Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 10, 2017 Thirty-first Anniversary

I met Jackie
thirty-one years ago today
it was my friend, Roger’s
twenty-fifth birthday party
I spent that entire day
at the Jewish Theological Seminary
working on a magazine
some friends and I
were going to publish
called “The Deal”
five o’clock rolled around
Instead of going home to change
I decided to take
my magazine friends
to the party early
Roger had the prototype ready
of Poetry at P.S. 25
a collection of poetry
written by my students
at the elementary school
where I taught in Bed-Sty

I was the first to arrive
at the party
in the end
I was the last to leave
what I remember most
was passing around
Poetry at P.S. 25
getting rave reviews
from all the party-goers

nine months earlier
I had broken up
with my live-in girlfriend
of four years
after holing up and reading
Dostyevsky’s The Idiot
I was finally ready to let go
I must have gotten five
phone numbers that night

it was a random hallway meeting 
around midnight
a pretty blond with pink lips
and glasses
introduced to me by
Roger’s girlfriend, Elaine
I stood there in my
red bud lite tank top
and jean shorts with
the zipper halfway down
laughing uncontrollably
Elaine commented that
she never noticed 
my deep brown 
puppy dog eyes before
It must have been those eyes
maybe the sexy outfit
that attracted the pretty blond

at the end of the party
I found myself
sitting with
Roger and Elaine
the blond
and two other guys
both of whom also
had their eyes on this girl
when they walked her to get a cab
I stayed back
I had already gotten
her number and planned
to call her at work the next morning


Wedding Vows

I’m getting married in a month or so. Sometimes I feel excited about it, other times I feel numb. My fiancée has been out of wack. Her face is covered with pimples. Her vagina itches. Her period is coming. Her breath smells. When she gets into bed she farts. Her shoulders and neck are in knots. She walks like she has vertigo. She tripped over our dog fence, fell on a glass jar and ended up with 5 stitches in her right palm. She tried on her wedding dress and she burst into tears. She lost the engagement ring I bought her last New Year’s. She hates her job. She blames everything on her job. She’s quitting as soon as we’re married. She wants me to keep telling her she’s beautiful.

In the meantime I need to write my wedding vows, something to say to her before I giver her her wedding ring. She’s already written hers; about how I make her laugh, how I make her feel comfortable and safe and how we’re not “serious.” I don’t know what to write. I can’t get past sentimental memories like how we met at a party. How I told her gently rubbing her wrist that her chocolate chop cookies were delicious, rolling the word delicious around my tongue, how she told me her work number 3 times, repeating it like an operator, that’s 247-0100, that’s 247-0100, how I called her the next morning and how we went out the next night for a day and a half.

Three poems from Poetry at P.S. 25

Mr. Robin smells so good like perfume.
He smells so good that he can
make the flowers smell
so so so so good.
He smells like a rose.
He smells just like me. 
Oh my, Mr. Robin

Shanta McNeil
2nd Grade

Mr. Robin has bad breath.
It smells sour
And his underarms smell like smelly socks.
He lives in a garbage can.
And he eats catfish in the garbage.
His feet smell disgusting and musty.
He eats dogs and cats.
He cooks worms.
He has the baddest breath in Brooklyn.
He is one of the Garbage Pail Kids, Disgusting Justin
He smells like a pig.
He likes raw fish.
He eats snail soup.
He smells like a skunk.
He is so stinky like inside a shoe.
He smells like garbage.
He eats roach soup, cat soup, rat soup, and fly soup
He is nastiest, dumbest person in the world.

Dianne Marra
5th Grade

Sometimes I wish I had not been born.
I wish I were a millionare.
I wish I were a dog because everyone wants to fight me.
     but I do not care. It takes a dog to find a dog.
Every time I fight someone who always picks on me I beat
     their butt.
I wish I were God's child so I would not be like this.
I wish I would behave so I can get my education.
I wish that sometimes I would be away from here so I 
     can get more. 

Athena Wells
5th Grade

My Poems from "The Deal"


I buy salad and grapes
the grocer rings it up
the price is $3.02
I give the grocer a 5 dollar bill
he gives my back 7 dollars
I take it - look at it
and think did I give him a ten?
I take my money out of my pocket
look at it - no I didn't
I gave him a five
but I walk away
accept his mistake as my luck
then stop again and check my money
think of going back
I feel guilty because he was watching 
my bicycle for me while I shopped
but that was so I could spend more
I decide the extra money is mine
to make up for his high prices
will I go to hell for this?


It's laundry day
I stop at the supermarket
to buy detergent
today is a big day for me
I've decided to switch detergents
to switch from powder Tide
to liquid Wisk
how many times have I thought of switching
but didn't have the courage?
it was easier to keep 
using what I was used to
but my mother told me
that liquid Wisk was the best
even she had switched
and my clothes have been itchy lately
so I'm at the supermarket looking
and of all days
they are all out of Wisk!
but no I am determined 
my mind is made up
I will not buy Tide
I will find a bottle of Wisk
or I will wear filthy stench-ridden clothes
I go to the corner grocery 
not only do they have Wisk
but it's on sale!
a sure sign from God
I'm doing the right thing


  1. I'm testing to see if comments work as someone just had difficulty. Possibly because what they were sending was too long. But as long as I'm here: Let me know if you need anything today. Love you both.

  2. Love the poems and love hearing about your first encounter with the formidable Jackie. If only we all could be as lucky in love. Happy Anniversary!