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Nat Lipstadt Apr 24
What Walt Whitman Knew About Democracy

For the great American poet, the peculiar qualities of grass suggested a way to resolve the tension between the individual and the group.

When Walt Whitman began conceiving his great volume of poetry, “Leaves of Grass,” in the 1850s, American democracy was in serious danger over the issue of slavery. As we celebrate National Poetry Month this month, the problems facing our democracy are different, but Whitman still has a great deal to teach us about democratic life, because he saw that we are perpetually in danger of succumbing to two antidemocratic forces. The first is hatred between Americans, which Whitman saw erupt into civil war in 1861.

The second danger lies in the hunger for kings. The European literature and culture that preceded Whitman and surrounded him when he wrote “Leaves of Grass” was largely what he called “feudal”: It revolved around the elect, the special, the few. Whitman understood human fascination with kings and aristocrats, and he sometimes tried to debunk it. But mostly he asked his readers to shift their interest away from feudalism to the beauties of democracy and the challenge of sustaining and expanding it.

Whitman offers one metaphor for the grass after another, and one feels that he could go on forever.

This challenge is what inspired him to find his central poetic image for democracy, the grass: “A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands.” Whitman says that he can’t and won’t offer a literal answer to the question. Instead he spins into an astonishing array of “guesses.” The grass “is the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven”; it’s “the handkerchief of the Lord…Bearing the owner’s name somewhere in the corners, that we may see and remark and say Whose?”

To Whitman, “the grass is itself a child…the produced babe of the vegetation.” “Tenderly will I use you, curling grass,” he writes. “It may be that you are from old people and from women, and from offspring taken soon out of their mothers’ laps / And here you are the mothers’ laps.” He offers one metaphor for the grass after another, and one feels that he could go on forever.

But mainly Whitman’s grass signifies American equality: “I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,/And it means,/Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,/Growing among black folks as among white,/Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff,/I give them the same, I receive them the same.” Whatever our race and origin, whatever our station in life, we’re all blades of grass. But by joining together we become part of a resplendent field of green, stretching gloriously on every side.

Whitman found a magnificent metaphor for democratic America and its people. Like snowflakes, no two grass blades are alike. Each one has its own being, a certain kind of chlorophyll-based individuality. Yet step back and you’ll see that the blades are all more like each other than not. Americans, too, are at least as much alike as we are different, and probably more so. America is where we can be ourselves and yet share deep kinship with our neighbors.

And who are our neighbors? Kanuck, Congressman, Tuckahoe, Cuff—Canadian, legislator, Virginia planter, Black man, all of the teeming blades of grass that we see around us. When you stand back far enough, you can’t see any of the individual blades, but look closer and there they are—vibrant and unique, no two alike. We say “e pluribus unum,” from many one. But who could have envisioned what that would look like and how it would feel before Whitman came along?


The grass is Whitman’s answer to the problem that bedeviled his contemporary Ralph Waldo Emerson: how to resolve the tension between the individual and the group. Emerson is sometimes hopeful that the two can cohere. When you speak your deep and true thoughts, no matter how controversial, he believed that in time the mass of men and women will come around to you. Each will say, ‘this is my music, this is myself,” Emerson says in “The American Scholar.” But mostly he is skeptical, believing that society is almost inevitably the enemy of genius and individuality.

Whitman’s image of the grass suggests that the one and the many can merge, and that discovery allows him to imagine a world without significant hierarchy. Can any one blade of grass be all that much more important than any other? When you make the grass the national flag, as it were, you get to love and appreciate all the people who surround you. You become part of a community of equals. You can feel at home.

We can look at those we pass and say not ‘That is another’ but ‘That too is me. That too I am.’

In “Leaves of Grass,” soon after he offers his master metaphor Whitman rises up to view American democracy from overhead. The poem’s famous catalogues of people doing what they do every day are quite simple: “On the piazza walk five friendly matrons with twined arms;/ The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold,/The Missourian crosses the plains, toting his wares and his cattle,/The fare-collector goes through the train—he gives notice by the jingling of loose change.”

This is your family, these are your sisters and brothers, Whitman effectively says. In general, we walk the streets with a sense of isolation. But if we can move away from our addictions to hierarchy and exclusive individuality, and embrace Whitman’s trope of the grass, our experience of day-to-day life can be different. We can look at those we pass and say not “That is another” but “That too is me. That too I am.” Or so Whitman hopes.

Of course, the benefits that Whitman promises do not come for free, or simply by reading his poem. We’ve got to meet his vision halfway, by being amiable, friendly, humane and nonhierarchical. This repudiation of hierarchy is not so easy; it’s not clear that even Whitman himself pulls it off. Isn’t he trying to be a great poet, the first truly American bard? But his effort matters. He knew that democracy is always vulnerable, that the best hope for human happiness could disappear from the earth. But Whitman would not let that happen without a fight.

—Mr. Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia. This essay is adapted from his new book “Song of Ourselves: Walt Whitman and the Fight for Democracy,” published this week by Harvard University Press.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
Appeared in the April 17, 2021, print edition as 'What Whitman Knew About Democracy.'
Nat Lipstadt Apr 13
Ah you hate to see another tired man / Lay down his hand / Like he was giving up the holy game of poker
Leonard Cohen
Will I remain within God's house at night as shadows drift through dimming my light?
written by Weeping Willow, gifted to me, by Edmund Black

in­stant understanding, perhaps in my experiential possess,
some answerings perhaps...product of late night, many, many
theological arguments over poker games, with coarse men,
tough women, and ethically-challenged Gods, all faithful regular attendees

With a little bit o’ luck from an occasional guardian angel, even
I possess an occasional winning hand.

now we all commence with a passionate uttered blessing,
for the good beer and salty pretzels, giving thanks for having
reached this act-exact moment of being, here and now, in God’s house at night, plus a holy add-on variation, a swear-to-god (we all snicker) promise solemn, no cheating, no absolutely divine peeking/spying in soulful futures, no fun in that, sanctified & sealed with hearty amens and ****** noises offered for emphasis.

hear you scratching you head, wondering what all this to do
with a whispered prayer of soulful, on-shore drilling deep,
product of a drill bit cutting the black quietude of interstellar voids internal, where there is no censorship, lying an impossibility, and the only questions are super hard, so some never return with an answer truthful

so, I remain in God’s House, playing poker, with deities who
jealous guard their moments as human facsimiles...cherishing humans who guard with care, an ability to see that they and gods differ little, when making honest truth a shared primacy

in the intimacy
of an overnight stay
in God’s house at night,
all our coming-led light dims,
when my/their need is greatest

(written sometime this year, Jan. 2021, Manhattan)


^^ Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the
Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and
enabled us to reach this occasion.
Apr 10 · 150
bless the parents
Nat Lipstadt Apr 10
bless the parents

who grow their worry lines,
a slow etching upon their face,
every night, a fractional addition,
what will the future hold for the children,
wandering tween wondering and wonderful

I am among the parental plenitude, who
struck a deal with the authorities of life,
pleading, demanding, coercing, begging,
take my years excess, give it to the children,
and spare them famine, thirst, war, sickness...

give them children, and spare them too the worry,
ban those crinkled lines, provision only smooth faces,
never let them never wonder, the accursed how,
will they be alright, & let them read this poem,
and laughing ask the surrounding atmosphere

whatever made the old man write such nonsense?

April 10th 2021 @5:38 AM
Apr 4 · 788
10,000 steps to a poem
Nat Lipstadt Apr 4
10,000 steps to a poem

walk to save my visions, my subterfuge-self, trying to
encapsulate the moments, seconds of nano-instances of a
tableau of histories, of actions becoming interactions,
a physical mitosis, ground into one human paste of word-cells
by a singular mortar and pestle that more than blends, but condenses

walk in Whitman’s footsteps, prowl old cobbled
streets seeing them anew, listening to the patois
of each skyward pathway, a commingling of
catechisms, Tefilot, Salah, Stuti Karana, into a stampede becoming a tornado funnel of a multivariate alphabets singularity - a prayer|poem returning to birth-mother

rush homeward desperate to retain the holy mess of verbal music,
before aged eyes release the visions, into a heavenly lost but found
depot of single lefty gloves, snatches and refrains, hymnals, phrases,
10,000 preservation band steps keeping but scraps, weeping
for the so much lost, yet blessing-uttering thankful for this one,
to a one

who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to
this moment, to this season.

~writ by night, daylight born~
Passover/ Easter Sunday
Nat Lipstadt Mar 3

Aug 29 2020­rgia/

!!the links repeat below, so no cut and paste required!!
Nat Lipstadt Feb 24
I’ll be brief (about poetry writing)

giving up:

expelling of textual agitation in my breast,
expulsing supplies no more the longest relief,
its medicinal efficacy, worn down, placebo equal,
run its course, a good grief, displacing tired belief,
loss of poetry, boon companion, not too late, nor
too soon, conceding, everything due a finalization

woman prevented me from walking in the
tropical storms frothiness, opining to my whining
“that’s no way to cleanse a soul, you’ll lose your life,
not that weight that’s moved up inside, up from the gut
into hearts blocked chambers and clogged spokes.”

thinking the vocabulary, needs a thrift store trip,
to give it all away, besides, prove it, a good taxing,
donating  might be quite righteous undertaking, like
flushing of the ewes, needs some new nutrients for the ole
two handed sleight legerdemain.

promised brevity w/o levity, no floating, keeping my feet’s grounded, my animal kingdom, my editorial staff, says a good quitting time is hard to find, addiction, a rolling stone, needs a coldstone fence immovable.

grabbed rucksack, inside Hafiz, Ogden and Walt Whitman, all very good company men, head to the poetry nook, to get my soul brown deep tanned, and enjoy excellent conversations with the Lord,
‘bout childless women, why cancer, and if there be a decent chance we could work out a real substantive cooperative truce between
deity & humans,

one that could hold for longer than a day, a good working relationship ‘tween sky, sun, water and wind, ok, fractious occasional, but on the whole works ok, gotta makes some more notes to keep my new boon above, my new oh lordy buddy well-contented, non-grumpy.

p.s. being an admirer~reader is almost as good as being a writer

9:00 AM
Mon Jul 13
as noted this was written in July of 2020, but never published till Feb. of 2021.
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020

11:03 Sun Sep 20 2020
2nd Day Rosh Hashana 5781
S.I., N.Y.

when I was twenty years younger, I wrote oft introspectively,
nowadays, today, provoked by the High Holy Day, the New Year,

it is my only filter, lens, and this solitary perspective that this moment affords, permits, demands, commands, insists on,  
prepared by this confession, so that I may better return to the union of my divine spark, unify body and soul, recover my true self,
by acknowledging that I am
not beholden to anyone,
therefore, thereby,
     beholden to everyone

how inconsistently wonderful that additional experience, alive in a time of upheavals, pushes me past the first stanza, where most often, my poems, prayers, go to rest uneasy, incomplete, only to be buried alive in me.

Yet, here I am stuttering, sputtering, words that come unexpectedly!
I have reached a second stanza, with the ending well sighted, nearby. The collective, overlaid wake of each passing boat, finger pointing, a road line for following, to a larger directive, a river emptying into a great ocean, birthplace & graveyard

premature celebration as it’s weeks till I return to this poem-in-progress on a bleak week, the winterized grays have dominated, the freshness of sunlight is just an occasional peekaboo.

The larger directive now suppressed, the pilings of damp brown leaves, multi-message; funeral. mounds of good days gone to hell, the inward perspective has returned me to a deep, dark place.

(Stutter, stutter, each day asseverates solemnly with tinges of rancor, no, no, no, still no answers yet, the second and third stanzas are *******, suns of no man.)
Dec 2020 · 373
Ayesha: I am not my words
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~For Ayesha~

for simply put,
simply taken,
they’re a disguise...

eternal guards on duty,
alphabet soldiers that
grow more vigilant

standing reef,
a barrier,

a thousand years to erosion complete.

this is the right poem, but the wrong words. Mystified me, how
can this be? such a young person, whose words speak to me?

If we are not our words, what will we become?
Sep 10 2020
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
things she doesn’t ask...

are they things,
she doesn’t know to ask,
are they things
to which,
she does not want to know
the answers.

my not knowing the answer to this puzzle,
drives me to distraction, her Mona Lisa smile,
accompanied by her noncommittal “whatever,”
hiding the answer, nearly leads me over a blurting edge,
but for my inevitable retreat, for the true question,
has a  truer answer, that comes as well, 
in question form.  

Why do I,

or do I,

want to know?
winter 2020
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
*But wrestle I do nonetheless,
                                    for the pleasure of this (non?) soluble
                problem that both creates
    queries & quenches
                             simultaneously, so I break off this
                             thinnest wafer to share with you,
          offering this notional


mine own words return, Halloween hauntingly,
every event adds layering failure to comprehend
and the frustrated anger dissipates into a thousand
Oct 25 2020 Manhattan
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
just before never...

my last performance,
the words came original
and easy, unlike all its
predecessors; someone
drew me a map of my
life and times, cities,
countries, and roads
well travelled and a few,
not too. Mountains, each with
a woman’s name, who carried
care, until she couldn’t, didn’t, and
time’s weathering returned us
individually into hillocks, and then
rain eroded us back into old soil.

the broad highways and back roads,
always snaking away, fork-forcing
directional choices, usually taking the
wrong way, the easy and safe one,
and how I have come to hate those
words: easy and safe, for they
are the pill combo that leaves you
for dead, dulling the questioning
one inquires of oneself, late, reluctantly.

But there is always the unexpected.

Today I saw a sunset on the Hudson
River with a humpback whale blowing,
running beside a river ferry, plowing the
waters back and forth tween two states.

Lived by this river for s e v e n t y years,
and have seen the whales in many places,
but here, in my city, in the river of my youth,

and I got the sign, message received, there
are still sights and poems to behold, arms to
embrace, youngers to guide if they’ll permit it.

so this title, these two,
just before,
this day, poem, came to remind me, the
days map remains unfinished, there are lands
and voyages and poems still awaiting drawing,
and it is tomorrow, and just before tomorrow, that
recording insistent demands, and a map is just a
moment in time, until just before...never

5:28 AM Thu Dec 10
2020 (a year deserving
of its own line and ending)

Manhattan, between two rivers.
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
These are the endless days of endlessness
These are the days, when time is just present
There is a disbelieved past, a future unimaginable
Here is the only now, a permanent-present-tensing-participle

Faces smiling semi-graciously present, desperately seeking coaxing
The winter dark, living room occasional lit by one, mostly TV glow
Radiance lives inside only, but well remembered songs cause
Cry outs for who, the what, the needed, we’ve forcibly memorized

Observing winter’s river from kitchen window, it’s colored
*****-dusk-blue, like my eyes, add overlaying images of sparkles
But my magic not powerful, my love can’t see them
My bag-o-tricks can’t bring her sunshine, 2020 sorcerer’s gold

These are the days of endless dancing alone,
Longest walk from bed to kitchen, worn the weary wood shiny
True romancing still abounds, but so well hid, 99% invisible
Even when you ask without asking to be held oh-so-tight

These are the days, riverside, when slow flowing waters offer
No hinting of faraway treasures to be someday discovered
The magician vain struggles to find loving tricks to unlock
Her loving grace, her water-to-wine breathing demeanor*

These are the days, that forever need remembering, saving
No savoring, the absence of joyous everyone, everywhere
These are the days of absence+abstinence that lasted forever
You've got to hold them in your forever heart, lest we forget
5:00 ~ 7:00 AM Tues Dec 8 2020
By the East River
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~for those who can’t sleep, and know why~

you say “how much is too far?” and I think yes, more scars,
a man surveys a lifetime of errors and cowardice,
my soles, scarred from nite-walking new york city sidewalks,
days of haven’t slept in years, weakness is my prejudice,
tally sums-ups as no forgiveness, the pavement paying is a
continuum of  paying on, there is no atonement for wasted life,
the concrete cracks wedded to my body, stepped on each one

marvel at the disastrous disappointment that I’ve engineered,
how creative in disguising a life of accumulated self bruising,
applaud my season’s greeting card, 2020, me meeting me,
in a laptop I am contained, global boundaries thus defined,
crumpled coffee cups, emptied wine glass, zoom loops of repetition,
still I wonder why, every day, how, so many missteps, wondering
not at the lackluster will that carried me;  every minute sorrowful

so much hidden begs for revelation, murdered souls, theft, jealousy,
but the punishment is brutal; a conscientious conscience continually
punishes my blackened hours and there is no retrieval, retrial,
just a grounded plot with neither headstone and grass,
for I’m marked by no marker, and the wounds inflicted are my
afflicted leavings, my bones+soul confined, and the hallelujah
word excised from my vocabulary, forbidden me, justifiably so


Mr. Tambourine Man
Song by Bob Dylan

“Though I know that evening's empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand, but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me,
I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming...

And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow”
4:32 AM Sat Dec 5 2020
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~dedicated to the old poets here~

the addictive pairing of certain words, a line,
a lyric, slap-snapping you to full attention,
unfailing decades of instant recognition,
an adrenaline + caffeine shot that powers

a chance, a tensile injection that causes

the lips to commence a new choreography,
the fingers to tap, a jumbled, hurried, embattled
disorderly mess that regenerates, reformulates,
concords into agreement, a harmonic consistency

a geometry of many differing angles that equate

a hard physical, a soft mentality in a singled work,
coexisting in a sacred state of singed confluence,
though imperfect, satisfies mathematical boundaries
of a random outpouring, crowning the stripe inspiring

the spark that finally satisfyingly silences an ignited

filament a-glowing for years, that holy happens
to cross your antennae, fulfilling the need to honor,
the sacred geometry of chance, the honor to need,
the joy of saying, at last, this unwritten debt, paid!

(1) a favorite of many years, a lyric from “The Shape of My Heart” by Sting

(2) Dec 3 2020 2:53pm  NYC
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2020
when you accept the ‘I love you’ invite, coolly quietly
understanding this is but a summarizing way of saying,
let’s enter the gated fence to friendship, locking in & out,
the delving reveals to follow are truths more costly than
any fiction, you see only the too real, how much pain can
exist, survive, be survived, quietly thrive, just beneath the
skin’s preternatural strong thinness, holding us in, together
while yet a sieve, separating the granules of our composition,
the coarser fail to penetrate the finer cells, the molecular level
is where the sensory Alice in Wonderland world coexists with
the blunt exhaustion of so much agony, too much, and in the
early morn these words appear of their owned and freed volition,

do what you must do to repair yourself

...and you confess to understanding that to heal oneself,
you must heal others, and that separate and unequal
sorrows can somehow heal each other, praying for ex,
exfoliation, exhumation, excalibur, expelling all the ex’s
so new skin self repairs, a great miracle that, and that
human reparations are a thing you alone initiate, inhale,
fostering a belief that !we! is the solution, the only...

for those who will understand instantly, willingly and gasp at the recognition...
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2020
This Voyage, This Resurrection

I cannot sleep, thinking:

I cannot give you short, bittersweet, sad, delighting, whimsical love poems.

I can give you short, bittersweet, sad, delighting, whimsical life poems.

In cold, rushing spring and river waters, ash and water-borne soil mix.

A voyage endless.
We too, voyage. Endlessly.

Examine the crevices and ravines that
are the map of your hands.

Your voyage's log, memory storage.


In the clouds's moisture,
ever recycling, it is kept, stored.

Your hands well recall
the very first caress,
the softness of the skin,
the sweet of the lips,
thirty some long years after.

Dare to dispute?

The original animus,
the anima and the persona combination
the byproduct of blood and tissue,
some call spirit,
some call soul,
is matter that cannot be
nor created.

It only voyages on, the conservation of mass,
our body, our enlivement, our spark.

In cold, rushing spring and river waters,
ash and water-borne soil admix.

From this natural brew, renewal.

The voyage is the resurrection
Life ever after.
Life even before.
Life for ever lasting.

Our voyage is without destination.
Our voyage is our destination.
Our voyage is our resurrection.
Endless. Perpetual.

5:46 am
voyage resurrection lipstadt 2018
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2020
the entirety of my feeling is resting on my tongue,
asking for birth, release, freedom:

here at the border post, the guards have fled, and the memory dreamer refugees, previous detained, hesitantly, gingerly, step across a narrow invisibility, a legal fictionalization, courageously frightened, but words of “at last,” “if not now, when,” and “god bless” blend into a merging crescendo of “yes!”

the road chamfers, dusty gives way, all the traveller’s shoes, now wetted, stained and staining, make amusing sounds of connection and interaction - squishy, distinctive, known in every language, dialect -  unrealized but known, spoken, somehow comprehended.

why is this heaven wet?
is truth moist?

indeed, for this place is truthful, and sensory networks cross, senses are both heightened and bluntly realized- and this confusion delights in human land mines

let me explain:
my tongue has eyes,
my tongue speaks the words we have in commonality,
my tongues hears your sounds,
my tongue penetrates parts of you
that no other-part touches in the
same way.  

though you might think this is simply ****** subterfuge, it is not.  

simply you need to understand how
deeply this human connects, in his way.
Oct 2020 · 826
wild friendships
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2020
<for my friends>

you may
write  me
as needed,

you may
wright me
as oft as you desire,

we may
right each other
as often
needs definition

! and know that I define


in milliseconds!

p.s. ink and paper surrender to time, fire and water

these tiny bytes will likely live forever often somewhere.
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2020
<for my friends>

Poets, let us examine this friendship thing, again.

This is a poem of humans, regardless of our natural multi- flavored striations, that tend to over-define us, thus separating, instead of celebrating commonalities.

Like most things we enjoy, our five senses are the gateway to pleasure, even the pleasure of friendships.  They act in concert, a symphonic interplay that reenforces and heightens so that in combination they create a whole greater than a single sense could provide singly.

This is on my mind this week, as I wrestle to understand the meaningful possibilities, the limits of friendship.

Poets form bonds without hearing each other’s voices.

Poets connect despite geographic distances that makes grasping each others sinewed arms, caressing the softness of hard cheekbones, without ever having been granted the unique, all encompassing satisfaction of embrace, hugging.

Poets sometimes can hear but not see each other’s words.

Poets sometimes can see/read each other’s words, but never hear them voiced aloud in the authors own, true voice.

Poets sometimes cannot smell or taste each other’s words, though it can take a poem to another, higher sensory level of coloration.

And yet, a bond so strong forms that defies the conventional limitations of the physical. Should we share such a bond, them you know it, no need to ask for confirmation.

Words, can be gifted, without teleportation, even when and if the bridge of a shared spoken language is not extant.

This is nothing short of miraculous.

Just like friendship.

All my wrestling to true comprehend this state, for naught, for the miracle of words is like the color of water. Universal, invisible, but so varied, that it too bridges and is shared by every ! human body regardless of any human shape, color, form of the billions conceivable

But wrestle I do nonetheless, for the pleasure of this (non?)soluble problem that both creates queries & quenches simultaneously, so I break off this thinnest wafer to share with you, offering this notional:

All humans are poems.

All poems are human.

Solve this poem for human.

(And ignore the wet spots of my watery, clear tears staining this poem).
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2020

”What worth, dear man, are thee to me?
Of Brotherhoods eternity,
Esteemed, thy worth, from whence thee came?
In consequence, by any other name.
Whence laughter creased and cracked thy face
Wouldst sadness flee to lesser place?
And wouldst thou rather, not have been?
A thought we all would curse....obscene!
Of what thy vaulting valued prose?
In essence, beyond scented rose.
Perchance, dear friend, that thee should die?
Hot tears would rain from blood red sky”

<§> <§> <§> <§> <§>

the reconciliatory process, never ending,
one seeks to estimate his worth on this earth,
harmonizing his consciousness with an undated
human elegy, appraising his qualifications on a
malleable but fixed scale;

fixed are the qualities:

kindness, kindness, then courage to be more kind!
honesty, honesty, the honesty of rigorous estimation,
the excess of giving love always more, eradicate selfishness

malleable is the scale!

an instrument that measures more, always more,
the little lines on our ruler, meter stick, are but a
ladder to a ceiling ever visible but luckily unattainable

the highest grade attainable is glorious failure that
says, back to the drawing board, redrawing thy image,
the singular constant, a grail with no final location,
an equation that is a starry palate of moving loci:

we are each an each
formed by all the points satisfying a particular equation
of the relation between human coordinates, or by a point, line,
or surface moving according to the defined conditions of what is
truly human, hands touching, skin to skin

here is the wondrous rub, the most excellent complication!
the human equation by its very conceptual essence can be solved
by numbers of two or greater value, one, is non-viable, worthless,
a zero equivalent, no solution to all you seek to understand

in this then, we summarize:

you can be a successful human, if and only if, you comprehend that
we exist only, we are defined ourself by the plurality of friendships,
thy own worth, is not yours alone, existing only in the grasp of others, and thus we answer the riddling question:

* What worth, dear man, are thee to me?*

5:15 PM Mon Oct 12

Location coordinates are:
Latitude: 41.048513558171045
Longitude: -72.36516056990725
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2020
I think, therefore I am.

(5) the possible poems lurk about, here a title,
there a verse without a home, and, despite
cogitating brings no fusion, no unity or home
heading, where the sigh of conjoining both
brings mental *******, organic relief, worth.

(6) the temperature now cool regularity, enough that
a distinctive line crossed, setting from Cool to Heat,
an inflection point of persona, weather, aging,
daytime whispers can no long be avoided,
a choral crescendo, delayed by lazy summer illusions
that permitted us to put off abnormal life as normal.

(7) I think, therefore I am, but I do not feel,
sufficiently, therefore I write a title here,
verse there, but no poem completes because,
as I update my list of people I worry about, I am,
ineffectively yours, lacking answers for you, in all
our present tenses, some of you are on it, even if no notification
sent, selfishly pondering if my name appears on someones list

ah, these miscarriages of miscellaneous mumbles don’t
qualify as worthwhile, so I pre-apologize for wasting your time
trying, pushing myself to go from thinking, of you, so, therefore
you exist, but if I cannot give you the feelings deserved, then,
what good am I?


11:26 AM Sat Oct 10
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
if all well,
no need to reply

if family well,
safe and sound,
no need to reply


if you feel the need to ***** and moan,
demonstrate a cantankerous orneriness,
displeasure at the state of the world,
well then shoot me an urgent email!

just don’t expect a re-ply,
cause then I’ll be 200%
painfully certain you are
100% A-OK!
Sep 2020 · 217
The Patti Smith Collection
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020

with time whittling my days down,
the plurality point of my days long since
surpassed, my poems to the wayside
fall as new generations seek the voices
that are nuanced to their ear, tastes,
I remain, for the more obvious, more now than ever,
forever for the poets who sign their emails to me with:

I close with much gratitude

spoke or unspoken,
you-see I-see your poetry nuggets in everything,
the extraordinary ordinaries!
that delight the weakening eyes, move the ****** muscles
upward and outward, those nuggets by that,
one can grasp
the nexus of existence in words few and singular, open/close,
and the filters that mark life as word worthy,
salutations of words like:


and all that matters is this simple, my friends, my children,
that I go down in days full of gratitude
for them, for them.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020

sometimes I weep gratitude:

you send a poem my way
that wrenches this old heart
in ways that believed were
no longer possible. weep.

eyes see your word images in actual physicality,
me, shedding cells and real tears, musing,
easier is good work that originates in all
new things beautiful, freshly created,
repairing old.^

despair for those who know not this sensing,
weep for yourselves, that I cannot
sway and assuage you, with quality words
that harbor both of us, in mutuality.

call in of reinforcements, sharing a single dock,
visions of rocking together in the wakes of others,
if when you should ever think of me,
think this,
your words are my comforter wake,
gentling my rocking quaking.

my weeping is but
the noise of desperation,
being washed away by the sound of
gratitude weeping


Thu Aug 20  2020

precious everything:    awake, morning chores, no worry, won’t bore you, someone else, tv turns on, claptrap commences, plead with myself for music, a poem, any escape from the horrors of reality, the world’s self inflicted  afflictions, the tv talkers accuse me of complicity,  by merely existing, and not sending “them” money to wage their war, and line their pockets, and I passed the weeping point, freely acknowledge this ain’t much of a poem, not even a rant, just an accumulation of worries, mine lesser than most, yet finding breathing hard, harder than the lungs say is necessary, the future  like lead bells around my neck, bent, and I age ten years in precious seconds, when dare I contemplate how the grandchildren will survive, s u r v i v e, much more than how mine will unwind for my own currency is spent, used...then you send me a new poem and I weep with fresh gratitude for this new, one more day. nml.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
none of us would lie like in  history class,
our equations would always be easy & pretty,
everyone so introspective, multi-language fluent,
precise explanations that obscure clarity, now that’s
something worthy to discuss endlessly self-importantly

ah, well! even if schools only tayght art and music,
we would still fight wars, arguing about important
things like proper spelling, now that’s worth dying for....
3:52 am  dumb thoughts, course, world would  be pretty good  on Copperhead Road
Sep 2020 · 323
are you ok?
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
~for teach~

tell me, are you ok?

yeah, more or less;
like everybody else,
wires get crossed,
static builds up,
the speakers bleat
when they should blat,
and you try to stop thinking,
cause why hurt yourself
too much?

what’s wrong?

nothing to specific,
that seems to be the problem,
like aches and sharp pains
that come without reason,
on a schedule all their own,
no prior consultation,
permission slip sig forged,
so badly, it’s insulting

it’s 3:14 am, woke up with
headphones on, every tune,
reandomly selected, saying,
only the lonely, solitary man,
miles to go, it’s probably me,
long monday coming,
gonna spend it
looking for the summer

now look at this, me done wrote
another impoverished poem,
just by stringing together
song titles that were selected
just for me by an artificial intelligence,
it’s closing time, in the fields of gold,
prine singing a blues lullaby, just for me,
so I won’t have to think so hard for an answer to

tell me, are you ok?

got no complaints that
ain’t my own fault,
my guilt is plugged in
always charging,
sleep comes in dreams of many colors,
eclectic eclipses, electrifying and elicited,
words come spilling so easy, pre-selected,
elocuted and executed, with madding ease.
two more lines, then calling it quits, but at least
got an answer, why for me it’s so easy,
the being hard


3:32am and the moonlight so bright,
it’s making shadows on earth, left behind
like good graffiti announcing I was here,
maybe I’ll find these words, when I wake up,
wonder who wright these, twasn’t me,
I’m a sound sleeper, can never remember,
dreams, or nightmares, even those in technicolor,
wake up a blank slate, to see,
gotta answer somebody’s question,
if I’m ok?
Sep 2020 · 733
the first time we make love
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
the first time we make love

your body will tremble, from behind, my arms’ will, to encase,
I, sponging up every tremor, shush-stealing each shuddering,
the outpouring of sounds will grow softly and steadying,
as gasps slow lessened, till the breathing is regularized.

you will sly ask for words, but I will come prepared and you,
will laugh when so informed, happy by my thoughtfulness,
wondering if they are being reused, and knowing this, I will
coax you to feed me morsels will I shall then embellish, proofs.

there is a first time in almost every aspect, but for one, which
you won’t refuse, forgiving my experiences, a history to become
now partly yours, the priors paying forward my debt to serve,
a gentling interplay of eyelashes *******, fingertip confessions

you will alternate tween fragility, regretful solitude, emptied but
then refilled, you’ll want to define, identify, label for storage and
reuse, classification for acceptance, thinking that will make this
moment lasting, but it won’t, but it will, last, under closed eyes.

when the need to sob returns, one or two may escape, unelicited,
but won’t go past that, you’ll hear me saying “Hello in there, hello,”^
and ten thousand skin cells will in unison firm gel a single sensory,
not a trick or strategy, an honor bestowed, medaled, molten medaled

that you were held captive, it will be a proud mark, for freedom only
comes from being released, and an anthem will start to form, words
all raw and wholly yours, then you will sing to me “good bye stranger,”^^ granting me a pardon, for being who I am, a wonderingly, somewhat familiar face...
^John Prine
^^ Sharon Robinson
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2020
Sept. 5th, 2020, 6:35am (wondrous palette)

the sun risen, but a solid foothold as of yet unestablished;
the new day’s skies borrow coloration from nearby sources,
no unique identity bright enough as of yet to call its own;
thin cumulus streaks, striate against an unidentifiable blue
paleness, more to contrast than to claim,  “here we are!

the bay is in labor: multi hues of blue intermingle, as the
light illuminates each part differentially; soon enough,
one hue will come to dominate, just like you, soon enough,
a single hue will dominate, and this day will be distinct,
and who knows? perhaps even distinctive enough to be

minute to minute is the ever changing interplay; unlike a
human, this rapidity maturation is unafraid to experiment
with new combinations but-based on prior recalled self-
examination; something on the water, a small boat low and
close flat to the surficial; a skiff, a rowboat with no oars,
drifting, languishing on the fishing spot, unmoving unhurried
humans aboard, thinking, this is the good way to start living

last comment; tiny hinting shades of violet, pink and orange
exist, hard to discern so well blended are they with the norm
of broader blue and vanilla white and then all readily apparent!
this is the new days message, we are what we appear to be,
one earth, one sky, indivisible but born from
a wondrous palette;
and so yet another first poem of the day is created, a verbal
prélude, étude, unique but a product of its many ancestral
predecessors, just like
, we the people.
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
~ per la bombardiera italiana di Vienna~

you want a poem of (a)side dishes, instead of a main,
you prefer a side vent, instead of a main event,
but always commence at the commencement ending,
another day begs for the first poem of the day (FPoTD)

the sky produces another hue, a whitish blue,
with violet shadings, majestic clouds slow moving,
heading north, Northwest by North(NWbN)
to New England, onto Toronto, then west to B.C.
but me won’t be there for that new course correction

sent some messengers your way, umpteen Canadian
snowbird geese, returning home, Florida too **** hot,
hurricanes not to their liking, quite the sight, brave old
man in dracula cape-flapping bathrobe, clapping and heehawing them intruders into the bay waters, off his land, their partying
in my no-noise motel against a law, not to mention their
empties and plentiful droppings, but I side vent digress

from where this Mariner’s tale began, but the mental alarm
signals seven bells, return to port, now a mess mate, inside,
delivering coffee in white china teacups to the Captainess,
who in time of war makes tremendous sacrifices, par example,
who due to the pandemic, graciously deigns, accepts paper(!)
napkins, a sign of the gravity of the times, no ironing!

god, I do not understand how you do it, vast eternal patience,
every way, every day, a new shade, you musta been an art major,
or very bored, either way, this goose chasing, cook, exterminator,
driver, poetry-writing no-maven son of a Canadian woman, is
your devotee, morning glory audience, who accepts your sky tapestry, your cloud interweaving laddering, with humble gratitude, a still life never stilled, my eyes, my tongue sings your praises like King David, and that other court-appointed Canadian psalmist^ who  understood, conversing with you is where all hallelujah poem songs main event must begin, fiddle middle, and perforce must conclude, that! the! main event

everything else just a side event, a side venting, a prayer-in waiting,
a get-in-line for another paradise, where poets play cards, smoke see-gars, checking their stockings for runs and new poem ideas, word worshipping the gifts of existence, a child’s ice cream dotted nose, a body’s curves, but I digress...he LoL’s to himself, wondering why his eyes are usual, he is clueless, the last to know, but the first to weep because the winter is coming, yet again, a sky will be less frequent friendly, but the know-nothing-man will digress yet again, once more unto the breach...

Sat Sabbath Aug 29
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
The Joni (Mitchell) Collection
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
Warning! This poem is too long for certain elderly gentlemen.

A blue haze morn, pleasant in the transition
from the ides of sensual summer to the
broken, busted curled dead leaves that now
decorate the half & half scorched, mottled lawns,
that soon enough will fall to full-on browning!

All this my eyes see when first I wake, only
the calm morn waters unchanged, thank god,
for the mind is fermented, the brain full on,
three, count ‘em, three born baby poems, all
simultaneous being birthed, triplets from one
****** working overtime, yet, only paid the hourly wage!

The mind interweaves the three, and yet subdivides,
only I, the landlord of the brain, failingly and flailing
struggle to keep track of these wild tenants, each:
a curvature, a tangent, a sibling and a stranger to
each other, sharing  a common single parentage!

Poem #1

Poem #1, a bright child, yet, poorest in vocabulary, more humming
than recites, but below its tuneful melody one just perceives, a refrain
born in the refracted sun rays that first opened our  eyes to this day, in
great gratitude, a morning prayer, a mourning poem, bidding adieu to the great  nighttime where the conception and inception inseminated within the ****** of the brain, and welcoming the warmth of day that cracks our body’s outer egg shell with praises of hallelujah that this one word poem gives so easy, in glory!

Poem #2

The toes wriggle, the eyes rapid-blink, the mouth yawns revealing
a still sleeping tongue, the stomach rumbles a basso tune reminding
everyone that their continuous sustenance comes from it alone, no
matter what those other body part snobs claim! An Uproar ensues
(bien sûr!), everyone roused, slumber a thing of the past, a cacophony
of disharmonious noises, no Greek chorus this, purely 100% American,
each party convinced of its self-worth, its own vitality, a ball park of
loutish fans, hawking vendors, an amalgamation of colorations, a
tapestry of humanity skin colors, though in a single voice upon this all
agree and shout “**** the Umpire!”

Then the bladder whispers “uh,hey people,” and all grow silent knowing
who’s the boss, and the man, stumbles from bed, wondering silently what
the heck that huuge racket was all about and how come no one else heard it?

Poem #3

A subcommittee of the senses convene a meeting and on the agenda, in
no particular order are the following, items of varying importance, but
needing speedy resolution:

The always very touchy skin asks: what shall we wear
today, it is warm outside and overly cold inside, should
we go short or long, stay in our overnight dressage, or
get a fresh accoutrements (clean Tee and sweatpants)
just to celebrate having made successful passage to day?

The aural receptors (who always insist on being addressed
in the plural), state that can wait! first let’s us determine what
music we shall receive, that must match the nature outside
and the nature within?  A Joshua Bell violin concerto, or some
retro greatest hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s?  Let’s vote..

The Gallic nasal passages (Les Passages, as they snobbishly prefer) sniff
in derisive decision, non! to yesterday’s clothes, a shower and a shampoo
dear skin, a nasal necessity, let’s try to remember to use deodorant today
please, and no more feral cereal and milk, something more fragrant s’il vous plait!

The Buds, as the tasting cells preferred to be called, said indeed,
some fresh cafe au lait in a proper bowl, to accompany les croissants frais, une baguette au beurre, and do not forget the red crisscross jar of Bonne Maman (Orange Marmalade/Confiture d'Orange)

The Eyes, waited and listened, and then proclaimed, all well and good,
but realize that after all this, we are the instructor, the instrument panel
without which you cannot operate in concert, let us see what we can see,
in the closet, in the kitchen, read the playlists, prepare the necessaries
for bathing, check the thermometers and then we will decide!

Then, the Mighty Brain, said “folks, we’ve been busy all night and tho
first light has already penetrated, we are going back to bed, as we are exhausted by all this noise herein encapsulated!
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
"همه جا" از حافظ / "همه جا" توسط لیپستاد

Hafiz                                              ­           Lipstadt
(1320 ~ 1389)                                            (20th ~ 21st century)
——————                                           ———————­——

Running                                                    Si­tting
Through the streets                                 On the sidewalk curb
Screaming,                                                Ob­serving,

Throwing rocks through windows,     Rocks falling all around,
Using my own head to ring                  Striking my head, ringing in
Great bells,                                               Great waves of thought,

Pulling out my hair,                               My hair stands straight up,
Tearing off my clothes,                          My clothes’ fibers come alive,

Tying everything I own                        All possessions, the poems, yet
To a stick,                                                Unwritten, less valuable than,
And setting in on                                  The air that feeds the flames of
Fire.                                                         Their burning.

What else can Hafiz do tonight        What else can Lipstadt do tonight
To celebrate the madness,                  But acknowledge the truthfulness,
The joy,                                                 The madness,

Of seeing God                                      In~Exhaling God in each breath
Everywhere!                                         Everywhere!
Aug 2020 · 1.2k
You! are...(not!)
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020

(~for R.A.~)
pour la Canadienne

The inside flat of
the upper left arm,
“the arm proper,”
a body part,
held in
low regard,
for it is not
easy visible,
nor is it the arm of
Jerusalem cunning.^

Few realize
it alone,
the only skin
that can be
pressed direct
upon the
beating (dis)heartened

upon it,
upon you,
I’ve inscribed in
richest blue India ink,
these words
ready for transfer,
s k i n  to  s k i n,
an instant injection,
more powerful

◄ Psalm 137:5 ►
“If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Forget Her Cunning”

as is sometimes the case,
these words came to me
fully formed
in the mid of night
some say upon the same place,
but on the right arm was drawn
“a map of Canada
Oh, Canada
With your face sketched on it twice”
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020

~for Isabel (‘30), Alexander (‘31), and Wendy (‘35)~


In a place of perfect solitude,
No crowded synagogue within to hide,
No cantor to intercede on my behalf,
I spoke words of mine own creation
To my Creator
Who wisely empowers me
To judge myself, for knowing,
None harsher

We two,
Old travel companions,
Upon worn grayed, Adirondack thrones,
We overlooked
A natural prayer place,
Bay and breeze, white-clouded, sun-laced.
Only the full time inhabitants,
the animals,
Grayling butterflies to match and contrast,
Eavesdropping on our Greek dialogo,
In this holy place,
Palace of Perfect Solitude

Amiable did we chat,
I, of family, this and that

wearied from recent travel,
To Syria and India,
Was glad for a day off,
For He had little to do,
But wait for twilight,
To then close the books

For us no formality, easy the going,
No prosecutor, no defender in residence,
For we exchanged these roles intermittently,
The incriminatory, the penance, all deeds displayed,
No adult games of winking eyes, and
Hidden heart, secret chambers,
Rabbinical or angelic intercession

He does so love his Bach,
Adagio on strings,
My soothing gift to him,
This music more than divine

He returned this courtesy

Warming sun to expose my chest,
Cooling genteel breeze offsetting,
sunset color palette spectacular,
The bay emptied of wayfaring skiffs and yachts.

A cooling beverage proffered,
But sighing, He said that he had yet to find
A beverage that could ever slake
his kind of thirst

For his eyes, tho shining, did not effervesce,
As when we shared this day in years past

Too much killing, this year,
It tires Me so to tabulate human excess,
Spoke not a word, for my critique would
Comfort him less,
if at all

Thanks for Kol Nidre, He plainted,
So I too can disavow,
The best intended oaths I took and take,
For each year, I fail more than the year before.

If only I could sit with each,
As I do with you,
Where what needs saying,
Is said, understood,
Undisguised as praying

A schooner to the dock did appear,
For Him it attended, for Him, it waited,
Sails, wind whipped,
Sails, both black and white.

He stood to depart, my arms-he-grasped,
Me-taken, he-graphing,
Measuring my fortitude, the strength,
of my divine spark

I do so love this day in your company.
I shall sit with you again one year on,
Bach sweet, when next we meet, please

Soft spoke, as almost I should not hear,
Your time is nigh, no thing I create is forever.
He spoke with such sadness,
For well I knew, the intent, his meaning.

for-himself, saddened, for he loved
Sitting beside me in this manner,
Since my inception, never a deception

Only He resting easy,
when He atoned before me,
And I gave him His absolution conditional,
As he gave me,
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
In the year 2016,
Yom Kippur was celebrated on Oct. 12th.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7th.


faint knocking heard at the heavenly door of the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic,
lyrical rapping, sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner,
a judgment resister, flaunting an almost expired coupon,
trumpeting demands for a recount, waving it,
claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a
mercy discount and an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear the responsa,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering, (how both?)
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting

the hubbub subsides,
the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared, that my finality
was spirit consumed?

in one voice, answers the angelic choir,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning
or even drowning,
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels,
the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books
and records of everyone,
are permitted this special query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, to delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are so poorly but perfectly constructed
in his image

you, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
you, who best answered
this judging,
this calling out,
this calling in

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution,
you have been judged sufficient...
it is his will

                                                    | | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?

^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer ( in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
this first version first published Jan. 2017

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
(from the beautiful messages some of you send me, this my unintended answer, my thanks, my concerns, all brewed and blended, emerging in this the first second of this say, this day)

the day’s light is undecided. Alternating currents of cloudy
and peek-a-boo sunshine are reflecting outward from my insides onto the world exterior as personality is the best envisioning filter, making you and reality mirror each other, and there are no lines, no divisions.

you awake and instant watch water moving; the currency of
water are the surface wavelets, like wind blown hair.  So, what notions  I have going on is that the water wears wigs (shhhh!) just to keep its integral integrity of constant dishonesty, that being its
natural state.

recall nature is just your insides eking, leaking out in...wavelets
and wigs.

all this wonderful nonsense is my heart deeded  eking, leaking, in droplets, in constant motion, this water is never placid, never perfectly still, always moving, sometimes rumbling...and she and I talk about not having a child to take care of in the morning as a sad freedom to
pamper and experiment ourselves even as we co-exist in sweats and t-shirts which segues into a conversation how we moderns crave simplicity over the complexity of living in “modern” times, making us vulnerable to leaders who offer promises of draining, return to the good ole days, forgetting that in just forty years the world fought two wars that killed millions, destroyed the landscape, left billions in miserable existence, and yet shaped, still shapes, the world via today’s unraveling global structure...

so I return to the water, marveling at its life long deception...motion
constant, to the human eye, random and disorganized, yet balletically
organized with synchronicity and yet above and underneath is a whole world in random cooperation, but not necessarily peaceful coexistence...

a mobile, ever changing jigsaw puzzle where the pieces fit together
for just a second before devolving into a new puzzle and on and on...
the surface calm of our appearances, flecked with expressions, our body reshaping with every step is a testimony to the inconstancy of living and I think I could never write a good enough poem to explain how we each inside and outside coexist with engines of turmoil inside, churning, and the oceans and the rivers exist only to remind us that water comes in many colors, and when we dip even a finger in running flows, we  alter the course of history, humanity, eternity, and all words that end in Y, that are really big, the all encompassing ones;

every thought, every blink, every word, is so revealing and I rejoice, secure in that knowing, for it is the source of creating and here I am creating this one second’s summary and I must stop for here comes another second, another glance asking for love,

like a child climbing into your early morning bed, ear to ear grinning, announcing their presence as their gift to you and the world in general, and of course they are exactly right, like every fluid body of water...
poem by the the second

8:55AM Sun Aug 9 2020
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
we write now past anger,
but nearer to the closing

the period of our lives, here,
at the end of this poem

and with every day,
every word, every look,

is now redefined as:


(a state of complete emptiness or destruction barrenness bleakness starkness misery melancholy gloom bareness dismalness grimness aridity sterility wildness anguished misery loneliness despondency despair distress)

now, it too is redefined as:

we can no longer look at our children faces...
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
भारत के युवा कवियों के लिए (For the Young Poets of India)


क्या कोई ऐसा प्रांत है जहाँ कविता पहली भाषा सिखाई जाती है?

शायद, सभी में कविता जीन का जन्म हुआ है?

मेरा इनबॉक्स बैंकों के प्रेम और आत्मनिरीक्षण की कविताओं को पछाड़ देता है!

तो यह है, इसलिए इसे जारी रखने के लिए, कि एक समय और जगह में एकीकृत,

हम पहले से ही एक ही भाषा बोलते हैं, जो वर्णमाला के लिए मायने रखती है,

वह भाषा प्रेम है, कविता सिर्फ वाहन, एक जीभ सभी धाराप्रवाह हैं!
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
my best poems came:

in months, days of desperation,
hours, moments of elation, it was the
always imbalance that just was, that
was/when the karma-was in-balance

my best poems always, always,
came accompanied by tears, many,
before, during, certainly after, even
twice, when a later returning stumble,
brought the sentries to open old gates

never, at any time, was a man with many
friends, reasons plenty, reasons mine,
it was an imbalance that just was, that
of the karma-when-in-balance, except,
the creative offsprings became children,
painful to raise, coming to visit occasionally

hear no quiet trumpet moaning, nor a violin
shed the human cries that only a man-made
instrument can be forgiven for being better at
than their own creators.  Much by choice, or
criminal laziness, all tinged by a fear so subtle,
don’t think anyone knew it existed, yet, always
humming “see the man running against the wind”

there you have it. no summing up necessitated,
because how the numbers add up, the total is
just the total, and know, you can finish this one,
the total is just a rose by any other name, it’s a
number that by definition was the of, the when,
“when an imbalanced karma-was-in-balance.”
3:39pm Mon Jul 27 20
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
Hazy Day

rose at 3:30am, anticipating an aria of glorious
thoughts needy of capture, encryption, preservation,
three hours later, an empty vessel rides high on the empty
white screen waters of the Bay of Zero, fed by Nada River,
emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, where microscopic is ordinary,
my, my, not~noteworthy contribution, noted for its worthlessness.

delivered the coffee at 7:00am, put on the music,
climbed onto a fresh sheeted mattress, yawning, yearning,
seeking to recover the lost hours and instantly tumbler-in,
inundating random notions, hazardous thoughts,
dispatched to keep me awake, as I trajectory into sleepyville,
each one an angel, coming down Jacob’s ladder for to wrestle
me home, even as the daylight reveled~reveals that a newborn
baby, will be new hot, dangerous, burning hazy day.


Hazardous Thoughts

“It is easier to give love than to accept it.” (Walter W Hoelbling)

Walter, Walter, what an accursed blessing you’ve given me!

This simple declarative is a racking, wrecking, symphonic
synopsis of this man’s life, crying out for une écriture monumental,
that somewhere in a hidden recess has commenced composition,
know not the where or when of it, but the why is a tightening noose,
squeezing my brain, choking my neck, impounding the heart beating,
because with succinct brevity betrayed out loud, my essential secret.


Every night I sleep with a woman and a man; the woman, you need
not know, nameless is what you shall call her, but the man, instantly
recognizable as just Leonard, descendant of the priests in the Temple. Me and the baffled King composing our hallelujahs.

                                                  ­    <!>

Art doesn’t not imitate life. It plagiarizes, embellishes, improves, with
tinkered recombinant DNA, shamelessly swiped, for which we forgive the audacity of its thievery, for with each attempt comes a Confession, remorse, nobody cares, whatever. Art supersedes, supplanting and superimposing, by grafting new branches upon old works, even occasionally improving what was once brilliantly original.

                                                     ­ <!>

Note to self: Do not forget to wake ‘n take the garbage, the recycling, and the corrugated cardboard and all previous poems to the Town Dump, before they stink up the garage. Post Office, Pharmacy for local weekly newspaper, no candy.


Dozy, sleepy. Sarcastic “great.”  I’ll never remember this poem;
**** these hazardous thoughts on a hot, dangerous, burning,
innocent hazy day.
note to self: dreamt yesterday in the early morn;, composed in the afternoon, listening to Jonas Kaufmann, edited, posted at 3:30 AM Friday listening to Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin.
3:35AM Fri Jul 24.

the precedent predecessor:
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
1               thank you
—-   =     —————
X              I love you

Teach: Solve For X

X is 1, thank you =  I love you

if you are lucky, lucky to be adjudged trustworthy,
someone’s ******* inside insights freely given,
unexpected with no disclaimer, no red stop sign,
“danger ahead,” after all, you inquired sincerely

you caught out breathless, the big data absorption
rate is exceeded, but you understand this tidal wave,
formed thousands of miles away, you and your silly
notions of ‘learning from love,’ aye, were the trigger!

you understand this gale force long in the forming,
the unleashing a cleansing, a self-tallying evaluation,
a crooked trail of struggle, optimism, recovery, both
a reliving and a relieving, and an entree to relief living

and you, fancy shaman, you wordysmith, understand,
you’ve been appointed a trustee of someone’s heart,
can only best muster is an ineloquent encompassing
“thank you,”^
acknowledging a bond you’ve granted, a bond accepted

and overwhelmed by this Rubicon crossing invitation,
you can’t yet blather, pry, think small, just acknowledge
this gunshot across the bow landed squarely tween eyes,
sensing, hoping that this simple response was pitch perfect

minutes later, you receive a summary judgment, to wit
an entirely unexpected
“I love you,”
a declarative, simple equation, understanding that it’s
a spontaneous gush, with no judgment, no risk, pure
acceptance is purely sufficient, that it comes with an
overwhelmingly baked-in affection for,
you, fool,
for just being there, for asking, for learning,  eyes tearing, if
you, fool,
have love within you, then you should give it, give it,
give it

3:53 PM
Tue. Jul 21
Twenty Twenty
^ the actual response was:
gonna absorb it
gonna sleep on it
gonna write on it,
then we will talk about it...
and most importantly,
thank you
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
In Their Own Words:

“All I’ve ever learned from love is....”

So come, my friends, be not afraid.  We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made.  In love we disappear.  Tho’ all the maps of blood and flesh are posted on the door,  there’s no one who has told us yet what Boogie Street is for.                                     Leonard Cohen

All I've learned from love that it appears on its own timetable,
and, all I've learned from love is, it is the purpose. Harlon Rivers

“is crazy and this is infinite and ever so sobering wondrous possible"

It is a paradox of two people - in debit to one another though each may never realise;
and neither one of whom would ever consider recalling the debt. Gideon

A headlong charge into a vast unknown that promises fufillment of every lacy, perfumed dream, but may instead deliver wrenching wounds that only another love can heal. Lori Jones McCaffery

every fantastic mistake I ever really made! Drunk in shallow bar light with a woman of my wicked dreams who laughed as loud as me at our shared ****** jokes we both got. We loved for awhile and then wandered and still loved forever as we found other dim bars with more wicked dreams.                                        gray dot (unknown)

All I have learned from love is to give more than one receives unconditionally.                                                ­K Balachandran

"love is the great equalizer: ignoring age, race, education, wealth, religion, disability, and sanity... simultaneously capable of lifting all to the highest highs and dragging all into the deepest depths. In love there is no pride or ego." forgotten

that just beyond is a hidden trail, where a magical river of the purest water flows free. Here and only here, my heart can be revived, and my mind is stilled by the silence I find. Love’s call is gentle. Joey

“that love is as love does.”

All I ever learned from love is the meaning of the word, "unconditional!”.           SE Reimer

Sometimes we fall in love, and sometimes love falls on us.
Stephen E. Yocum

it is gentle rage, come like sun through clouds, to feed parched word to set life a tingle, the first smile of a golden
boy's day.  The last caress before sleep, the letting go of a dying
friends hand and the gathering together of companions for food
and laughter, love comes in many guises, has many faces and is
lifeblood to the soul hiding within.                   betterdays

where the beginnings end and the ends begin.    Elizabeth J.

The burial of fear and all we’ve ever known In hope for a new flourishment.    Dante Rocio

that life flows in abundance of peace, harmony and balance when I
surrender to live in love.                                                            ­    Cné

that love assuages hurt and heals the rings with melody
and dances to the heavens.  It’s the divine giving over of body and mind;  it's mystic transcendence an overwhelming feeling of pure ecstasy.                                                         ­                              patty m

that love is a dunghill, and I'm a crow that stands on it and caws.
                                                           ­                           Thomas W Case

Acceptance.  Acceptance of myself and of the ones I love.
                                                           ­                                    Kelly Rose

It is easier to give love than to accept it.         Walter W Hoelbling

was what I learned from her...Love is above, beyond what we all wish, we had to touch the sun, the moon, the stars; everything we have.                                                                            Temporal Fugue

that it is unique; it makes the softest body, hard, and softens the hardest heart.                                                           ­     poetontheroof

Our hearts tied but I don't know how.                       Anonymous

Love has the ability to surpass life. Even though you are gone I still can’t stop loving you. “Love leaves more behind than death ever takes away. “ -unknown.                                        Love Storytelling

to never go searching for it. That's it, I guess.                      Aparna

has been gleamed through the sacrifice and service of a few extraordinary souls.  For true love is borne of sacrifice, and
it compels us to serve.  Without those elements, it cannot exist.
                                                                 J Klein and Sons Pen Parish

it requires curiosity to truly uncover; it is an emotion
that makes us uniquely human.                                        Angelique

that sometimes it hurts and sometimes it thrills, but
love that kills your pain is always worth the dying for.                 r

it is a gift from God, most precious and not to be abused or taken
for granted.                                                         ­ South by Southwest

how to hurt.                                                           Andrew Crawford

is that, it comes like jolts, it makes, or breaks a future;
it hangs around, no matter what, if it's meant to be...yours...
all i've learned from love made me a tree, with fruits
with a blend of sour and honeyed truths, it is heaven...
when bared, shared... reciprocated.                            Sally A Bayan

that it is hard and it hurts but we cannot live without it... there is no storybook endings. You take the good and bad and make it what you need.                                                            ­                     Melissa S.

The burial of fear and all we’ve ever known
In hope for a new flourishment. Dante Rocio

that I can’t, won’t, don’t want to ever live life without Love! ♥️ Feeling Love Sparks everyday forever and always ♥️ Loving Love Glass Slipper Girl

to accept it when it is given, to share it when it is felt, to cherish it because it is a gift and that whether it hurts or it heals, it is far better to have experienced it than to not have.                                  BLT

that love is...forever studied; gravity, it is akin to the sense of gravity;
it can never be explained, felt, or experienced, but never grasped in ones hand.                                                            ­              wordvango

that if you have it, you should give it.                                  amanda

how to turn up my face and surrender to the rain.  
                                                         ­             Clementine Valerie Black

that God is love expressed by Jesus, and I'm my best when I imitate Christ.   Christos Victor

the most over analyzed, overwrought word that remains after thousands of years, completely
inexplicable.                                                   ­             onlylovepoetry                  

it's a strength and weakness, ecstasy and agony, a belief and fear (of losing), emotional contradictions yet so intrinsically precious to be worth living and dying for.                          Pradip Chattopadhyay

the emptiness of smothering empathy for all that lives, feels and needs.  It's to bear eternal suffering...                                   Traveler

red.                                                                                                     Fog

to give, far outweighs the take.                                        Mike Hauser

that it lifts open our minds' eyes, overturns our fears in this vast expanse of the unknown - it etherally reveals our connection

how deep is my ignorance.                                              Joel M Frye

that love has nothing to do with ***. It has everything to do with sick kids at 3am and holding back your friends hair when she pukes in the gutter crying over some ******* who just dumped her. It's selfless.
                                                       ­                                                 Acme

noth­ing compared to what I've learned from pain.                 v V v

the things I’ve never learned.                                               M-E

that is the cancer and the cure; the detour and the straight line; proof of reincarnation and death everlasting; the intersection where extreme selflessness and selfishness meet, becoming indistinguishable; it’s shapeless, nearly invisible, and yet known to everyone; a verb, a noun, a conjunction between and a preposition to a beginning and a dead end.
                                                            ­                               Nat Lipstadt

thanks to all the participants, so far...(see the note below)
This is an open, living poem; anyone should feel free to message me to add, amend, or delete; just message me directly; won’t modify if you just comment.

one more thing don’t ask me to add an old poem that is only tangentially related: write a max of two or  three sentences that
clearly and directly responds to the title...

format is.deliberately sloppy, just like the subject    

and the original version (2017)
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
“Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with goodness. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.”
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
~for the wild child, daughter, wife, mother~

I am drifting into the tender part of the night, when deceit is pointless, and I argue with conviction within myself that in our lives that it will never be too late, but I know I contradict my prior musing...somewhere between the fact that time is a wasting commodity, precocious and precious, lives this idea within, that there is nothing that cannot be navigated, recompensed,  even forgiven...

the argument goes on, the tide of battle switching back and forth, and for now I must be satisfied with the meagerness of I can’t give up, be at ease by acknowledging defeat, not just yet, and the fast arrival of a clean slate is a chance, a draw, a ticket to ride, and,


is a wonderful idea, full of compromise, out and in, extra effort, and tomorrow I may yet teach one of us, even myself, by reaching inside of what churns within, and then have the perfect words you require, for a desperate need, and a comforting that comes forth easily
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020

for if not to mystify and to demystify,
why do we write, opine large, secretly confessing,
what is know to all soto voce in the chamber of secrets,
that lies between the brains four chambered ventricles,
that leads to a Grand Canal through which flow riddles,
all these thoughts, yours, mine, and overlapping crazy

solitary, they merge within the river of combination,
then known to all, colloquially named Ours, then too,
answers arrive in the scrivening, when each plain to see,
once the riddle posed, the answer is freed to exposure,
like veins blue to red, when oxygenated,all our mysteries,

becoming all colors, untied, there is but one color, reddened blood
Jul 2020 · 457
woman says come worship me
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
~for Woody’s pilgrimage, his exodus to Egypt~

I’m the mother of your maidenhead.
I’m the widow engorged in Ganges flames,
seeded, raised, in the coal pit born we were,
first mined, sent cross country by red rusted freight
car to the birth sac where we came~conceived.

simple, your beginning, is our end, they could
not never cut this cord tween us with an instrument
of hardened steel, cause it was god-birthed in a
steel furnace in the three river city, where we were
molten formed, fired woman, fired man, too-blackened.

you say come worship me, but I cannot, we are too
samed; the flesh of metal, the black blood of a mountain
seam, if we were to worship in our own imagery,
a sin, of ten commandment status, not a trifling,
imagine, a golden calf, an idol of our own making,
what glorious fury’d consequential if I bent knee to
love an undulating woman, a violation of volition,
between us, there can be never, the tangential of free will.

11:18pm Sat Jul 11
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
When Leonard Cohen Met Charlie Daniels, The Devil Went Down to Georgia

The Devil Went Down to Georgia ¥

Charlie Daniels, the country music legend who died July 6, 2020, was part of the 1970 Leonard Cohen tour. (see notes)
This one is a gift to a recovering addict and a poet, for whom that peculiar, par-articulate, addictive passion, thank the Lord, got no cure.


two country boys, ok, so different countries, but both intimately
a-cquainted with the Devil, his song & music-making-copious
a-bilities, his other trois backup ***-sin-tants, The Sin Sisters,
a/k/a wine and women and sweet poetry...

now the Devil mostly gets his due, you pay his price twice, in daily
wear ‘n tear on body and soul, always trying to keep one step ahead,
taking his best, sometimes leaving the rest, but ha! not always cause sometimes a...

bargain needs keeping, gotta keep your word honest, still if you can find a wile e coyote-wriggle-way to be a tad faster, keep them ten  fingers crisscrossed, you might steal a tune or three, before you chanter la finale, sing/pay the last installment...

now these boys were multilingual, one spoke french, the other, southern, but two-gether, they could harmonize the Lord’s Prayer on a banjo, fiddle and a guitar, in une langue ancienne#, formerly spoke in those United States and Canada, now only in the heavens above...

cannot truthful say I ever saw them play on the same stage, no matter,
cause the parallels are clear as a night sky starry moon, the stories they told, in lyrical verse, different cuzins, slightly incestuous, and
infectious too, cause you catch yourself singing redneck in a foreign
language and you’re liking the way women looking at the big star on
a tour bus...

now the devil wanted these bad boys real bad in his pantheon, went
down to Georgia and back up to Montréal au paradis, said to them “no more diddling, just fiddling and singing, time to make that finale payment, principal and interest, come to collect my country boys  and all what they got left...alors allons en enfer mes bébés..”##

now the sounds they made was just too good, the Lord heard it, it was like Picasso painting the sky, and came to collect Charlie yesterday, (07/06/20), Leonard had come up earlier, and if you need to learn how this story ends, well, there’s a poem listed down below avec tous les détails.

but as my straight laced pappy, use to say in his German accented english, in his morning suit, striped pants and Homburg hat, all’s well that don’t end in hell

or something like that anyway.
# in an ancient tongue
## ok then let’s go to hell, my babies

“He [Leonard Cohen] spoke in poetic ways and was able to communicate with people who had never lived in that world, like myself, and had never been exposed to that side of things…I saw another whole side of music that I had never seen, and I had so much respect for Leonard’s creativity, unique thoughts, the way his mind works. I learned a lot. You know what we do is the sum total of what we’ve done, actually. I was glad to be exposed to that feel, to that thing.”.  Charlie Daniels

^Also see:

¥ “ The Devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin' for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind and he was willing to make a deal
When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.
And the Devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said, "Boy, let me tell you what."

"I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player, too.
And if you'd care to take a dare I'll make a bet with you.
Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the Devil his due.
I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul 'cause I think I'm better than you."

The boy said, "My name's Johnny, and it might be a sin,
But I'll take your bet; you're gonna regret 'cause I'm the best there's ever been."
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
the remains of the day, of lost chances, opportunities gone astray
and now irretrievably demised, a quiet day, of writing, thinking,
letting emotional waters fall over me, draining away the oils of mischance and in the few minutes before the morrow commences, the eyes tear, and the heart too, for there is so much pain and confusion that cannot be done away...and there are needs feels lost by a wayside, at a remote railway station, awaiting a once-a-day train, that is always late...

Accused of being generous, and my guilt at this false accusation, makes me tremble, for what I wish for all of you, is the small and the greatest, both be satisfied, but not by taking, but by poor clarity pains me, but I compose not knowing the secret chords required to please...but my thoughts are of you, alone, solely, my concerns have fallen to a siding. We are all so far from each other in physical distancing, yet so oft, when you write in poem, in message, in shotgun short comments, you evoke my depths, provoke my raw, unprotected, unmasked emotions to rise up from gorge and abyss...hear your cries, the spoken and the ones between the lines, well hid in the spaces between the words, where the kernels and the residuals of the important things exist.

it is almost 11:59pm, July 8th. it is already tomorrow for many of  you who race ahead of time’s relentless measuring, and for some the evening young, you puzzled at this nearly midnight missive, will wonder what has.overcome me.

pure unadulterated emotional fluids, many flavored, washing away the veneers, the coverings, and wanting to fix things that my intelligence says you cannot, yet the urgency of my desire is so great, that I can barely swallow.

perilous close to revelatory disclosures, I will cease here, seize here, what cannot be spoken of, and to think upon the notion of a successful life, it’s constitution, composition and break off pieces of me, that I can give away to you freely to patch the holes, mend the readings, via the ether of skin comforting even if imaginary.

I am drifting into the tender part of the night, when deceit is pointless, and I argue with conviction with myself that in our lives that it will never be too late, but I know I contradict my prior musing...somewhere between the fact that time is a wasting commodity, precocious and precious, lives this idea within, that there is nothing that cannot be navigated, recompensed, even forgiven...the argument goes on, the tide of battle switching back and forth, and for now I must be satisfied with the meagerness of I can’t give up, be at ease by acknowledging defeat, not just yet, and the fast arrival of a clean slate is a chance, a draw, a ticket to ride, and, reaching is a wonderful idea, full of compromise, extra effort, and tomorrow I may yet reach one of us, by reaching inside of what churns within, and have the perfect words you require, desperate need, come forth easily...
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
“of late, I have been falling in and out of love with words.” (Pradip)

Dear Pradip,

yeah had them symptoms too, pizza and penicillin, lost my sense of taste and smell, but neither helped, guessing gets tougher, when older, all those associated, assorted, amazing never ending, abracadabra, baptismal-bathing-broadening, buttered-up jobs & responsibilities when your suddenly taller by a new generational addition to the family tree, which means much more concerning, burning worrying words, you dare not say aloud, cause Shiva is too interested, and has too many arms, in interfering with your many small pieces of composure in pandemic days.

Sorry, buddy got no solution, maybe rubbing alcohol, maybe hard liquor, prayers on knees to a 57 variety of deities, try a different temple, start the week on a Wednesday, learn to rhumba, practice meditation way out loud, be annoyingly concerned bout everybody else, offer to do all the kids homework, buy the wife a new dress so you can have an argument regarding wasting money, so you can kiss and make up, heck and ****, you could even write crazy words in any order your personal dictionary commands, reorganizing them in reverse order, and then slapdash them together and call it stew,

don’t matter as long as you got the jaw jawing, the eyes winking, the people looking at you like you gone cuckoo mad, tell your children how much you love them in the middle of day, wave to a neighbor across the street, the gossipy one who always spying on you, sing some cowboy ***-on-little-doggie lullabies, interspersing a Yellow Submarine, croon A Long and Winding Road, and Do Not Forget to include Let It Be, preach with a whang damnastic fever to the street peddlers, then ask for a better price, by now your not-so-well repute will precede you, everyone be offering a cool drink, or hot tea, fresh paneer, really big discounts, the most comfy chair, asking what else ya need, tell ‘em a pen and some paper, please, and everyone will be relieved! cause you back to merely, plain, ordinary crazy, simply composing that wonderful poetry you love to
w r i t e
and everything is
r i g h t
in the world.

other than that, got no consoling words. Sorry.


The Natster
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