with the flow or
more inclined to
take up arms against
a sea of troubles?
To sleep
perchance to dream
are you more afraid of
what dreams may come or
would you prefer to have
no dreams at all?
Would it matter to you
if your ex-wife
suddenly dyed her hair purple
and covered her body with tatoos
and body piercings?
Would you ride in the same car
with your ex at the wheel if
you knew for a fact
that she/he was feeling both
homicidal and suicidal
and that she/he had just smoked
a rock of cocaine?
What if your entire marriage had
been like that car ride?
How much adversity are we
programmed to endure?
Have you ever watched
inner city kids have
fake bull fights with
the rush of oncoming traffic?
Would you choose to
drive through them or
would you pull to the
side of the road
until they tired of the game
and went away?

Over there
see that sign post up ahead
don't look now
but you've just crossed over into
the Twilight Zone

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In Some Alternate Universe

In some alternate universe
I hear the laughter of my grand kids
as they climb all over my head and
hang on to my legs and back as
I struggle to cross
the living room goal line
before my daughter
their mother
calls the family
to a sit down dinner of
turkey with all the trimmings
this being Thanksgiving after all

In some alternate universe
I feel the warm body
of my wife of many years as
she crawls in beside me
exhausted but happy
from a day of doing
a pile of household chores and
a thousand small
favors for her loved ones
and that would include me

In some alternate univrerse
the daily news reports
would not bring word
of elementary school children
being shot dead by
a psychotic teen
whose mother apparently
gave him access to
battlefield fire power
but who could not
be bothered to take
the time to notice
that her beloved son had
become a menace to society

In some alternate universe

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Uncle Morris

The older I get
the more I become like
my venerable uncle Morris
he who loved to sing
on the board walk in
Brighton Beach
to all the
crowds of
Jews and Pollacks
Greeks and Russians
while his audience
sunned themselves and
spread the latest gossip about
their families and neighbors

Uncle Morris was the neighborhood
Frank Sinatra with a Yiddish accent
He would often serenade the
divorced and widowed matrons of
Brighton Beach
Sea Gate and
Coney Island
in five languages
competing with the
chorus of seagulls
who were on the constant
lookout for a free meal
and scraps from
Nathan's famous

My uncle morris
was something
of a hotshot
a local casanova of sorts
although his alley cat days
were long behind him
still he could get
babushka covered heads
filled with romantic fantasies
that reminded them
of earlier times
when they were young women
in the full blush of their youth
back in places like
Brest Litovsk and
long before coming to
Brighton Beach
(America's Little Odessa
by the sea)

And the gathered fan club
would shout out requests
Sing Tumbalalaika!
Sing Hava Nagila!
Morris! Sing!
My Yiddishe Momma!
And he would oblige them
singing out his heart
until he was so hoarse
he could barely speak
let alone sing another note

And after a long afternoon of
performing for his devoted public
my uncle Morris would take me to
Brighton Beach Avenue
to eat hot freshly baked knishes at
Shatzkin's World Famous Knishes
and to shop for delicacies from the
dozen or so delicatessans that
dotted the shopping district.
I loved the smell of the pickles and
the hot pastrami
I loved the display of every variety of
salami known to mankind
that hung above the counters and
in the display windows;
I loved the feel of the fresh sawdust
under my feet and
the cornucopia of
dried fruits and candies and sweets that
filled the counters to overflowing

Every kid in America
deserves to have
his very own
Uncle Morris

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why No Medals?

How odd it is
that we do not give
medals of honor
to all of our
fallen and wounded
fellow citizens
gunshot victims
and wounded martyrs
who have all died as
hero victims
in the face of
enemy fire
in places like
Columbine, Colorado
Aurora, Illinois
Newtown, Conn
Tucson, Arizona
Wash, DC
Chicago, Illinois
Detroit, Michigan and
Philadelphia, Pa
and to all of our
fallen and wounded martyrs and
gunshot victims who
have all died in
a hail of bullets at the hands
of half-crazed
U.S.born and bred assassins
mass murderers
who now feel free to
commit their atrocities
on almost a daily basis
taking out their hatreds and
exorcising their demons
on the most
innocent and vulnerable of
their fellow Americans
with weapons that are meant
for use on the distant battlefields
where US troops
face determined enemies
fighting for this or that cause?

Surely we can afford to provide
purple hearts and
silver stars and
congressional medals of honor
for conspicuous bravery
in the face of
withering enemy fire
above and beyond
the call of duty
for all of our thousands of
fallen and maimed
innocent victims and martyrs
on the many bloody battlefieds
and main streets of
hometown, USA?

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

She Tires Of Me

She no longer laughs
at my jokes
for she tires of me
she pulls back
from each offered caress
from each attempt at
a show of affection
for she tires of me
and even though
we have brought a child
into this besotted world of woe
and have exchanged vows
to love each other
to honor each other
in sickness and
in health
until death
would do us part
she tires of me

Had I but known
how soon sweet love
would curdle
and turn to sour milk
I would have chosen
to forego the
farce of our
church based
wedding ritual
in favor of a
more primitive
forest bachanal
chasing after many
cloven hooved maidens
who would no doubt
have required less of me
for the one
I did choose
to love exclusively

well, you see,
she tires of me

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our Hidebound World

When I think of all
the hideous hidebound rules
and regulations
that control the lives
of all the hidebound workers
who slave away the work day
caged in bee hive like cubicles
staring into the empty cyber space
of their computer screens
feeding and absorbing
digitalized factoids
that come streaming at them
at the speed of digitalized light
I can only shake my head sadly
at the waste of human life and
human potential

Once I offered a suggestion
to the digitalized suggestion box
that our agency do away with
the whole concept of cubicles
in favor of a more open
and flexible work space
in favor of more human inter-action
and shared work assignments
with less time spent
staring at computer screens
and more time spent
sharing our hopes
and thoughts
and dreams

The digitalized suggestion box
thanked me for my digitalized suggestion
and said that my ideas would receive
the appropriate review by
all the appropriate people at
all levels of the agency
chain of command

Days turned into weeks
and weeks turned into months
and months turned into years
but I never again head from
the digitalized suggestion box
concerning my digitalized concerns

I briefly considered resubmitting
my suggestions
but I quickly reconsidered
fearing that the powers that be
would think that I was a
trouble maker
or even worse
a whistle blower
or even worse
a traitor to
the American way of life

I did not want to be
thought of as a traitor
to the American way of life
for after-all:
treason never prospers
for if it prospers
none dare call it

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting Started

I just can't seem
to get my day started...

Perhaps if I farted...

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's All About The Curves

 Salvador Dali
  once told a tale
about how he was
  absolutely transfixed
during a motor trip
through Andalusia
(some of the most beautiful
countryside in Spain)
not by the passing scenery
(which he had painted into
scores of canvases)
but by the phenomenon
of reflected sunlight
bouncing off the shiny chrome
of his car's bumper

I had a similar experience
standing at the Ryers Train Station
waiting for my daily
commute into center city
where I happened to see
a beautiful, curvy
red haired lady
whom I had gotten to know
as a casual acquaintance

The staggering simplicity
and eloquence of the
line of her back
as it ran down
the slight indent of her spine
and around the perfect curve
of her shapely derriere
absolutely had me transfixed and
filled me with a painter's desire
to put that perfect line
on canvas

And I wold have too
if I were a Dali
or if Dali were me

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013