"It's about words, and words are all I have…"

my yiddishe mumma

what is lost?   an entire era  those old days  of

wars  jazzzz  King George  10 cent corned beef

5 cent cokes  open antisemitism  dirtyjuif   back

alley abortions  and signs: No Dogs Negroes or Jews


oh and there was Paris too!  dancing with sailors

marrying armyboys you barely knew  the shetls of

Europe  pogroms  chicken pluckers  packed ships


hiding the child bubba under her bed  when the truant

officers came  she scratched an  X  for Sarah  for the

rest of her days


For I know that I owe what I am todayTo that dear little lady, so old and so grayTo that wonderful Yiddishe mommeMom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-
momme of mine  
Thank you    
(Lew Pollack+Jack Yellen 1925)

Fall 2022 ..for Frances Marlieb Atkins  April 4/24-November 14/22

My Yiddishe mommeI miss her more than ever nowMy Yiddishe mom-mommeI long to kiss her wrinkled brow


sold my soul to the devil for 15 free years👿

birth looks way harder  than death

last breath  utter peace  first breath

primal screammmmmm


intimations of being forced to worship

immortality  ephemeral beauty  mammon

+a life of numbing out to the pain/pleasure   rollercoaster


with the 10,000 things


footlong hotdogs



et al.


let’s face it  corpulence sucks  why not resurrect

your dead?  repatriate them to their former glory

smiling  pristine  smoothskinned  +fabulous


don’t hold onto the decay  the scenes of decompose

+stink   RISE UP!  you who are still (barely) alive  and

RUN for the fucking hills


That the self advances
And confirms ten thousand things
Is called delusion.. (Dogen 1200-1253)


Fall 2022  ..if u say so Bob..

The enchantment of being here at all, alive and aware,

is a gift too often considered a problem.

(Robert Saltzman The Ten Thousand Things)



hello dolly!

1st dream  she was part doll  but she was always that

beautifulbarbie   marilyn   liz  ava  lauren  old hollywood

glamourpuss   born to diva   born to be fodder for


handsome charlie come lately

sydney with his 5 children

the stony schwartz’s


long after the beautything  all is quiet in the upper chambers

of heaven  where a handsome God  genuflects +offers 3 wishes

she asks for






i rest my case



Fall 2022   ..and shrimp the size of your arm..


i’ll know her hands anywhere

Hamlet will always have to say the lines written

for Hamlet (James Hollis From Misery to Meaning)

do you know the author of your lines?


or have u realized that your lines are written by

suffering a life  by ecstasy  by moving toward death

with aplomb


my mother did   everyday  make-up on  orange lips

pearl hair-clip   bejewelled hands like buttah   i miss

her hands


the one bent finger  where my own begins to slant

we held hands every Tuesday  +sang Stevie Wonder

until Tuesdays ran out


her hands by her sides began to rigor  misshapen

curling into deathgrip  skin still so soft  +birdclaw

things of great beauty


did you know that you can change the script? at any time

you can jump ship  go to a dengue ridden rainforest in

in Grenada!


cavort with thick fingered cartel members in Mexico  GO!

or you can swing your chains above your head   just be

careful  someone doesn’t lose an eye



Fall 2022  ..sit complacent by that fork in the road ..or just stick a fork in it poet..

dead can dance

a smallish man with a penchant for

cart+pony show jokes  picked up our

mother’s dead body  last Monday


his name was  Mordecai


after beating him about the head+neck

for insensitivity +near idiocy  i allowed

him to proceed


with one caveat  hurt my mother + i hurt you

at 5 foot 2  he’d intended to lift her model’s

frame  corpulent+decompose    ALONE!


our largish death doula administered karate

kicks  as my old bro + i  each grabbed a side

+began to heave-ho


mother believed  casting pearls before the swine

the 8th deadly sin  she began to spin  +dance the



old flames appeared too  Tony Curtis (aka Bernie Schwartz)

and Joe Dimaggio   father did not dance  ever   he grooved

like a beat poet  deeply invested in Coolsville


..Think Pig! Think!.. (Pozzo  Waiting for Godot  Samuel Beckett)

Fall 2022  ..what was was..



it’s a bird! it’s an angel! it’s mummybird!

last week at this time  mother is still alive

about to begin her deep dive   her wings

unbound  +blue   i knew early on that my

parents  were birds


all their chirping at us  +at each other  a dead giveaway!


i named them accordingly   mummybird +

daddybird   not terribly original  but hey  my father

named our black dog    blackie


i come by it honestly


her last day was her bravest  incensed she was

dying    what’s this!   she felt quite strongly  that

being 98   was not a good enough reason


she lay for 15 hrs  fluttering   a breathing virtuoso

it was birdflu that took her  not the covidsucker

she’d pummelled like Ali


mother floundered in the wee hrs of November 14

her last  breath  at 3   old queen  about to lose

the face that launched a thousand ships


I scooped the things I’d coveted  gifts bought by me

no matter what you gave her  pure ecstacy   mum Its

the blue dinosaur from daddy’s grave!     


One thing I took was a mirror  bought 2 weeks prior

And in those 2 weeks she’d gaze   pensively   mirror mirror

on the wall     is that a beak?


..and it is plausible to believe that only those who can look death

squarely in the face.. can really live a meaningful life..

(Rosemary Gordon  Dying+Creating  1978)



Fall 2022  ..she rises she rises! RIP little Mummybird..



drop off the keys lee and set yourself free

there may be 50 ways to leave your lover

but there is only 1 way to leave your body

and it’s through  the soulhole


yesterday my mother met her maker-ess

Mrs. Death   mine lurks in the curtains  winking



final third

final third


the renting of my mother’s flesh from me  devastation

hiway   my el camino  where i’ll walk the stations until

feet + palms  bleed


she wasn’t just  the body  

as undertaker Mordecai



she was the sacred vessel   the temenos  where i wombed

swimming like a carp   in her milkydeeps   she was the crucible

of the vicissitudes


of the gutwrench

the beautiful


gifting this  ONE LIFE

where  one more once  

the pact of faust


hey Mephistopholes

a penny for your thoughts

my kingdom for your




Fall 2022   …when u gunnin for me?..

the mother of all vigils

mother’s last pickpocket wore a black hood

he’d lived in the apartment unbeknownst for

eons  all succubus + dybuuk


mercy mercy me


the vigil lasted from August 10th covid riddled

until November 14th at 3 am  mother faltered



he was wily handsome  +Roger Mudd suave  as

we lay in various positions on her bed  mother’s

deaththroes  beautiful  +most treacherous


sores  +virus encrust our mother’s lust for all things  life

today she joins her Maker  where am i going?  to meet my  

my     what’s his name??


the Maker of life  death  +dat udda place  where mother

will grace the halls  hollywood deathmask  firmly in place

but wait!  a tinkling of bells  a swish of wings  Mum?  Mum?


not a trace



November 2022      ..wait for me..




the motherload

but you know everything!  

this from my 98 yr old mother

she  robotically entrapped  +CNN’d


some obscure tidbit re Russian oligarchs

stumps poet  who is dissociate   +autopilot

later she says: i wish you were my doctor


hers  a somnambulant shrink  who thinks

asking:  how’s your sleep?   is a goddamn

cure  for death by waiting


it is  NOT


i am your doctor mummydearest  have been

since about 3  when on sturdy rubberbooted

legs  i walked into your tempests  +plucked you


with one eagleclaw   out of harm’s way    but i

cannot do it everyday  now can i?   poet seriously

dragging old assss  with hawks circling her  joie de vivre


..without magic, illness, knives, arrows, wars and death, life

would be just a matter of eating, drinking, sleeping and defecating;

life would be no good without death.. (Kasai of East Africa)


Fall  2022  ..smell that smell..



immortality what is it good for absolutely nothing

the unvarnished truth re: immortality   we invented it

out of fear   no one from the tribe wanted to be like

the inert guy  over there


they poked  +prodded  +bugs lauded



fast forward to the 21st century  warehouse blues for

80 – 102    old dementing  many fomenting  chosen few



sprouting shrouds none too soon

how do u like immortality now?


ask those in the waiting house   each+every one will tell u

doctors are ghouls  the script pad + jagged little pills  devil’s seeds

especially  the tinytiny one  they can barely see


openmouthed gaping   did it go down?

which 60 yr old will ever eat again

with  zest   gusto   aplomb?


hey  why not be brave  take away the immortality cocktails  give them

fine cognac fer chrissakes  turn waiting houses into palliative yurts! use

your imagination people   (how ’bout a few ladders!)


build places where

the boneold  can rest

before the final climb


we don’t need  your bingo  your dark sarcasm re: non weight bearing

showers   your other goulish devices   hey people  leave the almost

dead   to the task of  HOME


the eternal return

the anti-dote to your

filthy immortality


O Lord  i wanna be in that number!


Fall 2022  ..poet needs vacation..

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