A Rusiyeh Is Coming

A Rusiyeh is coming
in bubbe’s knish
slim prayers are smiling
against morning fish

The Moshiach is coming
in marketplace pans
all set to sizzle
in bialy soft hands

The Rebbe is coming
in Shloymele’s hair
good thing his peyes
are corn light and fair

The Toyrah is coming
my chazan keeps slipping
our gabbi is drenched
the bima keeps dripping

The loshn is coming
with allemann feeling
telling tales of shlimazls
in a poor house appealing

And this warfare did come
in life’s humble breathe
in denial of nature
in disruption of Death



I ask you now to meditate on when
the ‘back’ collapsed into the motionless

and molded air of the underground
garage singing together as printed

simply on the recently, but unevenly,
pinned-up elevator-bank notices:

“Hear O management office,
Ours is destruction,
Our destruction is one.”

Thank you,

and now turning your crinkled
onioning pages we reach further into this-

our most sanctified of all our
populated lists where by with thin ink

and italicized styled print
we see that old, little, Mrs. Katz

was patiently awaiting a car’s space
adjacent to the heavily rusting iron-entrance

which could only be met after a set

of steps so steep, so dark,
we should all wind up cripples

this Mrs. Katz,

allowing her nicotined-shaded and
ratty curtains dating all the way back

to the Kennedy administration

to dip too deep into the dim waxen light
of a second-hand, lately-lit, plastic menorah

while taking up your little one’s
Shabbes slacks and…

but who knew she even drove?


it is with this community’s greatest sorrow
we hear this morning’s mourner’s Kaddish

for the memories of all our Mrs. Katz’s and
their maybe make-believe vinyl-top automatic-

windowed meshugas in all those for-certain
bubbe-mayse drenched overcast afternoons

they spent downstairs
sitting tissue-handed among other

ancient yentas cursing through dentures
some river-blown cold when thinking,

and sometimes very loudly saying:

“Who asked them to even come down
in the first place?”

So now,

to our one Father and our eternal
King, we ask of you – O unmetered

light of Jerusalem,

to grant us wisdom enough
as to survive such perils

a solitary celebration of Hannukah
can bring,

and to utilize the strength
with which you vanquished

our proposed maintenance-hike like
the highway robbery it always is,

and yes,
we do beseech you to boldly inscribe
(in ballpoint no less!)

our shortened names on the appointed
lines of such crassly, and rashly, given forms

(the building so cheap they can’t buy a stamp
and leave like such thieves in the night),

and whose subject we can’t make heads

or tails of just yet,
but believe they should or could

possibly concern, of all things,
window guards?

And so let us now respond,
despite our fumbling and fear-

together, with a happy and as always
a healthy:


The ‘Papa, Can You Hear Me’ Blues

Nobody does tell
Jazzed up blues of ol’ Abram

Nobody does tell
Jazzed up blues of ol’ Abram

His best gal gone and left ‘im
Long cold night has come

I say nobody does tell
Cool cool blues of ol’ Izak

I say nobody does tell
Cool cool blues of ol’ Izak

His daddy gone to cut ‘im
Bad ol’ daddy facedown in the sack

Well, nobody can tell
Punk, blue angel, blues(all cracked up)

Well, nobody can tell
Punk, blue angel, blues(all cracked up)

Got to rest here little while
Sweet young angel stole away
(ma’ whiskey cup)


I was a child
of children,
’tis infallible,

I am raised now
of my own,
’tis salivating,
a state.

I was a boy-child
begat mute,
’tis aphyxiating,

I am a husband
to punctuation,
’tis a-being,

I was merely
but a cherub,
’tis evidence,

I am here now
of a muse,
’tis correcting,

I was of memory,
of seclusion,
’tis quiet,

I am raised now
of my own,
’tis hilly,