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