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Month: January 2016

The Only Deli

The Only Deli

 

Murray owns the deli.
The last deli, the only deli.

And thousands of menus
and millions of pictures

on a hundred-year old wall.
Germans. Romanians. Hungarians. Poles. Russians.

All inside boisterous delis.
The Jewish pub. A pint of gefilte.

A shot of matzoh ball.
The news here first, often Yiddish.

The Stage with star sandwiches.
The Bogart, the Audrey Hepburn.

The James Cagney, the Rock Hudson.
Named after patrons not kosher.

The best Jewish food this side
of Brooklyn. Inside the only deli.

 

Poet’s Notes ####

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An image of the original draft is below:

 

The Deli

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Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis

Of course I never met the man
he’s been gone for so long
yet I feel as if he knew me
or I should say my type.

And this knowledge passed
into the hands of designers
who knew this type and how
this person wanted to appear.

Yes, it’s all vain
but are we not all in our ways?
And if vanity is vice then
nobody else is harmed by it.

Better vices on display
then hidden self-righteously
an attitude that might prime
me for all manner of venality.

 

 

Poet’s Notes ####

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An image of the original draft is below:

Perry Ellis

 

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Alternative Ant

 

Alternative Ant

 

We are wired to work, like the ants
driven by scent. Marching in kind
to find new filigrees of food,
some plaster to enhance shelter.

When held back, we feel badly.
Seeing the long lines heading out
returning with smiles on their backs.
They are rewarded with rest, not we.

Unless we go out singly, scorning lines,
burrow in the direction of new scents.
If we begin to tell, we may be reviled.
But we can never thrive on their wiring.

 

 

Poet’s Notes ####

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The image for this poem has been misplaced. ;-(

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The Company of the Clever

The Company of the Clever

 

Let me be seen as stupid
and so very unclever.
But let me still be read
even if the clever sniff
and fold the paper over
their dangling legs, glance
down at their fancy socks
and shoes, then inventory
everyone else’s in the cafe.

Let them snicker to themselves,
burp and wish they hadn’t read
it till the very loathsome end.
It’s fine with me, for if I
have any skill whatsoever
what they’ve read will resonate
in them eventually. And that
is worth more to the poet than
the company of all the clever.

 

Poet’s Notes ####

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The image of the initial draft can be seen here:

new doc 34_1

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