Friday, January 13, 2006

A Poem for Irvin,, blog entry (and poem for Irving), Jan 9 06
Welcome To The Sweet Life
A Poem About Irving Layton

Layton reading; Layton dancing; Layton


Like a cabby
he stands:
short, solid,

and bends forward
to the god of all cabbies:
a foul-mouthed, cigar-chewing
uncle of a god
who lives in a 4th floor walk-up
of a heaven.

He screams out
that Hitler
is alive and well
and living as a 16 year old punk
whose black girlfriend
is really Adolf Eichmann
and that together
they are
the Literary Establishment
of this chunk of ice.

He leans into the podium,
grips the book as if a steering wheel
and turns the pages with a single finger.
He guns his poem straight to your home.

You leave the room stinking
of tobacco stains, wisdom, and pain.


He wore torn pants
to his nephew's Bar Mitzvah
and brought a woman
who didn't look anything
like a wife.
He gave the kid
by dancing with angels
on the head of a pin.
"My frielich will never end," he cried,
tears running down his cheeks,
"My frielich will never end."


Layton, you are my father
fighting the battles we won years ago.
Layton, I am a Jew
and no one has pulled out my beard.
Layton, no Cossack ripped my son
from his Catholic mother's womb.
Layton, my poems are published
by penny-pinching Scots
who invite me into their homes
for whiskey and roast beef.
Layton, we have arrived.
Layton, we have arrived home.
And you Layton, you
have driven us here:
foul-mouthed and stinking of your god.

Layton, you will always be our cabby.

posted on January 9, 2006 12:19 PM


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