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“think on it, to be called child once more, how glorious this unknown!”^

<for Terry C.>

I dreamt on it, awoke refreshing my perspective,
as if the chance, the wish, was already granted,
rose from the bed, fully rested, a musical tutorial
of loving delighting lifting me up and once again I,
believed, no, more, re-conceived, reconciled, mind,
body, slated-clean, by my parents was I embraced,
forever protected, and the joy of simplicity of a future
unspent lay ahead, glorying in the beauteous unknown
she don’t read my poetry no more

not that I blame her, she’s in the majority,
moreover, she’s got ESP womanly seniority,
sensing what I ain’t saying, before I’ve even
had a chance to think it through ain’t it clear

these double negations,
for the rest of you,
reflecting my slip slidin' away,
a slowing indirection of virulent
side effects spiraling sideways

everyone’s shouting
the end is yay! nearing,
but the  endings risk is trebling,
meaning meanings be altering,
all the same, ain’t exactly unclear

she asks me where I’m going,
to the pharmacy replied, perversely,
feeling unlucky, a sure sign it’s high time
to buy a lottery ticket. given my inversity

****, she says, you went to university,
you know the odds are just plain stupidity,
not in my favor, my reply, meaning exactly,
ain’t it clear, everything and nothing to fear
~for V~

time for a quickie?

her ever inquiring, always so refined, mind, ascheming.

sure, we respondez, after all, like I’m America’s Got Talent,
scratching out a song and dance number poem shouldn’t
prove to be too difficult, ain’t even 11 o’clock, just near enough

how ‘bout some pigs perambulating, or, some humans juggling
other humans so rapido that the eyes are auto fast forwarding,
magic tricks that I swear I saw on another show, years ago,
but just to keep up with the high jinks and the...

then, I fell asleep.
awoke to find this poem pinned to my chest.

“not your best, but lest,  
you think, not good enough,
don’t get yourself all depressed,
I’m here to inform you,
there are a few cherries^
gone into hiding, under the bed
on my side.

bet you can make them magically disappear!”
an unrequited, unrequested poem title that nonetheless,
(a fav. word, so economical) it’s a burr, an *** splinter,
festering, pestering, and it’s just easier to write it, cause
triple antibacterial ointment never cured a finger gone poem-

had two beers for breakfast, not my usual,
don’t care if you’re a Baptist or a Hassidic Jew,
I’m an ecumenical sorta guy, be informed that,
one was a long necked Corona (light), the other
a Pabst Blue Ribbon, which means I’m a ******* anti-Trump

ain’t yet nine o’click, already had two fights with
my woman, is toastier a word? I took the negativity
position, but my heart wasn’t in it, cause I know me
words, was feeling muy ornery combative, a morning existential

the other was too infuriating, she asked for ten cherries,
after checking the calories per, which I knew and told her,
but she’s gotta check hit herself, so I brought a bowl uncounted,
annoyed, she anti-overage, threw the extras rudely on bed, she’s a

that I listen to music pretty much nonstop, even in my sleep,
and my fav. lyric of the late John Prine is from Montgomery & goes:
”But how the hell can a person, Go on to work in the mornin'
To come home in the evenin', And have nothing to say”


The German^^ dishwasher maschine summoned me near round
2 AM, TO INFORM ME  (vich is how de Choiman appliances speak)
without apology, that it was done with its multiplicity of cycles,
needy for emptying bowels forthwith, because that’s the way it is,
and wasn’t I gonna get up anyway, there are poets in Manila and Mumbai, waiting to speak their minds, re burning issues of life and pentameter, ah, them wisdom and wonderful people, all answer

cause I’m an economist by habit, drink cups of coffee in trinity clips,
cause it’s efficiently economical, one less trip to the kitchen, and
anyone  who doesn’t drink at least three simultaneously, cannot be
redeemed by the verifiable angels in charge of saving coffee-colored

my tempo is ironic, write poems too long for you attention deficit
disaffected teenagers, but haven’t read a book in years, cause
reading a poem is all I can manage nowadays, cause I’m a ****
attention deficit diseased old man, justifiable, when you got few days

yes, I could go on, and on and on, but I hear your skin crawling and
sighs and moaning, enough already, while I don’t really care cause
every word I ever writ is a South Sea Pearl of something excellent,
truth is God has his ******* foot on my neck, whining way too loudly, “Jeez, enough” echoing your guttural cultural groaning, youse

so I’m quitting here and letting y’all know, that I authored
the lyrics to American Pie, the longest song ever to be No.1,
the Don stole them, but as you can plainly see, it’s my style,^ when
we were drinking whisky and rye and told him it was copyrighted,
he laughed & said, I’m gonna copy them right down, ain’t that the kind of truthful ******* that drunk writers say because they think they are

that’s about it for now, gotta do the breakfast dishes, so
Auf Wiedersehen, meine guten Männer und Frauen!

(yeah, yeah, learning German from Herr Bosch, the dish washer-man)
down by the levee? nah, Levy!

Tue, 26 May 2020 = 3rd of Sivan, 5780

Late afternoon, tween twilight but before the dusk
in time for afternoon prayers, ******* followed by
the evening service, The Name reached out unto me
to touch my face, wake me from a lifelong slowing slumber.

My man! My good man, I’ve been numbering those days,
you will have no disagreement that you’re quite the closer,
close by, the chapter finale of our story, your living, a well
thumbed novella, enjoyed by many, and a favorite o’mine.

Do not restless rustle, no busing bustle, the Set Table^ cleared,
tabulations done, the sums and dividend distributed, in sync,
your words well distributed, remainders to be dearly shared, saved,
showings of great love, valleys of feeling, these your humble attire.

Look how easy the (our) words come, the fluids of a man for which
we have been long patient be awaiting, the company all in readiness,
for confession and days of permanent new creation, fast beginnings,
think on it, to be called child once more, how glorious this unknown!

Dimensions recorded, measurements tailor-taken, silk tuxedo deep bleu,
luxe, a hint of violet, here-presented, patent, the leather for blue suede
winged dancing shoes no airport dare ask you remove, before they beg you, say, save grace, just once, pronounce The Name, the one of Seventy!

To walk, talk, rhyme and theorize, to forget and memorize, refreshing,
knowing nothing lasts, except things that last forever, last never,
yet decisions need completion, choices, ordering songs you’ve loved best, replete all sorrowed pains, uplifting prayers, hallelujah hymns, last rites..

You, a world to us, a microcosm of a triathlon life, juggling the many, last of a lineage who could^^ pray, making rain, reading poetry to angels, giving comforting absolution for making storms, plagues, tidal waves, volcanoes, concentration camps, death marches, stillborn children, incurable sadness.

Quick when the curtain calls, listen close for the cue, toe the mark,
take position, hands upward joined, eyes down, ahead are fearless words,
a soliloquy lasting hundreds of years, balances aligned, only now you  needed, to make mercy allocations, putting paid, all my periods in places, properly positioned, now comes evening song.

then to commence the writing of only love poetry forevermore.

Sabbath May 23
woke from a half-nap, while listening to music heard a certain song, then wrote in a single sitting of thirty minutes

^ Shulchan Aruch
Nat Lipstadt May 17
Shiv Pratap Pal  writes me:

“Every elder must be respected even if he is elder by a single day. This is tradition. Please let me follow the same. A poet never gets tired and poetry never dies.”


Oh! this leaves me gasping for so many reasons needing enumeration.

The world reminds me daily by email and text, television commercial,
I am a privileged one, by age and right, among the most vulnerable,
so stay, baby, stay, inside your apartment and your mind where the
only virus that can come, is the one you’ve planted and tended all your whole life long.

Oft have I writ about being closer to the end, and this, untroubling,
a relief of sorts in what I fear is a new Dark Age that will arrive,
that will make writing poetry, sadly, an unlikely survival skill,
so I rite furious and furiously to give the best, the rest, of me, away.

Few are the societies that do not venerate to some degree, the elderly,
as if living long bestowed wisdom, in addition to an irritable crankiness,
(why the Inuit Indians put their elderly on an ice floe to die)
neither, both, of the “ain’t necessarily so” conditionals as wisdom deevolves and crankiness is a perpetual, a perpetual annoyance.

Do I deserve respect?

This haunts, for by right, we all believe it is
a conditional that must be earned, and not acquired by a general,
genetic lottery. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
I do not, and a man who announces,
“I am deserving of same”
by saying this, clearly is and was not, or ever will be.

A single day!

What an amazement!

This relativity theorem, this luck of the draw, can’t argue with it, because it is tradition, somethingthat I’m well acquainted, because when I suffered on Saturdays, as an Orthodox Jewish  Child, who wanted to worship with the brothers at the Riverside Drive basketball courts, was dragged to a synagogue where he joked, they could of just inserted the video tape of the prior week, prior year, thousands of prior centuries, a previous millennium, who’d notice?

Who deserves respect?

The teacher, the one who gives it instant unflinchingly,
he who accepts a task from a stranger to translate
his words to a language he knows not even the alphabet,
indeed, a tribute to another, and executes it so well, but best! best!
no questions asked.

Who deserves respect?

One who respects tradition,
giving respect unquenchingly,
for the things that we cannot see,
only observe, come only in a size of limitless,
come unasked, freely given, even happily, and this is
why, for all of the reasons herein listed above, I give all respect to
a fellow poet, and pledge to arm embrace before tradition’s always untimely messenger says to me अब और नहीं!  (no more!)

                                       Shiv Pratap Pal
Nat Lipstadt May 17
if you don’t know by now,
going to early mass is not my thing,
as I am one of those peeps of the tribe
that for your sins, died and then, again, some more

‘bout 6:00am, exchanging messages with
my fellow Indians (nooo, I’m not Indian) poets
on mundane subjects like tradition, grandchildren,
nagging wives, profits, revenues and earnings, expenses
(of that, more later)

now that we are living on the isle-no-elation,
the distractions are numerous though varied,
so I find myself unloading the dishwasher,
chopping, peeling, red, yellow peppers, cucumbers

then to a puzzle I am sent, how to fit in two
big cases of water into a Manhattan-sized
closet which shall we say, with largesse, isn’t
large-esse, comes pre-crammed from urban foraging

which means it’s coffee prep time so more
cleansing of yet another device, which happily
annoys by providing step by step, non-negotiable demands,
what me, just another human pretense machine, must execute

ménage a trois, three poems are pre-forming in
a mind that says concentrate, please don’t slice a fingertip,
but if you must, that romanesque nose, certainly
could use a trimming, if you are so energized & inclined

and it’s Sundae morning and I deliver the coffee,
making the route I’ve been plying for many morn,
this one is black, this one is oat milk, extra hot,
this one is awake, cause she’s giggling at **** emojis

oh yes indeed, a liturgical motet, a prayer to a lord,
I’ve never seen, but who insists on interrupting me,
when the mood is upon him, as if we humans were his own
coffee machine toys, don’t forget to make him herbal tea

and you say this is not a poem, and you whine,
overly long, and I laugh and say please, please,
don’t read it, I’ve got plenty others that garnered
accolades of multiple thousands and love this one better

feeling so holy, feeling so hollywood, my tasks nearly
completed, return to bed, when the nagging begins,
what have I forgotten, ****, my own coffee hides,
in the microwave and by now needs a reheating twice

and while I must off to write of Indian traditions,^
the gains and losses of grandchildren, grandmothers,
a new debate rages, how shall I end this morning-prayer,
I offer myself
three choices,
in a language I speak in the original,
Hallelujah, Amen, and Selah.

Manhattan Island
May 17
Nat Lipstadt May 16
man says, this life, for what, a thousand dry
holes drilled, wildcatting, a win-loss record,
that didn’t approach, come close, to breakeven,
not even an asterisk in the records kept

man says, this body, its rate of desolations
increasing, the goal line distance secretions,
decreasing, this broken runner, tackled from behind
by the past, as his future caught up with him

man says, goals, deadlines, hamstring him,
due dates, an invitation to a criminal activity,
rub, nobody wants to take it down, his record,
left behind, when they shut Rikers Island

man says, always poor at maths, a loser of words,
his parents, his children, all time despairing of him,
called the AAA to come, tow him away, but,
all the junkyards refused him entry

man says, what separates ought and nought,
a little letter, just an n, that screaming thought,
a little letter, insufficient to bridge a poem too far,
man digresses, the past is ever present, in every word

writ and forgot.
Nat Lipstadt May 12
”And everyone has a heart and it’s calling for something
And we are all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are
Horses are just horses and their manes aren’t full of fire
And the fields are just fields and there ain’t no Lord
And everyone is hidden and everyone is cruel”


some of us got a heart, that tries with us to reason,
some of us got a mind, that doubles as a hearse,
taking away, e-thots that were dead on arrival,
electrified by their unacceptable eclectic nature

some of us got word games to pass the day, doublespeak,
some of us illustrate, words that try to litter the literate,
seed the atmosphere, make it rain, confuse our ****** tear railroad tracks,  
those without final terminus, mixing them in, as a subterfuge

reality *****, even bites, of that the philosophers have no doubt,
some say they died for us, never having asked permission,
some say they saved us from ourselves, claiming cursed credit
that historians will purposely ignore, non-truths worthless

what is, is what I got to write down, to remember, to make
my Case for saving grace, is my only purpose, to make
my Case that a woman needs loving, giving her & man the
only Trip-Tik road to living, & children, nothing words, liquor can do

May 12th, eyes opened of their own accord, made a treaty with
them thoughts and prayers hanging round, needy for a go to place,
cause they well aware, their welcome ain’t, so instead wrote these
words purposed to give me reasons to rise and try to make sense,

a Case, that conversations tween my five senses that can be enCased,
that anything I got saying may be worth hearing to one or two, hell,
may get lucky and reach ten, socially distant max, forgetting fools,
now acquainted with my Case, your Case, calling for something

that makes real OK, seeing things as they are, ****, even passable^

Tue May 12
jes making my Case
^ or  ...making even, this ****, passable.
May 11 · 256
the health (MIND|BODY)
Nat Lipstadt May 11
the health (MIND|BODY)

the body is atrophying,
rising from the bed is an
exercise in handholds,
and wall grabbing, no falling failure

my whispers in the bed
of imminent death go
unheard as somewhat
desired, but not entirely, unsure, unsure

the blood don’t circulate
fast enough, streams slow
to sad songs Pandora has
accumulated and plays on, and on, and on


mind run by rivulets, fear floes,
courage-drowned, easy stuff
impossible, hard, beyond pale,
drowning in self-disgust and, hopeless

every deadline passes, dying,
easygoing no screaming, the
minimal, hard, beyond the pale,
the poetry is untraceable, untranslatable

the easy out is steps away,
illusions are illusory, delusions,
are stories you tell for amusement,
dreams are practice runs, for the long run

the poem words die on the vine,
scorned silence, best is past,
appropriate ignominy ****** iced,
so it goes, no minyan for the funeral, no ten
Nat Lipstadt May 7
It’s ‪7:00pm‬, You Feeling My NY City?

a nighttime crescendo, daily grows stronger for longer,
a major miracle for a city where blasé arrivée so fast in
a New York City Minute, uncool, you’re done, see ya,
starring in your-***-banging-solo-reality-show

but this loving polyglot *** clanging, more akin to being in...A Chorus Line?
no stopping a diurnal ritual, soon to be the longest running musical,
a clap & dance prayer ‪@ 7:00PM‬ sharp, a very civilized NY hour,
quarantine is French for sleeping-in, we vive les temps viral!

‪this evening service, no choral motet, no anthem rock,‬ nope,
just a single note, a cheer, a celebratory count, taking stock,
we noise makers beat back death once again, we’re alive,
kickin’ up heels to a dance guv-anointed as NY tough

that bell ringing noise is us saying, see here, we are all heroes,
stir crazy got nothing on us, it’s a bust, no showing rust, aging,
in a city that never sleeps, we may have changed but temporarily,
an unnatural reflective silence prevailing, still take a moment to say:

our city’s style, no way Jose, this noise is a surround sound blessing,
it’s a street sign, “stick around,” here is our home, not going down,
we are troops, seasoned by history, how to survive, sheltering live,
underneath our huge racket, we quiet whisper, raucously shout

staycationing here, my homies


Nat Lipstadt May 6
~for her, one more time~


she tosses this dagger that instant pierces,
non-stop, the stabbing commencing unceasingly,
the nerve, what am I, plastic, disinfected, the spring
has come to where I live, or so I am told, but the
murderous questioning extracts it, leaving a **** spot

oh god who doesn’t answer me anymore,
offer me comfort, not mere insouciance,
provide a clue, if not an answer, and tell her
to stop asking this poseur, who freely admits
that every day he is fast moving closer to over

cause that the odds the punters provide

and in the city, in my urban garden,
the pigeons, the crows, the sparrows and starlings,
only offer cooing, cawing, and
a  harsh, mocking, NYC accented cackling,
never a birdsong

we will out live you-man,  
with your batty viruses,
but they know better
than to ask,
what do you live by,
when all around me is
early blooming by decay masked,
that this spring brought too early quick,
while we were locked inside
our very own jails....

Nat Lipstadt May 4
~for the mothers, and for her~


this utterance emits itself, without poetic supervision,
like so many of its predecessors, a passing remark
transmogrifies to an exercise of praise, of humility, love

this is for her, of the nameless arms of forces that fasten
safety pins to our clothes, reminder to us that we are
loved and to come home safely so she, the little ship may rest easy

she, a homing boat, in a small slip resting, preferring
no changeover  to a mighty and powerful dreadnought sent to do
a search & rescue mission for young ones, babes who lose their way

but we know the truth, the heart of the matter, this one, writ,
for her and her and her and her and you, the countless ones,
mighty armada of the mothers, God’s flesh and blood, a steeled navy

they suffer whatever it takes, but never defeat, for they know,
the heart engine fires never cease, never forget, indeed the word
never not in their lexicon, only forever and forevermore


Mon May 4
in anno autem coronavirus plaga/ in the first year of the plague
from the heart of the epicenter / ex corde in epicenter
May 3 · 460
The Ordinary Exquisite
Nat Lipstadt May 3
~for the fathers~


An ordinary Sunday, with blue sky accoutrements.
They say, mostly sunny, with a high temperature of 75 Fahrenheit.
The children in the ever-shrinking bed shout Yay! Gesundheit!
when they hear me say Fahrenheit, ensues laughter belly originaheit!

The mother sleeps drowsily through the morning event planning,
content that as Mother’s day nears, she’ll wait for breakfast in bed,
but until then let’s all pretend she is sleeping late with three kids
decorating the plateau where their notional was celebrated+conceived.

The father reviews the day which has been quite full, even though
not yet Nine O’clock has to make an appearance. Last nights dishes
washed and shelved, breakfast made, puppy fed, hard boiled eggs peeled, muffins with Frenchified pear mermelade have magical disappeared!

His coffee needs a rehearsal reheating, but never mind, lukewarm will
be just fine, for the warmth of an ordinary exquisite Sunday suffuses
his chest, and the breathing heat of a mess of bodies roiling and rolling
is so more than sufficient, he whispers ‘thank you’ to no one in particular.

Sun May 3
Nat Lipstadt Apr 29
~one more, for Pradip~

you write me a simple irony
of steely truth

love to know how you do that thing you do...

every time you notate upon a scribble I discard,
you manage to extract the kernel, the original seeded sin,
and in a single sentence, summarize so much better
than all my itinerant beggar-thy-peer essaying.

and it’s 3:49am here in the epicenter and
335 anonymous-to-me died yesterday,
they died unmedaled,
(does that include the ER doc who committed suicide?)
a fact to be sadly celebrated and sadly commemorated
only in charts and graphic

but I distract myself.

for what needs saying is this:

my sense of what you wrote, modest old poet,
the title of this very poem
is best internally directed, attached,
as an appliqué yellow star, proudly worn, when sewn upon the chest
of the man who authored it...

4:03am Wed April 29
in the epicenter middle
^Pradip comments on

“ The most medalled men have no medals to show.”

another commission fulfilled,
but sleep still doesn’t come for in these pandemic days,
the notion of a time to rest
is a casualty too
Apr 28 · 227
a grown ass Hebrew man
Nat Lipstadt Apr 28
“but you Nat,
are a grown *** Hebrew man
so I shall not attempt 
to advise you to do otherwise.”

been notified, identified, blessed and cursed, alotta of different ways,
but late at night, arrives a new coronation forthright,
about my all grownup ageist stay-tus & my ancient birthright

and I’m-athinking that as compliments go, that’s quite a
right-on complementary to my actuality, so not bad, tho
all-I’d-add is maybe, old school fool too, & do appreciate

that this observation comes with added cherry on top,
I’m finally old enough to make it ok to make mistakes,
and a hardy thanks that the words hard and lard din’t appear

when mentioning my cheekiest feature...

10:28pm nyc
in downtown lockdown
Nat Lipstadt Apr 25
perfect summary, of pre-times, the ex-diurnal regularly raggedy,
lyric line, of lunar linear days, wave to it hi/bye crooked jaggedly

foretelling, of a first time, when world was self-imprisoned, wondering,   a sin of commission, an omission from a shut-up confession

guilty of laxity, no perspicacity, our fortune telling, loved our ignorance,
lazy greediness let sickness rule, everyone pointing no, not me, fooled

heroes dying in saving, rich in New Zealand hiding, while poets
march in punctilious timing, mourning lost freedom to be unafraid

all thinking, now disbelieving, we’ve lived so well so long,
but the fault-lines cracking showing all of us were emperors naked

from now on, we’ll live so long, not so well, suspecting each other,
the masks we will wear forevermore, dual purposed, protect and

hide our ashamed faces, gowned to disguise, finger pointing
not my fault, but the curve of life and death, proclaiming good bye:

so long so well, so long glass houses, so long, age of so swell, we too, sophisticates, above the fray, impervious innocence, so well we dead

gutless guiltless

^ ”And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right

We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

“American Tune” by Paul Simon
Sat April 25 twenty twenty
5:06am fifty thousand dead
Nat Lipstadt Apr 20
”What shall I give you, my lord, my lover?
The gift that breaks the heart in me:
I bid you awake at dawn and discover
I have gone my way and left you free.”

Sara Teasdale - 1884-1933. *The Gift


Oh Sara, freedom comes not by departure,
when you parted away with so many whole bits of me,
this “gift” more marked by what you’ve left,
freedom redefined by achey absence, holes & gaps,
the long division remainders that are missing,
the homeless jigsaw pieces of final solution

one hundred years I’ve worshipped at your altar
of writ words carved in my oaken skin,
this a freedom true & stolid,
your blond letters etched, poems silken, each an earring,
a cascading dangling chandelier pairing in my internals,
alas, you loved me last not as a lord~lover, but as

what conjuring wooled your eyes, woven disguise fooling
anyone, the dawn breaks, gone is my way by your away,
you are the gift that created my heart, you are the are,
this then return what
you are taken even in love wrapped,
return to me for
you are the gift that I cannot without live

Sara Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri to a wealthy family. As a young woman she traveled to Chicago and grew acquainted with Harriet Monroe and the literary circle around Poetry. Teasdale wrote seven books of poetry in her lifetime and received public admiration for her well-crafted lyrical poetry which centered on a woman’s changing perspectives on beauty, love, and death. Many of Teasdale’s poems chart developments in her own life, from her experiences as a sheltered young woman in St. Louis, to those as a successful yet increasingly uneasy writer in New York City, to a depressed and disillusioned person who would commit suicide in 1933. Although later critics and scholars have marginalized or excluded Teasdale from canons of early 20th century American verse, she was popular in her lifetime with both the public and critics. She won the first Columbia Poetry Prize in 1918, a prize that would later be renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 15
~for yocum~

the quality of commitment is not
restrained by quantity, nor by size,
impressed by nylon sheerest volume,
avoirdupois grams, Imperial weight,
steeled feathers, immeasurable, one ton
tips no true scale into red lined sincerity

the necessary respectful silences it requires,
the social nearness of geo-distancing,
all need prodigal acceptance,
like a long lost son, welcomed without questioning

we flawed, banded by many weaknesses, poorly confessed,
yet, no excuses tendered, to it, long ago surrendered,
but understand this, constancy is  not judged
by the frequency of our waves, but by the fervor of an

undertow of unwavering constancy

one that unceasingly rages, beneath superficial, steady waves,
and through the thickened, roughed old skin separating atmospheres,
I have grasped your heartened essence man,
found its depths, blessed it with words, you’ve never fathomed

surely you will growl at this, claiming obfuscation,
excuses not in your vocabulary, nor should it be,
though you require the steady reassurance of frequent brevity

so and yet, but and still,

I deny your claims, what you think, incorrect,
cause I know my heart, and well it kens what lays in thine,
what’s in yours is in mine, deep planted, a full nut grove flowering,
your complaints, mine as well, all part parceled, with grace accepted

for what is friendship but the path
through a parted seas, joining two borders,
the best part of that is the landed connectivity,
leading to where we two ends,
meat in laughing two-gether
old fools, younger-then-than-now,
committed, grumpy men.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 15
I’ll tell you. You can hear it on the map.

At the window, on the terraces,
clapping, yelling, cheering,
jiggling piggy banks, blowing toy horns,
banging pots and pans, even ringing
some gone-very-far-astray cowbells.

in their cars, honking horns,
at the dinner table, inside,
families with little kids cheering,
while supper super cools, no matter.

It is the moment of our everyday,
when we thank those whose who
risk their lives to save, so we may survive
to live to see our children’s children thrive.

the EMT’s, doctors, nurses, firemen,
the police, even the subway & bus drivers,
who take them to their jobs, and honor with
extra banging and unsilenced tears for

those who have passed in performance,
their unseen courage is marked on our eyes,
their extraordinary service to us is a forever
medaled upon our skin, in our lungs, it is
their air we breathe, freely...
our living keepsake of their duty.

Nat Lipstadt Apr 12
There are more poems inside me, but I intuit it is longer fair to impose on you by sharing more.  The deep seeded infection of my spirit waxes and wanes, and there is no antidote, and unlike the virus itself, there never will be, a future cure, an inexpensive replacement cost for the spirit spent, the time and futures spirited away.

Perhaps you recall I was one mile away from Ground Zero on September 11th.  Rarely do I walk there.

The coronavirus poetry inserts itself unaided, never asking permission, a like minded, but a contra-cousin to the coronavirus.

I live in New York City, the epicenter where now, close to 800 die daily.

Normally, about 25 bodies a week are interred on Hart island, mostly for people whose families can't afford a funeral, or who go unclaimed by relatives.  In recent days, though, burial operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day.^^

Each dies with no last words, no Kaddish recited, Last Rites, too late, no Ṣalāt al-Janāzah or Om Namo Narayanaya.  Each one, a numbered pine coffin, and each one will have at the very least, a poem of their own, so help me god.

Buried side by side in large trench, room plenty for new arrivals,
I hear the banging, protesting, resisting, this is not the way, I was promised, my ears left pounding!  Hillel, the great scholar in this dream, reminds that “the time is short, and the work is great.”          

He paraphrases, though, “the bodies many, the poems too few.”

There ain’t no anonymity in heaven, but I’ll reconfirm that with you later.
Apr 11 · 1.1k
the unholy hours
Nat Lipstadt Apr 11
a woman comes to me at 2:20am,
from across the world, asking if I am that cool jew,
occupant/son of the unholy hours when death and crucifixion,
them two old friends, are waving temptation with both hands,
never mentioning heaven, offering .99 cents of sanitized compliments,
which for a fifth rate amateur writer is revolutionary,
as close as you will ever come to global recognition

that woman says, yes! you’re that insufferable fool whose
suffering keeps us awake when he should be sleeping in the
half-death state, in the unholy hours, only reporting back
what he has seen across the borderline, in these times
when a thousand-die-a-day daily from suffering
that is uniquely human, a wracking medieval torture,
granting those viral messengers, slow extra pleasure

be nice to yourself for a change, write ‘bout what they want,
broken love and suicide, mundane pain, keep it plain, short!
easy stuff that sells records, making you not whisper words
never meant to be shared, the language of the unholy hours,
a dialect unique, that Google can’t quite rightly translate,
for not every vision is substitutable, suitable, rated G for babies, so,
keep it short like a miserable life that needs a prophecy to complete

48 hours ago thought I was infected, a glide path to rocky moon-smooth,
a landing where words unique, taken away, sealing your mouth with
tubed oxygen that inhibits thinking, air that might **** all of you, not just pain, but what makes you unique, your own 10 commandments
of speech, the old testament, the source book of insight into whatever
makes your lungs breath in rhythmic to heart beating, and dying
discordant disrupts the gene sequencing of inhaling and exhaling

the editors and the critics overlooking, that sit on both shoulders,
are already complaining, no más, no más, no más!
suture that incision, close your mouth, the unholy hours
need a special silence, Ruth’s lips that move but go unheard,
make no mistake, we want to listen in, voyeurs of visions
but we need you broken, we need a break, from confronting
the repeatedly delayed, but undeniable, the clockwork orange
second coming of the ungodly hours

new york city of lips
inspired and spired  completely and totally by a mid-of-night conversation with a Lady From Manila 😉
Nat Lipstadt Apr 10
making a living (writing poetry) in the time of Pandemic

listening to priest Leonard, while locked in my library-cell,
isolating my body to spare all the rest my very worst,
not forgetting that the heart that needs guarding,^
comes along to make sure I stay within in-sane lane

this poems allegorical title arrives like a hit pop song,
one you firm believing, of course, you know all the words,
no way, you don’t, like make a living writing poetry,
nah, you just make living, writing poetry

every lover found and lost, recorded, every turning point turned
into a lyric stylized, every incident memorized, timed ‘n rhymed,
so total recall even in a disorderly meter still unvarnished survives,
and that’s how my living became such well paid poetry

playing my own life backwards, praying for all life forward,
don’t intubate me if it comes to that, cause I’ll be needing vocals,
them chords vital to record my fellow Jerusalem-bound pilgrims who
appoint a poet-in-residence as recording secretary of the Covid ward,
to make their living, not their dying, poetry, in the time of Pandemic

April 10, Twenty-Twenty
Good Friday
Passover, 2nd day, 5780
^ ~ “Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life's consequences. **Proverbs 4:23)**~
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2
~for the men and women who fish to feed the soul of others~

this spring we will not walk Central Park.  The cherry blossoms and the new buds will go unobserved, and just like a
felled tree
in the forest, their birthing,  weeping, and silent dying, will go unheard.

but the roses come!

delivered by Whole Foods, red roses included with our food order,
for red roses are a vital staple, a gift of the globalized logistical feat that feeds we eight million prisoners, a red beacon to all currently

held in solitary confinement.

The men who bring them from the Netherlands, and the men from the Caribbean who deliver them, they by virus, as of yet, have not

been felled.

and I turn my mind’s eye to the mountains of heaven asking
“From Where will Come Our Salvation?”^

heaven answers with a wry awry, why Whole Foods, of course!

the cut roses pass in a few days, their heads slumped over, victims of their own virus, the inevitability + cyclicality of time.

but the petals, pose a question,
as they too are
felled and fall,
how is our death different from yours?

neither I, or the quietus of the empty streets,
even heaven,
have a ready reply;
for all of us are
felled, fallen,
by an onerous, hungry

^ Psalm 121:1
Nat Lipstadt Mar 27
~for Lori Jones McCaffery~

Lori Jones McCaffery commenting on
“a new time (poetry in the time of pandemic)”^
“Tender and brutal at the same time. Like the times.”*

                                                     ­          <>
your observation, a commission, opens an incision,
bleeding out a Noah flood vision:

                                                        ­        <>

when we begin, to compare and contrast the movable tender and the unstoppable brutal, the poetry must rise to equalize the pressure of unbalanced times, the tender, and the brutal in an uneasy peaceful coexistence, at the same time, same place
The Brutal                                              The Tender
—————                                             —————
life in the epicenter, the greatest,       in the darkened bedroom,
noisiest city, now landscape               she awakens, her hand quick
painting quiet,                                      comes to rest on my chest,
one lives/writes/eyesights thru       the quality of motion+volume
pink mask + a minimum six              of heartbeats, is it loud enough,
feet of separation,                                steady on, no need to dial 911!
a citified tableau of macro wave       she unaware that I can hear
forces in crashing collision, upon     her loud, tender exhalation
your skin’s cells                                   celebrating surviving day#?

newspaper images of Death’s            many volunteer, food delivery,
ministers applauding the newly        though I am asymptomatic
arrived mobile morgues, for 100        my request tenderly, firmly
died yesterday,                                      denied, for I meet too many
their brutal death rattles                      of the vulnerable criteria,
overwhelmed  the super-surround.   instead, offering food to me,
sound silences of                                   to deliver to me, to deliver me,
brutal emptiness of millions of           tenderly I say, no thanks,
sacrificial                                             ­    my tour of duty, almost done
                                all of us isolate lambs, in day jailed,
                                for we still breathing the maybe tainted,                
                                oxygen molecules of no safe surety      

a consummate perfection,                    the same, taming words I tell  
the holy quietus of                                 my son, young father,
those no longer breathing,                   tender me necessary tasks that
they now rest up above,                        require outside journeys, say I
hid in a white cumulus                         send me into the red hot areas
cloud cover, a noise suppressing         insert me into the front line,
sky coverlet, moving across a               militarized zones, he replies,
bright blue pure background,              ”you’re too old, part and
a train of funeral caissons,                     parcel of the most vulnerable,
brutal noisy hooves clacking             better-write-you tender-poems”

daily, hourly, the statistical alerts,         why so hard, to write tender
brief résumés delivered,                         so easy of the brutal, their
drumbeating, look now!                         curses so readily supplied,
are you up to date?                                  is tenderness short supplied?

catalog the debris, organized with brutal necessary efficacy, quantify, qualify the costs, include even the tender ineffable, countdown and graph the brutal calculus of the curve infection, and you, numbed, past the point of eyes capable of what once was tender droplet tearing

highlight the unknown faraway, the tender hope of a distant apex inflection, while plotting the second derivative, the rate of change of the rate of a brutal yet trending upward *****, the ascending all-inclusive stat, infected, the rate of change of decedents, downed, descending, giving in...gowned in hospital blue, for the funeral pyre

a city of lines, crosswalks, velvet ropes, unused, unemployed, social separators, no one about to need to separate, anymore, only the living and the dead, both staying indoors, so neither in attendance, at the empty funeral services, everybody is on the out list...

the now newly indistinguishable, the irresistible collision of two one-sides polarizing poles of no longer opposites, the tender and the brutal in a single embrace, but no, not kissing, embargoed, as we are stationed from above, far, high up on the watchtower observatory, observing the contrast dye that flies so fast on people denuded grand boulevards, down narrow hospital hallways, body-lined decorated, tales of millions of lives isolatized, and don’t forget the brutalizing discovery of scores of elderly, dying alone, withering in the dark, counted, lumped in to the category of statistically irrelevant, if dead, who cares, matters not now, in the afterworld no one asks how,
                        in a fashion both tenderly and brutal,
                        what was the actual cause?
Nat Lipstadt Mar 24
for her.


“you will laugh with surprise, as the anointing oil of relief
crowns your head, slicking down to caving cavities,
river running in crevices, that feed the buried places, replenishing the almost forgotten secret of letting go”^


the mind caches certain skills, once learned, never to return,
but tucked away, just in case, maybe, in the nightstand junk drawer of: “don’t need it now but, ****, you never know”

kept around in the lost and hopefully, not to be searched for & found,
a skill set painfully gained, a muscle memory, flabby from no use
but quick taut tightly, snapping back when ****, here we go again

I loved you in ways theoretical impossible till you enabled the possible

lost you for no good reason, in an act history labels beyond belief,
refuses to record, lest by memorializing it became/becomes re-realized,
this intolerable, would be past the ****** eroding barrier reef

the difference between junk and treasures is in which drawer placed,
the steps to letting go once learned, cannot be forgot, the cost,
way way too high, kept around, in a damnable place beyond grief

not to close, handy, findable but easily, avoided, but strange, when
living in the epicenter of the virus, you do some cataloguing, ridiculous,
this touchy-feely escapade, nothing ****-it to be gained, all-too-brief

head shake, took a pandemic to make you go back, rustling among
the ancient, old hand-writ poems, another keepsake kept for reasons
known and unknown, to be **** sure you once owned it, survival skills

In the Pandemic Days of Almost,
somethings will die, some go forgotten,
but the almost-forgetting-skill will survive,
a necessity of the how-to’s:

how to grieve,
how to believe,
how to leave
but live on,
all the **** necessaries
ready to be retrieved

Tuesday Mars 24 Twenty Twenty noon

In the Epicenter, New York City
Nat Lipstadt Mar 22
up at your regularly scheduled night sky patrol,
the colorful clock says 2:47 and
dark skies confirm which 2:47 it is,
for flecks of blackened peppery light exude at this hour,
a time period for former lovers, those old writes enfolded, enveloped,
hiding an active poem volcano spewing bare feet words in clouds of
kidskin soft velveteen cumulus, fleece-comforting slippers of poems

there are half started poems waiting, more than one, triplets in fact,
waiting to be born in the time of pandemic, thinking quietly,
will they emerge healthy and living and grow up to be adults
contributing to society, additives to the engine oil of human living

but the old familiar, dissatisfaction with quality control leaves them
unfinished, poet lurches from dead roses head hanging, a new blues,
disease as an economic and societal differentiation, that you hope,
believe, poems that in due course, all will emerge, for better or for worse,

poetry birthed in the time of pandemic

the city of new york, where I was birthed and will die, a city of
tall buildings, tall tales, short attention spans there is but one nighttime moving automobile observed in a city that never sleeps but now hides blanketed in weariness of trepidation of what are the

well known unknown possibilities in the time of pandemic

and you wonder in this new, different quietude if poems can be born
with birth defects and survive, breathing on a ventilator till they can
breathe by their own lungs, or were they perma-infected on a supermarket trip, a walk by the East River, a pizza delivery man, even

if inspired by a decade-lover, next, in bed, in the time of pandemic

waving to grandchildren in their second story window, you on the street, keeping them safe from you, a modern Auschwitz train station where they separated, the we-useless out, children and their parents, safe in a barbed wire atmosphere, a demarcated world, where some billion of brimming droplets of tears are stillborn

stillborn poems, or perhaps just poems-in-waiting, to still be

born in a time of pandemic

3:29am Sunday March 22, Twenty Twenty
New York City, the epicenter, crossroads
Nat Lipstadt Mar 20
“My reasons for writing had to be my own, divorced from expectation.
There would be no reward.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “We Were Eight Years in Power”


certain words, hers, previous unknown, or, better,
not yet your own,
acquire your devotion, all the my oh my of possessed tenses,
words ironic, for they are the shoving of contrary adhesive separators,
AC/DC currents running together, a single physical electric stabbing,
owning you, but gulfing away those customized,
prized illusions yet kept,
freeing finally by focusing on the single commandment that matters:

Expect nothing, but write, knowing the only reward,
is the satisfying of self-imposed goals and conditions,
that are will always be,
one more step and edit away from attainable, maybe.

My reasons, my illogical reasonings, admixture of anguished highs and loving lowlights,
a porridge of seeds that need burying to be borne,
in soil of a soiled soul, write to breathe, write to see, write to taste,
write to smell, write to hear my voice say,
not good enough,
even when it might be, just, barely, though that bar is a
moving target,

a perpetual notch too high.

My reward for acknowledging, accepting, no denying, freeing, finally,

There would be no reward

11:02 Sabbath
February 22, 2020
from deep in the internal confessional
Nat Lipstadt Mar 15
improving our collective lives, one pandemic poem at a time...


a stray-dog-thot that bites my ankle,
saying ouch, you see a poem here?

it’s 1:14AM on a Sunday and generally I see at this generalized
pre-dawn, can’t sleep pleistocene period, non-extinct poems
roaming everywhere.

but the pandemic on my mind and giving me pause to wonder
how much can I love, and a questioner-poet needs and desires an answer,
post haste, pre apocalyptic.

S. travels for two days by airplane to fulfill a promise
only to find out, upon arrival, the promise made is
pandemic cancelled.

but the-promise-I-made silently, to her, faraway, that she never heard,
for why, stir-up-the-ruckus, asking for a visit from the evil eye,
if she falls ill, coming back to me, is stone cold stolid, no cancellation policy,
I will:

nurse her, brush her hair, anticipate the achey need normal, before she can ask,
hold my body’s warmth full and frontal, a cooling blanket for heated times,
retrieve her ***** tissues from the floor and make lousy jokes about her lousy aim.

and what I wrote, “improving our collective lives, one poem at a time,”
is here institutionalized, organized, galvanized, mesmerized,

legitimized and lionized,

proving only that stray-dog-thots @nite, they  bite,
hard immediate, and that
later is never better

she would say,
“what would I do without you, my children so far away,”
my reply instanced, nuanced, instantaneously, non-Amazon delivered with a double frosted eye twinkle, no-extra-charge,
“hey! that why I get the big bucks, god’s love to deliver!”

she, a profound atheist, snorts with practiced derision, which is fine,
cause I see the welling, tear droplets, laced with viral virus communicators, smiling weakly, asking, instructing a cure:
“play for me some Janis and some Joni, some Mozart and Mahler, climb in beside me, my old man, let us, let us rock our gypsy souls, drinking a case of each other.”

who could refuse such a invitation... to become the plasma of the sun’s corona, if only for a moment


1:38am Sunday March 15th, Twenty Twentyfold
“For Who?” (an excerpt)

by Mary Weston Fordham

Should dark sorrows make thee languish,
     Cause thy cheek to lose its hue,
In the hour of deepest anguish,
     Darling, then I’ll grieve with you.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
     And it seemeth long to thee,
I would whisper, “be not weary;”
   I would pray love, then, for thee.

Well I know that in the future,
    I may cherish naught of earth;
Well I know that love needs nurture,
    And it is of heavenly birth.
But though ocean waves may sever
     I from thee, and thee from me,
Still this constant heart will never,
    Never cease to think of thee.

Mary Weston Fordham was born around 1843. She ran her own school during the Civil War and worked as a teacher for the American Missionary Association. She is the author of Magnolia Leaves (Tuskegee Institute, 1897) and died in 1905.
Nat Lipstadt Mar 15
“On Wednesday afternoon, Lynn Ungar — minister, dog trainer, little-known poet — sat down at the desk next to her kitchen table and began to type. A friend had posted something on Facebook about how much we need poetry in this anxious coronavirus age and she thought, “Yeah, you’re right.””


“Pandemic" by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Nat Lipstadt Mar 8
ten thousand shall sunrise arise
with confidence and no surmise,
their only skill, a declaration made

I am poet, my eyes see and my tongues
unravel what overlaps, overloads, what
connects us, our sinews are tongue tied

the heated transfer of our gut alpha juices
in ways invisible but fully sensory sends
impulse ******* scouring clashing galaxies

we are a war of worlds, a war of words,
a war of class, gender, crossing boundaries,
creating new ones at our intermittent tangentials

I slip and fall, my face deep punctured, leaking
notions that cannot be stemmed or reacquainted,
alas, alas I-am now poet halved, the clock will soon

leap forwards, words anoint my unhealed scar,
longer for daylight tries to save my taste of immortality
but the year twenty twenty is for the younger poets

their simplicity fancies itself as creatively bold,
but this poet in his declining times of old
knows only my reputation is the being being shortened

their succinct pierces nothing, but egotistical ism
by dawning early light, weep copious for us both,
my holed face gushes what they don’t want to know

poems constructed and constrained by words near expiration,
use or lose the mind muse unkindly warns, the never of now,
by sunrise, ten thousand new and one old poets will meet their expiry date

one old one, be mortality lessened, lesser, used up by the dated date

march 6, twenty twenty
Nat Lipstadt Feb 22
oh no!

another fateful overlooked poem title,
ensconced in a message not initially gripped tight enough,
the entitling command, the wish, this commish-on,
angry for having been ignored, overlooked,
calls the poet out, what, a deadline missed again?  


an inherent compliment contradiction,
the well wisher, wanting an enlarged heart, like mine,
is wise in the ways of double meanings,
knows full well, that the enlarged heart is burdensome,
that weight of those afflicted with enlarged hearts,
walk with the stooped bent of responsibility.

so I write and weep, weep and write,
what a thing to wish for, defer it, deter it,
and yet here, I affirm it!

for in my possess is a sure and certain knowledge,
that a new born girl, has surely already stretched the measurements
of Pradip’s own heart’s boundaries, no wishing necessary,
a natural occurring phenomenon, a first grandchild grasped,
raised up to the light on high, a chemical reaction, an eclipse so
when the body’s brain commands it minions,
ordering messengers, sent to every province, to every *****,
piercing every cell’s shell with a kingly commandment scroll:

heart! all body parts!
grow, enlarge, engorge, for a fearsome wonderful injection of love arrives, a new baby will heartily enlarge, make room for more.

the wonderful burden of love.


a commission satisfied. perhaps I will sleep tonight...

Feb. 10, 2020
2:04 pm
Nat Lipstadt Feb 10
love gripped light

~ for r, sleuth of life ~

you sleep with a metal detector,
unearthing dreamed artifacts,
that messenger many fates of many young,
belongings of dead men living again


of a living solitary man, a vision of him, envisioning,
dancing on a property line dividing
immortality dreams
and finality schemes

dead men living,
these different men, haunting and roaring, sighing pointlessly,
speaking to you alone, pithy commentaries, they, predecessor poets,
someone’s ancestors inhabiting a soil world familiar, awaiting we too

you whip yourself over life’s lost campaigns,
where strategy proved insufficient,
lost to men and materiel superior in numbers,
the hearts that were captured, imprisoned, stolen,
and worst, lost by grievous bad judgement human weak,
your dreams are you own artifacts, recovered

long after the battle smoke clears, you remain,
questioning not the how, where or when, only
was it worth it? and so sadly,
you answer yes.

you keep a record of your poems, losses,
each battlefield has no victors, only losses,
each poemfield has no victors, only losses,
it tires you so, to be guardian, the promise keeper,
you asked for burdens, you got just desserts awarded,
you share some, the ones under the pillow,
gripped lightly and tightly, simultaneously

with long distance lovers of your soul,
those you barely know, until met in red soil someday,
what matters it, they ken a kinship bond, and
love you oh so lightly

and they are

gripping you so lightly/tightly with the lightness/tightness
of words,
two book bound souls.
one shared spine...

100 Centre St.
NY Criminal Court
Feb 8 · 611
you will come unto me
Nat Lipstadt Feb 8
bid me follow, unbutton that grimy work shirt,
present me ruby nippled *******, silently commanding
worship, suckling, an invitation to come unto me,
my initiation to the pleasure of getting to know you intime

you will laugh with surprise, as the anointing oil of relief
crowns your head, slicking down to caving cavities,
river running in crevices, that feed the buried places,
replenishing the almost forgotten secret of letting go

your pleasure is my greatest pleasure, for long known
the best taking lies beneath unabashedly giving, gentrifying,
you will full fill me, me eager drinking your noises, releasing
my purposes, coming to take my re-education you remedying

your short fingernails will pierce, new additions to my scars,
my history, your chapter, verse and stanza, all now, a claim upon me, that cannot be refused, for elemental silk threads now bind, each may pull, at either end, for the thread is of our singular commonality,
human tissue
Nat Lipstadt Feb 8
infinitude (noun): the state, the quality of being without limit, infinite

drew first breath, woken to the heart’s rpm thankless task,

conscious aware, that solved proofs deny infinitude,

yet, triumvirate of five senses, brain waving,
a steadying thumping heart,

all asking why not?

can I will it?

the body’s parts convene, debating furious, some claiming
a sell-by-date cellular programmed, nothing to be done,
dimming of the day, a human necessity, the self-salvaging process

but a single cell, a mouse-sized squeaker, boldface stuns,
”feed me, moisturize, give me sleep + blue blood nourishment,
I’m good to go in a forever Iditarod!”

the others ashamed of their festival of fear, knowing well
what has gone before, dreaming thoughts of infinitude, go silent,

while “why not?”
lingers in the lungs, the breathable shared, atmosphere,

the senses spread the quest to every remote province,
with each continuing a chant grows ever louder,
a millennium of poems concealed, yet awaiting conception,
all entitled,
why not”reverberating.

7:36am 2022020
nyc everywhere
Nat Lipstadt Feb 5
The Old Café

It's my go to place,
has been for years,
The Wildwood Café,
an eclectic tiny place
with a mix of old dinette
tables and mismatched chairs.
the cutlery also unmatched
and well used, old photos
and signs adorn the walls
and there is usually a line
of people waiting patiently
on benches outside.

Best of all there is this pleasant
girl, always wearing a welcoming
smile, who seems to know us all.
She knows my order by heart,
Ham and eggs over medium,
a half ration of potatoes, home baked
slice of bread, well toasted, well buttered,
home made salsa on the side, a cup of
"hot" Black English Tea. Tall water no ice.

If I arrive between the busy times, she may
sit down at my table and we talk a while,
It's not a big thing, just chitchat, I'm old
enough to be her grandfather, it's the
dessert before my meal served with genuine
friendliness and unforced civility, not often
encountered in these strange days and times, it's a slice of small town America at it's purest best, she and folks like her help sustain my belief that basic human decency is far from dead.

The food is always good, but it's the comforting embrace of familiarity and
simple warm kindness that assures my frequent return.
It's the little things in life that make living
wonderful, small moments in time felt and
recorded, this is but one of those.
written by Steve Yocum

It's the little things in life that make living
wonderful, small moments in time felt and
recorded, this is but one of those
Nat Lipstadt Jan 31
before, or behind,

the dream and god interspersing, location indistinguishable.

the combinatorial explosion makes us god-like humans,

only when we grasp that simplicity is the greatest complexity,

the surges, the mastering urges, the blending melding gradations,

are but dreams of god in our holy bodies all-encompassing ingredients.

fly child!

the horizon line approaching, it’s a goal or boundary, both,

where endings blending make us immortal for a few minutes,

when the good ghost says, “me and we, ain’t no difference,”

hot fever, leads to raging calm, euphoria transition to believing,

the god inroads revealed, visible in dreams, pixels so fine,

dreaming skin schemes akin to prayering, our knees touching clouds,

lying on mounds of red soil, my eyes sewn shut and yet,

I see all perfectly, for the dream of god, is now what we are...


Jan. 31, the year of 2020 visionary
Jan 25 · 643
Nat Lipstadt Jan 25

once upon a time,
it was a
sufficient condition to be

no longer.

it is a
necessary condition to be



what would we be without Vow-El,
the God of all promises?

tongue tied consonant babblers incapable of uttering words of
prayerful tenderness,
without the essential precision tool modifiers of our pleasured
interactive mutuality,
unable to chant the sounds, the noisy paths of promise,
of allegiance and alliance,
that elevate the inconstant human to be empowered god-like,
to human

Jan. 24th, 2020
In northwest Semitic use, El was both a generic word for any god and the special name or title of a particular god who was distinguished from other gods as being "the god". ... In Ugaritic the plural form meaning "gods" is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm "powers".  Wikipedia El (deity)
Nat Lipstadt Jan 4
O.K. God, time to chat: my friends in Australia
asking for rain, and the conflagration has proved
sufficient to press us with your awesome skill set,
your methodology, driving the knife point into us
to point to us
the errors of our owned ways

this has altered the terms of our truce, so get it pouring,
open them skies and let it rain, bringing betterdays

the Day of Atonement (our MUTUAL Judgement tabulation)
is 9 months away, your plus/minus yellow list on lined legal pad
of what have I done this year is badly in the red,
bordering on flaming ******* orange,
I ain’t in the mood for all your
purposeful accidents,
mocking our human ratiocinations

your angels whisper me private like,
you’ve got free will,
the devilishly blessed curse bestowed upon some of the creatures,
but this beef between us could be resolved with a little rain

you want me to pray in January?
something I never do so early in the year,
as my sin chiefest is procrastination, the dire need is greater
than just our private war, so here comes my blended knees,
anger and a begging

begging with a pinch of insouciance of one who knows
your dating profile lies and exaggerations

The Hebrew Prayer for Rain

Af Bri is the title of the prince of rain,
Who gathers the clouds and makes them drain,
Water to adorn with verdure each dale,
Be it not held back by debts left stale,
O’ shield the faithful who pray for rain...
May He send rain from the heavenly towers,
To soften the earth with its crystal showers,
You have named water the symbol of Your might,
All that breathe life in its drops to delight,
O' revive those who praise Your powers of rain…

Our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers,
Remember our father Abraham who was drawn after You like water,
Whom You did bless like a tree planted near streams of water,
You did shield him, You did save him from fire and water,
You did try him when he sowed by all streams of water,
For his sake, do not refuse water.
Remember Isaac whose birth was foretold over a little water,
You did tell his father to offer his blood like water,
He too was heedful in pouring out his heart like water,
Digging in the ground he discovered wells of water.
For his righteousness' sake, grant abundant water.
Remember Jacob who, staff in hand, crossed the Jordan's water,
His heart attuned to You, be rolled the stone off the well of water,
When he wrestled with the angel of fire and water,
You did promise to be with him through fire and water.
For his sake, do not refuse water.
Remember Moses in an ark of reeds drawn out of the water,
They said: He drew water and provided the flock with water,
And when Thy chosen people thirsted for water,
He struck the rock and there gushed out water,
For his righteousness' sake, grant abundant water.
Remember the High Priest who bathed five times in water,
He bent and washed his hands with sanctified water,
He read from the Scriptures and sprinkled Purifying water,
He kept a distance from a people turbulent as water,
For his sake, do not refuse water.
Remember the twelve tribes You did bring across the water,
You did sweeten for them the bitterness of water,
For Your sake their descendants spilt their blood like water
Turn to us, for our life is encircled by foes like water.
For their righteousness' sake, grant abundant water.
For You are G‑d, who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
For a blessing, and not for a curse -Amen!
For life, and not for death -Amen!
For plenty, and not for scarcity —Amen!

p.s. allow extra time this September next, when you make your confession, your most irreverent fan
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2019
”so oft we trifle words, expel them from the country of our body,
without passport and earnestness, as if they were the cheapest of
footnote filler, day tourists, to be treated as leavings, refuse for daily discardation, barely noting their fast comings and faster disappearance, but leaving not, a mark of distinction”^ nml  2015


these very words, the issue of my Old Abraham body,^^
children, these, young children, now four year olds,
so ancient in word years, for they,
the product of decades lived, lost,
wisdoms now sudden unearthed by teenage poet siblings,
youthful all, who, stumble on,
uncover and resurrect as accidental tourists in a foreign land,
these very words to:

surprise me, remind me, recall to me,
how the words were cherished, tenderly loved,
now newly loved by those tender only in their years,
grasping pen and paper to diary their youthful travels and travails,
witnesses to their new early days,
exploring the boundaries of body + mind, exciting pleasures and

even more exciting,
their heartaches,
as they dabble in the unexplored,
the trial and error of life

Like life itself,
my writings follow no meter,
free in form, lineage and linage, to wander and to wonder,
follow machete carved new paths,
each essay, composite of the drips and dabs of a human,
a pastiche,

a composite
held together with spit and tears, reflections fresh on old memories, an accumulation of past deeds requiring final payments,
all stamped overdue as if we knew life’s actual due date,
when we draw the double line of final summation,
uttering, here, here are my totals!

it is the wee hours of the early day,
nighttime of the prior,  the when we humans pass
back and forth from the real to the spirit world,
when the unconscious and the faint hearted scheming merge,
when bare remembered imagined and real life dreams blend,
a potpourri
of our unique treasured immeasurable, red rich soil for our mining

this years land’s end draws nigh,
the belt drawn tighter though a new notch,
just now punched and prong filled, the airy atmosphere rushes into
spaces that did not exist moments earlier,
our belts, the tree rings of a human’s life,
our waist expands and mind shrinks simultaneously,
but one metaphor of our journey to ebbing

enough ramblings.

young poets, look forward and new, by screen refreshing eyes,
by visiting the trails cut by your predecessors,
like the breadcrumb words left behind with you in mind,
paste them anew in unforeseen combinations,
valued for being both prime time polished and real renewables
just “reborn”

our, nay, now your precious words,
precision tools to shape new dies, your poems,
for mine are almost all expelled

Dec. 18, 2019 2:30am

^^ Abraham laughed, and "said in his heart, 'Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?'"[Genesis 17:17
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2019
~for my poet friends who will understand exactly
the nature of our ailment/adventure~

it begins when once poem titled,
which, a first clue, nothing more, a mumbled prophesy,
an arrow to duration & direction home but unknown,
a one-way stop sign neatly lettered in the
smallest sized letters with the disclaimer above

you sojourn to an uncultivated land, not sown.

you travel to places “finding out what you
don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out,”
no guide, no well trodden path, no cultural prescribed woke diktats,
you are,
taken unwilling more than you lead, where endings
surprising, unforeseen, return tickets never offered for sale

pick words, more likely,
they pick you,
the only constant your rapid metabolism,
a winter snow blow, swirling churning, even midst
the most languid, sultry southern summer day

mind the mind.
mind the ground frozen until a tiny tickle trickle verse
becomes a full-on ground melt, wet and soggy,
******* you into a
rice-rock-hard pellet-poem thriving,
you observe your own drowning in a
6 inch deep wet paddy

the bottom line,
the net net, summary judgment
you commenced with urgent hesitancy for the
risks are great now, pen dagger chest pointed,
you, ******, in crosshairs, your own graven idol image

having found out what you
don’t want to know,
having found out what you
don’t want to find out

find myself weeping,
fists holding my head,
communing with floorboards oak hardened,
groaning acknowledging,
this, this, THIS

this discovering, uncovering,
this is
why I write,
this is
why I dare not write anymore!

so-me-times the compulsion is greater than the fear
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2019
yes, only the paper will listen when
called upon
for what is a clean sheet but only our reflection

folds and bends
yellows with old age,
can always be changed
and always constant if unaltered

speaks in words
embraced with lip kisses
can be cherished
can be destroyed
ashes to ashes
just like a human

print this poem:
place it in your everyday purse
of all things valued, kept upon
your person, close by
for comfort
for reflection
amidst the haste

the paper preserves:
your glory
your memory
your secreted confessions,
an exposure of your nakedness
your innermost outermost

the paper is skin:
can be scarred
held close by
shelved to be avoided
shed cells, store cells,
can be blood stained
can keep lipstick witness
dry tears, elicit tears

when we pass:
we leave behind
objects of valuable
meaningful to our unique
and papers

of legitimacy
of illegitimacy
of recollections
future predictions
remnants scraps
full books
our product
on this earth

the paper always listens,
patiently awaits our impatience
our truest friend, confidante
who can be confidently be trusted to
reveal our confidences

the clean sheet listens
as we part with thoughts
that can only be entrusted
to ourselves, our limbs
our entirety castoff
our entirety sustained

3:47am 11/29/19
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2019
~for betterdays, and all Aussies~

the fires massifs all around, the smokes surrounds,
the house invaded with closed-out-of-college students,
mother and father who are similarly workless, a fire bounty,
all this a treat to an nine year old (no school) boy and his dog

newly self-appointed ringleader, the little boy,
in his fire heaven, with a gang to command, to entertain,
some adults, silly college students, who don’t know “no,”
when he says this is the game we are playing next

this vignette, is not a Manhattan variety^
but an insight story heard, unwitnessed, but of
those who tell the tale, unwittingly, of finding small joys
amidst sky-full clouds, all grayed bunting of burning stink

few wiser than my old, tired and smokey clouded eyes,
though, one yet detects those who are truly not lost,
those who are found, and those who will find them all,
and lead them to the safest places inside themselves

and my heart and brain, at last in unison,
forgives the restless adults who with grownup worries,
yet can! just barely detect those mini joy-rivulets among the whiffs
of destruction and bravery, losses and new hands extended

So I ask, Mum, what game shall we play next?

Perhaps, Noah’s Ark?

^ search Manhattan Vignettes in the HP Search Box
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2019
~for Wyett Yocum~

nowadays, we slice and dice ourselves
by gender, race, and any thin wafer division
by which the human persona can be identified,
as if we were tattooing our ****** identity
on the wrist of your societal recognition scales

all in order to say,  Hey!

this is who I am,
this! is why
I am special unique, very very
deserving of your accoladed admiration

so the newly acquired phrase,
there is no brag in that boy
leaps and bounds, coming to rest on my wide eyes white,
now part of my lexicon, there, where my vocabulary stored,
for its very contradictory contrariness
demands the realized anti-hero,
the natural quietude of
the aw shucks, that we used to value, people,
above all

nearing the end of my days, my vast
knowledge of words and people grows smaller
by leaps and bounds, for finer refinement and focus,
vastly diminishes and distinguishes but a handful
of verbal grains, seeds, a few is all that’s needed,
kernels, that when deep planted, well watered,
a gift nurtured by nature’s simplest greater gifts
regifted us human exmplars

there is kind.
there is honor.
there is selflessness, character, service
and a very, very few more.

some new, just today, recently obtained,
the very title of this late night reflection!

a fine spun summary depiction of modesty,
a trait so rare, it’s existence now under appreciated,
and so very hot-not, au courant, fashionable, woks or lit,
hardly deemed valuable in the me-matters age

so crumple up this minor essay, store and stick it
among your mementos, and other keepsakes,
let it not be seen, avoid confusing the young man of whom
it was spoken and herein recorded, but this prize! this poem!
this award without proclamation or gold statuette or degree,
will, a secret well kept, by those who raised him, recognizing,
that their own mirrored imaged is quietly well reflected,
his inherited invaluable, distinguished modesty,
product of his pedigree

Nov. 10, 2029
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2019
“rootless in shallows of momentary mayhem
and no matter the change in horizon,
there is always some thing to be found
that could remind me
of the worst ways I have ever been.”

from “Harlequin Days of Fecund Fervor” by Victoria


rereading these your words, upset forces me to break a recent vow,
my own writing banished, now faceless in the ranks
of just another poet, busted in rank, chose my own
decommissioning but then your momentary mayhem
plea, fecund you, your third harlequin, states construct!

stay the constriction, the recalling of our worst worsts,
for there is always something to be found, recalled,
that the horizon’s only constant is constant change,
especially the worst worsts

I am colored by your treats, your word plums ripe even
out of season, and the mayhem is mine only mine,
robbed you for it is I, rootless, given up my planting, then
the cobblestones of old new york, trip me up, saying
even old things such as you, have a prime yet to come,
stones fecund seeding, predicting I am not done, just undone,
and fetuses within this dying body, may yet be carried to term,
may yet, maybe, may be, but may be caesarean stillborn

rambling this, mostly musty unclear, so summarizations a
sensible thing, a pardon requested for clarity is a sometime thing.

rare are the days that the terracotta colored soil
darkens my fingernails,
it is dried blood from my scratching deep beneath the skin’s topsoil,
but nothing grows that’s whole, warped are the word fruits.
my soup is hot water with salt, a tasty dish apropos for one
whose growths are rootless in the shallow, infertile dirt of stones
that reside in the shallows of a garden of mine own
fecund may-hem of the grey fall sky autopsy turvy
Oct 2019 · 288
Fall Cleaning / Au Revoir
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
an au revoir here penned,
man on a cliff doing a spring, fall over cleaning

a few rusty drafts still needy for completely
but you know times up when tide rushing out
and on your leg is a big red rash that wasn’t there
when you waded in a few minutes earlier

tastes changes, like seasonal entrees on a restaurant menu,
seasons come and go, reappearing, but last years dish,
out of style, except for the occasional recalling

the body and the work must together concert,
poetry like a lifetime of lovers, you leave them behind
for loving them too well, using up the verses left inside,
then comes the time when love dries up and the words concomitant

the nighttime scraps will still be kept in that sewing box,
that storage space rented on a 99 year lease
but now for my eyes lonely only, this nub is stubbed,
this last one, at last, succinct

au revoir mes amis
Oct 2019 · 188
more: your favorite words
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
weak    rise    scars    spent    breeze    lungs    spirit    eat    teeth    car    shine    nature    died    veins    neck    top    moving    sat   loves    dry

the spent breeze rises up, moving,

****** into, ******* up air in our lungs
but yet still! the spirit weak,
the teeth useless chewing,
dry words mashing,
no eat, just pasty

the scars shine
like veins protruding from the top of a man’s neck,
looking like holes in a  rusted car that can’t never
shine no more,
once the breeze stops moving

he sat there while he slow died,
not moving,
nature and his loves
and his
skin slow dry texturized,


the spent breeze rises up, moving on...
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
fresh coffee
bagel with shmear to go,
don’t forget the napkins,
oh, I’ll take a dozen lovers also....

mixed please
3 happy
3 ****
3 faithful and true
1 dark
1 light and
1 plain

a bakers dozen^ you say!
an extra lover?
if you will,
just another plain, if you please,
cause a plain lover is all
I’ll truly need
oy, was I writing awful stuff
^ a bakers dozen is 13
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
good poetry, good poets:

you are all so o v e r confident

“ceaseless, your poetry will never cease”


but the heart, the engine, the brain,
even the decrepitating body,
gives many visible warnings,
we can be done in so easily,
we can be seized.

by a tick bite, the sugar’s refusal to convert,
the minor cuts, that take months to heal,
everything small as dangerous as an artery blockage,
a single cell of an illegitimate growth,
the small easy, too purposefully ignore,
but that does not mean no registration

this, then, about me and a bud of a free-thee-well

Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
Variations on OK: “I'm ok... as in just okay :)“

ah, me making the global rounds,
with the poem interns in tow, observing poet patients,
me, the anti-troll meme, asking the lonely legions,
“what’s up, just checking in,”

responsa included the nuanced range of variations
of the simplest terms,

Variations on OK: “I'm ok... as in just okay :)“

the normal curve of emotional disturbances, falling mists,
category 5 storms and verbal cover-up girl makeup all represented by

this, then, the OK stuff of human poetry, the plain, the innocuous, inadmissible guiltily non-confessions that are the infectious complexity of heartache, humongous jealousy of those surficially
just innocently happy, those who fear of failing,
longing for what was and can not be true once more,
so with not-even-a-serious-word a reminder of our masks when meeting Quo Vadis,
the replies come in summarizing shades of:

OK: “I'm ok... as in just okay :)“

a perfectly good response, shadings and gradations
that shout volumes deserving of interpretations, talmudical exegesis,
across continental contestation,^^^meaning obviously that the contra-opposite is likely what’s meant,
all indirect giving access when delving into their abyss,
as in the rock n’ roll verse states,

“just dropped in to see what condition your condition is in”^


yes, it’s true okay is better than not okay,
which is better than the catch all meaningless of the
OK....the one, that dribbles off into air hanging, silent albatross

but the insertion of the modifier


makes the meaning of the fully, half born, sentence summation diagrammable except
is not valid in life size, grownup version game  of Scrabble(d) hearts

this is how I spend my everyday vacation days
exploring everything human

the graze of a hand, the longest slow journey of a singlet tear,
a child’s shrieking glee, the nightmares gasps
when they woke the awoken,
the intelligible whimpering vocabulary of the new born innocent,
the spackled, patching of the speckled cracking of the
semi-autonomous, wish-it-wasn’t human,
my, busted-heart

so when two lovers continental shelves do not meet,
but graze each other, altering the landscape of emotions,
OK, just, okay is
sedimentary weak but perfect

you are the interloper ghost,
who now asks “how ya doing,”
the famous just “checking in,”
in the sliding spaces where mountain ranges get created,^^^

the O in Okay is a black hole disguised

I'm ok... as in just okay :)”

though this is a Buffalo Springfield “ain’t exactly clear”
you accept and understand for aching hearts are the
specialty of the maison

and that is all I have to say on the matter.


3:21am Monday September 30 ~ 10:38pm Friday October 4, 2019
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