[NetBehaviour] Rosh Hashonah, Mother's Birthday, Grey Skies, Nowhere

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Sep 19 03:53:39 CEST 2020

maybe only late in the sense that it was either very early morning or very 
late night...

On Fri, 18 Sep 2020, Michael Szpakowski wrote:

> Absolutely transfixing. I wouldn?t wish a ?late style? on anyone but there?s a sense
> of complete purpose and control here allied to an ease in its making, an
> openness to what comes...
> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone
> On Friday, September 18, 2020, 9:55 pm, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
> wrote:
> Rosh Hashonah, Mother's Birthday, Grey Skies, Nowhere
> I can't get far enough away from Wilkes-Barre.
> We had to dress up to cross the river.
> On whatever side of the river, always the other.
> I remember general Radio, Wide-Awake Books, and Percy Brown's
> Where gourmet food was served in the coal country.
> I hung out embarrassed among ham radio operators.
> Scared of them I never went back.
> Scared of everyone, I was interested in coal.
> There were forests beneath the ground.
> A fifty-meter high sigillaria on the side of a cliff.
> Or some other plant, I almost forget the names
> As I remember reassembling the skeleton and learning about death.
> I knew I didn't belong in the large world
> but only in the shtetl in Kingston Pennsylvania.
> There was no large world I was scared of it
> looking to New York as the promised land.
> Five and a half hours into the city, five and a half out of it.
> Always surrounded by gray mountains I want to spell grey
> and the inconceivably greyness of the landscape and fierce snows.
> In the summer waiting for the winter, in the winter waiting,
> allergies and hives, weekly injections, wanting to get out,
> frightened of leaving, frightened of staying, my father's anger
> everywhere, lengthening this sentence of the poem as I ran back
> to the bedroom, trembling, hiding out, to this day remembering
> his voice that I'd never amount to anything, don't worry dad I
> didn't
> my sister and I maybe my brother calling them the parents, there
> were maybe other names, we had names for each other, I planted
> watermelon seeds in my mother's garden they grew covering
> everything as if that was that
> and nothing was I was always displaced from myself was afraid
> what was under the bed nothing nothing nothing what was above
> it still less those gray skies I cried away and away and away
> shoving myself off to college and always looking back and
> see the graveyard of the Jews in the next town over, all of
> us buried there, last time I cried in hysterics, remains
> of the shtetl where we dressed up to cross the river to the
> other city of course on the other side
> always on the other side, always and always on the other side,
> always one side over
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