Friday, March 29, 2013
“Rabbi Margolies of New York, said that the Hebrew
Race had been waiting 4,000 years for Crisco.”
--from The Story of Crisco, Proctor & Gamble, 1915.
Strange, because I would have guessed
peace, or maybe a secure homeland --
not vegetable shortening --
would have occupied a greater
part of the Hebrew mind.
4,000 years is a long time to wait,
but squandering so many prayers
on cooking grease without
animal fat boils down to
a waste of spiritual energy,
which may explain why
the Palestinians get so upset at the Jews,
who stay in their kitchens
frying fleichig foods, praising the white,
whipped consistency of their Crisco.
Friday, March 22, 2013
“Do dogs go to heaven?”
“Oh honey, I’m sure they do.”
“Do you think they run around and bark all the time?”
“That’s a good question. What do you think?”
“I think they just sit.”
“Oh my, why do you think that?”
“Because that’s what they do.”
“So dogs still obey in heaven?”
“No. They just sit.”
“God tells them to sit?”
“No, God tells them to fetch.”
“Oh, I like that, so why won’t they fetch?”
“God sounds too much like people.”
Friday, March 15, 2013
Conflict of Spring
and the winds roar.
Dust scrims windows,
doors slam, shingles ripple
like vacancy signs.
A plastic bag tethered
to ice all winter
pulls loose and flaps
from a bare willow branch.
Sparrows stay low
in the lilacs. Mud ruts
sharpen like teeth.
Cattails in the bar ditch
clash their sabers.
Sunset bruises the sky.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Like at an airport boarding gate
the public space is filled with seats
and the seats with people --
passengers and companions
to see them off, waiting through
the litany of paged names.
But here the doctors say how long
the travelers remain, how long before
they’re gone, all this protocol
for an unplanned trip,
which explains an absence of luggage,
the holding of hands,
the softness in hundreds of eyes.
The intercom calls John Olsen
and an old man way at the back
eventually stands, relieved to be lifted
from his chair by the power
of his name, those three syllables
that prove he’s still here
no matter what the pathology says
or the hours while the doctors explain.
Friday, March 1, 2013
“What color was the smoke this time?”
“I couldn’t see, but it smelled like bacon.”
“How long will they be in there?”
“It’s impossible to say.”
“What do they do between ballots?”
“Stare at the ceiling.”
“The one Michelangelo painted?”
“That’s the one.”
“Are there enough toilets?”
“Only because they’re all men.”
“Why is that?”
“Because God is a man.”
“I don’t think anyone knows that for sure.”
“The Cardinals do.”
“And who told them?”
“The Pope is just an elevated Cardinal, isn’t he?”
“We must not question the wisdom of nepotism.”
“I think they call it Catholicism.”
“When they finally decide, how will we know?”
“White smoke will rise from the chimney.”
“What if no one can see it.”
“It will smell like the toilet needs cleaning.”
*Thanks to New Verse News,
where this first appeared