Johnny is soft around the middle but that doesn’t bother Pattie.
She nibbles some bits and waits for him to finish his show.
Pattie scrolls through her news feed:
“Today in an action reminiscent of the worst excesses of the
1960’s a feminist icon burst into flames!”
“Oh me, oh my,” Patti sighs, “I’m so nuts and so obnoxious!”
Johnny weeps with Miss America as Ms. Arkansas is crowned.
Ms. Congeniality stalks across the stage to snatch her check
from the emcee.
“I will use my beauty to feed the World!” Ms. Arkansas sobs.
The crowd goes wild with sincerity
…as a chorus of angels goes Ooooooooooh….
(c) Rob Goldstein 1989-2017 Image 2017 All Rights Reserved
For the Old Testament which I lied upon and spent the rest
of that year in Hell.
For paintings of Moses white against volcanic ash!
For Isaac who me wonder and Jacob who made me wonder; together we went to Temple where I refused to learn Hebrew and the teacher called me retarded.
For Rabbi Padol, who smoked in the Tabernacle and made the girls giggle as dust settled on the Torah, which I kissed and sneezed, and kissed and sneezed, until my Bar Mitzvah, (that ceremony in English) and later received hats and a checking account.
That Passover Sunday the dogwood was in bloom and I found
a litter of dead puppies in the front yard.
I pitched a tee-pee over the corpses and said Adonoi three times.
That year I thought of sacrifice and God’s ruthless lust for proof!
I thought of the Lamb: how he bellows, “Look what I did for you!” extending his bloody palms.
(c) Rob Goldstein, poem July 1986, image June 2017
Life wept and sent me into crisis.
An arm around my shoulder, the doctor gave counsel:
He says, if I take my pills, I will forget my grief, I will be happy.
He says, the Lord is in my heart, if I search it, I’ll find him, and he’ll save me.
He says, if I climb the right steps, I’ll be normal, if I talk about it: this thing I can’t mention.
My lies are those of one who doesn’t trust, and so I fear
that unless the lying stops, I will —
become the prank who attends his own funeral, mingling
with the mourners, and whispering secret obscenities.
(c)text Rob Goldstein 1984, image Rob Goldstein 1917
Crazy Mothers, crazy fathers, everyone saving each other
bleeding phone calls to cousins who call uncles who call
brothers; from San Francisco to Michigan, everyone knows
you’re not doing well.
I don’t know what Michigan looks like.
I imagine a perfect square.
There are several thousand squares in Michigan called lawns.
There is a lake: its water flows from corner to corner.
(c) Rob Goldstein November 08, 1984 All Rights Reserved