Unsettling

Congregants!

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 and 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 rusted iron-entrance

which could only be met after a set

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

when
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 and lately lit plastic menorah

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

she drove?

Yet,

it is with this community’s greatest sorrow
we hear this morning’s Mourners’ 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, thinking,
and very loudly saying:

“Nu? Who asked that they should come down
here in the first place?”

So now,

to our one Father, 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:

“Ahh-ahh-meyn.”

The ‘Papa, Can You Hear Me’ Blues

A
Nobody does tell
The jazzed up blues of ol’ Avram

A
Nobody does tell
The jazzed up blues of ol’ Avram

B
His best gal gone and left ‘im
A long cold night has come

A
I say nobody does tell
The cool cool blues of ol’ Izak

A
I say nobody does tell
The cool cool blues of ol’ Izak

B
His bad ol’ daddy gone to cut ‘im
Bad ol’ daddy facedown in his sack

A’
Well — nobody can tell
The Punk, blue ange blues (all cracked up)

A’
Well — nobody can tell
The Punk, blue angel blues (all cracked up)

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

’tis

I was a child
of children,
’tis infallible,
’tis
fate.

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

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

I am now husband
to punctuation,
’tis a-being,
’tis
couth.

I was merely
but a cherub,
’tis evidence,
’tis
law.

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

I am of memory,
and seclusion,
’tis quiet,
’tis
serene.

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