Friday, July 27, 2007

Letter From An Old Jewish Poet

Letter from an Old Jewish Poet

* dedicated to my friend Ed Galing

Your are like a son to me.

I love your work.


I have included a small poem,

so it shouldn't be missed,

I am old,


not a reason to publish this.

And how about that boychick

on the Coast?

God forbid

he should publish my work,

like a son to me too

but such a callow jerk!

And mister big shot editor

why do you publish her?

she's nothing but

a cat-loving cur!

As you know

I am an old man

weathered its true ,

and most-of-all- remember

I am a Jew....

Did I tell you?

You remind me of my son.

But truth

be told

you both

ain't that young.

But you can imagine

my outrage

when my name

does not appear

on that page,

and I realize

my time is short

on this

relentless stage.

-- Doug Holder

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Perks of Being An Editor by Sam Pierstorff

The Perks of Being An Editor

* For Ed Galing

I can really
only think of one.
His name is Ed.
He's 90 and he writes
long letters to me
with lines sloping
and the pyramid walls
of each "A" are jagged
as saw blades.

His wife of 60 years
recently died.
He tells me this
in every letter,
but I haven't forgotten

It's what I think most
when my own wife
of only 6 years
into the living room,
if I'd like some
black tea.

Ed's in an old folk's home now,
playing harmonica
and tickling the keyboard
until it laughs
or cries.

But I get the feeling
in every letter
that Ed's always writing
to a dear friend.

And that's the way
it should be
with poetry,

* Sam Pierstorff is the founding editor of the Quercus Review.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Shpilcus in the tuchas


whenever my father
was annoyed with me,
or someone else,
when we lived on the
lower east side,
he would say with
what's the matter,
you got shpilcus
in your tuchas?

it was his favorite
expression, brought
over from the other
side of the ocean,
my mother used to frown
and say, sam, stop saying
it, it isn't nice,
my father would then grin,
and say to her, maybe you
have shpilcus in your tuchas,
too, and then he would laugh
out loud, while my mother
made a face of annoyance,
most of the time he said
it to me, whenever i wanted
to go out on the street and
play bill, or snatch an apple
from a pushcart, or just
go somewhere besides sitting
on the fire escape,
he would make a noise with
his mouth, like hmmmmph,
you got shpilcus in your
tuchas son? what's the hurry? you got all day...
he just didn't understand...
i didn't have all day...
i think it's the ultimate
expression, having something
up your ass you don't like,
and often i wondered what
a shpilka looked like,
was it like a hemmorhoid,
a bug of some kind, what was
it? these days at my
age i often wonder if i
have shhpilcus without knowing
it..i'm always in a hurry...
a hurry to go somewhere...
my father was a wise man.