Quarter

Of Roth
Of Bellow
Of Malamud and Cahan

Of Singer,
Of Yezierska
Of Roth again
but not Agnon

Of that two-toned voice internal
Blushed free of warders cruel
Under slanted banner glory
Starred brick in dangled duel

Of a hairy rooftop laughter
Raining tenement charades
Scream-stung single typists
Burping seltzered serenades

Of some corned beef thin wax paper
Rye seeds in held breast full
Neon beaks point sensing
At grayed hung tongues of bull

Of cooper roads cracked shining
Two broken teeth for litter
Through pungent bloomer alleys
Favoring wizened tears too bitter

Of squat chairs chipped and filthy
Beaten heirs of litany swept
Out dolorous pitted windows
Harsh laments unspoken leapt

They did shout! They did shout!
Melting a nickel’s worth of words
Afoot in maritime spent medicine
Unfurling lungs up into birds

McTeague

A wanton, foul, bee-pecked sage/
light scream layed on bedouin stage/

lingered-in lines absenting age/
as his divided self grew worn/

With supine shine he did freckly dote/
on half-a-hungry greenback note/

unwashed in soiled bearskin coat/
where his first full form was torn/

It blew up fast his balloon score/
a crone-sold rot for verbal core/

he sat down first, a sanded bore/
denied that East blown horn/

Now empty while once complete/
on filial feet so slappy sweet/

loose names shower down the street/
and we’ve left that fur all shorn/