Right now I’m working on a few pieces to submit to the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. While searching through my poetry section I realized that several of my poems deal with the same topics: memory, death, family, Brooklyn. Some of my favorite uplifting material! So then I thought, hey, why not combine these poems to make what I like to call
COMBINED SUPER-MEGA AWESOME NEW POEM
I think this is a better version of “green awning” and “Wallpaper”, what do you think?
My mother told me the Brooklyn I am chasing is gone
(since you asked, I can’t point you in the right direction).
What had been a green awning may now be crumbled and discarded along with
the shul no one visits anymore.
Yet the Star is still visible on the door of what is now a church.
Green olive branches, possibly, line the walls
but memories change
what could have been just leaves on the wallpaper.
I want to scream “I ran in that basement,
I heard the mourning Hebrew, the shuffling of Orthodox swaying”.
But I am left on the street
calculating the time
collecting the words
when one part becomes a memory
and then it’s remember remember
the wrinkles in the pages force a meaning from remaining.
And what can you do with memories
except tell the stories over and over and over until the people alive
can’t recognize the dead
and the stories
stand upright alone in the corner watching you sleep.