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

Of corned beef thin wax paper
Rye seed in held breasts 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
Favoured 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

Juvenal

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 her 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 the East blown horn

Now empty while once complete
on filial feet so slappy sweet

His loose name showers down the street
and we’ve left that fur all shorn

Smallest

An arid boy
Astir asleep
Aware alone
in breaking morn

A sunless day
the children’s son
shunted soon
in omen’s room

with hard routine
steady felled
obliged unseen
to be unheld

Awade in fools
Abused in mouth
A pared at heir
Annointed rune