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




In 1965 up north on Purdon Drive an angel approached

my mother + I    White pillowcase for a dress  Red hair  +

flaming lip   Mother asleep on the couch  after Passover

dinner for 12   This ain’t no old man Elijah   Terror filling

heart  +creeping into little girl psyche


Up to that point apparitions had been:  flying hogs  +fathers

with straight+narrow jobs   My own  a trainer of racehorses

who engaged in pilgrimages to the tracks of North America:

Fort Erie  Montreal  New Orleans  Kentucky    Boy  would he

have dug this angel !


Our home  more carnival  than Cleaver   Thankfully   Because

the trouble with normal is it always gets worse   (grrrroan)

It’s also boring    Carny life was ever intense   Hence  this

vixen on the balcony  from which a lousy squirrel would jump

to his death: Dad where’s the squirrel?   At the Riverdale Zoo



As it turns out  our vixenangel  couldn’t save us from what

was coming   But then you don’t believe in saviours  do you?

Comethefuckon!  No  our vixenangel was full of pity for this

little human family  going through our tribulations  from the

cradle to the grave


But  in-between the good byes  +hospital stays  the 67 plus

stitches from stem to stern  the sky would open periodically

And shine a light so bright  we glowed with mercy   Rebuilt  +

Rose   Again  +again    Even refusing the ladder proffered for

escape       (SUCKERS!!)


Much foolhardy propping each other up   Slaves to love +honour

And this precise future sewn into threadbare couches   Always there

Waiting   Until white leather made an appearance in our prosperous

living room   Made us believe we’d been given a reprieve  The way

certain long coveted riches do    Until they don’t    Because if you

believe in reprieves + saviours  I have a piece of land in Florida ..



My father is a cross between Captain Ahab + Willy Loman.

Family family family , Newark Newark Newark, Jew Jew Jew ..

(Philip Roth  RIP  1933 – May 22, 2018)




Summer 2018   ..for Philip Roth +  Lee Atkins: Ahab+Willie Loman.. of my dreams

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