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Poetry

Gene Goldfarb

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Gene Goldfarb lives on Long Island, loves writing, keeps trying it, and sometimes succeeds. His poems have appeared in the very small press, among these being Cliterature, Lalitamba, Stoneboat, SLANT, Thin Air, Black Fox and Heavy Feather Review. His blogs have also appeared in Black Fox.

Milk Bottles to Cleveland

Teaching a small child
with bright eyes
about the great crimes
I start with Arson, which
is like finding a Midwestern
cousin with a crooked smile
and a cloud of mystery
hanging over him,
and before I get to Burglary,
I’m interrupted and asked
if there’s a list of all the bad
things people could do.
I answer the curious child
by saying life’s so complex
that making a list of bad acts
would be like laying down
a line of milk bottles stretching
from here to Cleveland and back.
Then she asks why not
just drink the milk.

The No. 2 Ticonderoga Lead Pencil

Long, yellow and sharpened,
most often required by exam rules
in truth, graphite jacketed in wood
a fuzzy pink rubber on its rear end
gathered in a metal crown
all fresh and primed for that fateful
starting gun: You may begin.

I was blind to the ribbon of curves,
squiggles and smears,
the jabs of line and arc
that freed the illustrators,
cartoonists and doodlers
from the prison of convention,
the air the weapon gave them
and lent their souls some reprieve.

You’ve served me well, my sword,
even if it was to fill in ovals
that danced before me
in teasing bleary chains
to express my best judgment,
corralled into numbing choices
in blackened gray.

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