My grandparent's house
ten-kid-large and sinking
on the corners of remembrance
Remodeled now, to
...tenements

Honeycomb
...the remnants

Irish immigrant and Scottish orphan's child
She sang on the ferry
He fell in love
"The rest is the history of us...."
Wide
as the Connecticut River, grieving--
in their sunset....
____

This-- chair
is his

I am afraid of it-- of his learning
of the shiny badge pinned to his coat
of his dying...
Golden leather of it
soothes
his memory--
of another continent
of the once warmth-- of a distant hearth
so darkened now--
where his head once rested
...his hands
and,
I fear--
his mind....

I will not sit in it
as if he will come back, to take his place
I am afraid of him--
with his chair--
all worshipful and empty
like a high place, abandoned
to a heart attack
not for grandchild play
Seat of Authority
still stamped
beside the standing cold--
brass ashtray
Pipe smoke imagines itself
against the ceiling in the words
of Yates and Milton
He read to them
and somehow--

Paradise is Lost....
_____

This house is cold now-- even in the summer-- cold
Worn as only large families wear
The War of waiting shadows
--four brothers who were spared

Anna Mae, in charge, too young,
worries in abrupt dark
of dinning room
Her face, haunted--
an archway-- ever empty
by the large and ghostly table
Held hostage by her thoughts
of her darling, Sean...
covered by its web of lace--
a bridal veil
of Catholic impossibility...

Aunt Lill's “breakdown”
with cigarette and thorazine  
quaking quiet in her corner

Aunt Nell, as blind as smart-ass hell
darning socks
with threads that thatch the wounds
holds it all together, scolding--
eating jelly donuts, drinking tea or ale

Uncle Eddie laughing hoarsely
cracks nuts over a wooden bowl

Both of my grandparents died a year apart in the midst of The Great Depression, leaving four of their kids below the age of twelve.  The family struggled through it and WWII that followed.

My Grandfather was a police officer as were a number of his descendants.

The house enfolded them, sending their stories like flares across the generations.

Go to your profile!
pull down the pull down menu
under gender

holy still crazy!

nobody told me so many choices were available

my titillated imagination reeling at the nomenclature of
sexual orientations...

don't know what most of them mean, no insult intended,
chalk it up to a case of gender tender confusion

she, interrupts:

shut down the poetry, its near to 4am,
get some badly needed sleep, damn,
you're a stll crazy
plain vanilla idiot!

light bulb goes off as the screen fades to black-
my gendersex is official, she-notarized:

I am a trans-plain-vanilla-idiot (with traces of caramel)

4:13am

p.s.  E - please add to the list

best believe!

don't use this expression
much in my northern parts,
when you hear it spoke,
then you well,
best believe!
what comes next is damn serious

choose words more than with mere extra care,
when you true
believe

it is a surrender to surety,
a gift released,
to own the grit courage of trust
and all that is
best

when you give it up and write in
pixel perfect unretractable,
now know it immutable,
asking pointless,
there is fact that

I love you
(best believe it!)
too

  Sep 13 Still Crazy
Nat Lipstadt

Why I Always Carry Tissues

To My Children:

I'm laughing at myself,
As I am prone to do because
Why I Always Carry Tissues
Is the title of a poem
I write for you.

There is a story here,
Of parenting, and responsibilties
That transcends yourself, defines me,
Vis-a-vis you,
then and there, and maybe now.

When you were small,
I took you by the hand,
The cement canyons, trails & rivers
of West Eighty Six Street,
Together, we would ford.

Periodically, as Fathers are prone to do,
Your hand, from my hand,
I would release
So you could fall down,
All on your own.

It bemused me that I could see
Three or four paces ahead of thee
Exactly which crack,
Upon which you would trip,
And come crying back to me.

Back-to-me.
That was then.
And now,
Yes, no more,
Back-to-me.

But I always had tissues
to dry your eyes
And no surprise,
I still do,
Always will.

These days, they,
more likely used to dry mine,
As I have forded that Styxy river,
When crossed, you spend more of the day,
Liking Back more,
Then looking ahead.

No matter, by right and tradition,
It is still my mission, that
when you need, when you bleed,
as I know you surely shall,
These pocket tissues will be there
Ready, willing and able, fully capable,
of snatching away your tears.

When you need,
When you bleed,
And you surely shall,
These pockets of mine,
Of tissue made,
Are waiting for your tears,
And you, to fill them,
For without them,
Their raison d'etre is unfulfilled.


These used tissues are my history book,
Re the art of loving, and the arch-i-texture of life,
Of tears and hearts,
And spills on concrete,
That needed knees to be complete.

That is why you will find me, without fail,
Ready, willing and able, holding my
White Badge of Courage at the ready,
Waiting patiently, for my mission to be redeemed,
Missions known as parenting schemes.

The scheme is clear, even if
my tissues you no longer request,
You will let your own babies
fall n' fail, then take their tears
Put them in your pocket,
keep them forever wet,
Like my memories of you
the ones I cherish best...

Perhaps a tradition
We will start,
Unsightly bulges in our pocket rear,
Where we will store our packet of saver-saviors
Removers of our dear one's fears.

If we are truly wise
Those tissued memories
We will keep,
Die among them contented,
Knee-scraped deep

When tears fall...



2008

1. Written in 2008, updated today 7/2013, adding a word here and there.
2. When I wrote this, there were no more babies in my life; now the next generation, a new set of boo-boos
3. Yes, I still, always have tissues on me someplace,
a habit started over thirty years ago,
when my children where toddlers.
4. The poem I love the best.

~for Pradip~

these words,
a blessing bestowed
upon me, by you,
about us

say kiss me write love me
for all the contextual hints that lie
within and between them ~
"gloriously adhesive"

a monument to our five years
of living together,
the friction of our grip upon each other,
under one roof, in a land of
no matter
what the language,
what the alphabet,
we are the prime,
a living example,
of the human~poem,
a glorious adhesion*




<•>
from only love poetry,
I rename you here,
only love Pradip

8/25/17
6:40PM

Pradip Chattopadhyay ›
whisper me a title (you, the acquired taste):

Acquired taste,
for a habit sweetly indulgent,
gloriously adhesive.

0
  Aug 25 Still Crazy
Nat Lipstadt

all poets are human, therefore, all humans are poems

<•>

"In logic, a tautology (from the Greek word ταυτολογία) is a formula that is true in every possible interpretation."

<•>
hardly a tightly taut tautology,
yet true this, in every possible instance

all humans, poems,

as if their portrait painted

from words dipped in a vocabulary palette

which is why,

you my million muses,

are so oft the themes of who I write

and when foolish think there is no
inspiration in the air,
your names
each and every,
a title awaiting
finishing

a gift for Jamadhi Verse

Friday, August 25, 2017 6:10 PM,
S. I.
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