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  Jul 2023 Smoke Scribe
some years back, not too difficile to recall,
revive and animate those memories of love and disasters,
but the distance is comparable to half-a-dozen
eighty day trips around the world, many frequent
flyer  miles accumulated with trips to love disasters,
interspersed with the days of shock and awe believing
(sigh) that stumbled, fumbled my way in what we silly
call true love, which is really the high of believing
that you deserved the easy way, but now know, there
is no easy way, and romance is a hard earned privilege,
and sensory deprivation can  fool you, absence makes
you vulnerable, don’t be vulnerable, stand up right,
**** out, and eyes smiling but phasers on full, nonetheless…

this not a downer, but a dis-claimer, even I claim the
never be sure of the 100% foolproof methodologies for
discerning the genius of genuine,
when the risk is the reward
maybe when your 22, even 23,
you’ll be better at true discernment,
but until then be wise,
there is no saving the day,
till your knees are scraped,
and crackling and cracking
heart seem like the same thing

but they’re not
do not confuse
causality with correlation
love is not your cause, be-all,
or even the end-all, do the  work
on your self to betterment
24/7, knowledge to be wiser
comes with vive les expériences!

someday you’ll senses will be tickled,
and the aroma of possibilities will
arose that dormant hunger, and may
be a correlation to another human in the
immediate vicinity, a man, swimming
in your moat without permission, then,
check him out and maybe, jump in,
once you’ve passed the red cross lifesavers
test, cause the murk is murky, and is never
fraught with just rose water, but jump a
few toes in and if you’re still sinking,
hell he’ll
find away and give him the rope to help
you climb a board, yeah, a broad tough as
clear varnished nails with a heart radiating
the nuclear fission of Strontium 90.
Strontium-90 has applications in medicine and industry and is an isotope of concern in fallout from nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons testing, and nuclear accident, and fallen love

  Apr 2022 Smoke Scribe
Nat Lipstadt
~another love poem~

In the thousands of years of Earth’s foregoing,
marking the reign of humans, all seek sapience,
knowing full well, neither first or last am I to mark
this day’s commencement with a need, a desiring,
to notate this not unusual but definitively unique
calendar notation with a tribute, neither requested
but freely given to the person who lies beside me.

Did I wake commanded or so compelled to scrabble
a collection of words, sequences, initially disordered,
into a shape, to chisel these sendings of a chest into a
living disbursement, a statute, a marbleized creature,
that empties and releases a sensory disposition rumbling
into a messy, mediocre utterance of sentience while they
sleep quiet, pockmarked by dreamed mumblings, dreaming?

No, I did not.

News headlines come demanding see me, insistent that
I am urgency, but one displaced by the next, making them
instantly stale by pealing replacements. This poem, a self-
appointed task is now eased, spent and spurted into an
lifespan of a length unknown and untold. Here I end, ceased
and resisting, demurring, desisting another stanza, The hour
approaches the seventh hour before noon, rising time. Go now.

The choring chords of fibrous tasks that stitch existence into
a sustaining impertinent permanence, list-crossing-off, a-nagging.
The itches of living, ask for scratching, 1st cup of coffee making,
but smile bemusedly that this first and freshest to do, newly added,
is done, dispatched with a line-sworded satisfying crossing off.
She sleeps on, while I soon to rise and quiet paddle to the
kitchen where kept the utensils for sustenance,

I am contented, miraculously, simultaneous,
emptied and fulfilled.

  Apr 2021 Smoke Scribe
Nat Lipstadt
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 2021 Smoke Scribe
Path Humble
”against your will were you created,
against your will were you born,
against your will do you live,
against your will will you die, and
against your will will you stand in judgment before the
King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.”

Rabbi Elazar HaKappar (C.170 - C.200 CE)
(Ha Kappar: the one who made and gave atonement)


in these, the years of my erosive declination,
when the noble prize, time for introspection,
once was a chore of delaying, now no longer can be off-put,
the certainties of Elazar, offer guidable satisfactions

the nighttime review, resurrecting my life, the gaps,
the untaken actions, those dream-schemes speak loudest,
memories of what should have been, are a litany of what ifs,
prosecutorial accusations of crass wastage

against my will, the charges brought,
against my will, plead guiltily my innocence,
against my will, knowingly, time’s erasure judgment,
secures my fate, all the granular cells causal dissipation

my warped willingness to be a coward,
it was my meditative, to natural be the lesser man,
choosing the safety premise, the road most oft trod,
the addition of my meager totality, willing given

Even if all these land mine/roadblocks
and summary judgements are against my will,
willingly do I confess, in all innocence, my guilt,
“if it be my will”
  Dec 2020 Smoke Scribe
Stephen E Yocum
Returning from the grocery store,
my only trip out in weeks,
I passed by our small town's
High School, all pandemic
deserted and shuttered now.

Slowing, I stopped my car,
taken by momentary joyfulness,
out there in bright blue Band
uniform on the football field,
a single drummer marched
all alone,

Her enthusiastic snare drum  
echoing out stirring, lonely
rhythmic staccato sounds.

This solitary stalwart drummer
practicing in the rain, rehearsing
skillful steps and robust drum
beats, until she gets the call.

Remaining ever ready when
normalcy reluctantly comes rolling
back around. Where marching bands
and football players once again tread
upon this nearly hallowed ground.
Hope lives within us all,
this dire time too shall pass.
  Dec 2020 Smoke Scribe
Nat Lipstadt
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
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