Friday, August 8, 2008

Somerville, Mass. area poet and publisher Leah Angstman keeps 91 yearold poet’s work alive.

(Ed Galing)

(Leah Angstman)

Somerville, Mass. area poet and publisher Leah Angstman keeps 91 yearold poet’s work alive.

Leah Angstman remains an enigma. She politely evades my requests for interviews, champions the work of a 91 year-old Hatboro, Pennsylvania Poet Ed Galing, ( a legendary small press writer), and has an ambitious indie publishing concern “Propaganda Press” that has an impressive slew of poetry titles. The author Budd Schulberg once asked “What makes Sammy, Run?,”….I want to ask: “What makes 20-something Angstman run?” Then again, maybe leave well enough alone.

In my mailbox at The Somerville News I found that Angstman mailed me another bunch of Galing titles: “Loose Ends,” “Rooftops: A Poetry Collection,” “Senior Center,” and “Lower East Side Poems" Galing is known for his poems of the Lower East Side of NYC where he spent a good portion of his childhood years, and they are not only works of art, full of rich detail and humor, but they are historical records of a milieu slipping away into the ether of the collective unconscious. I say Angstman is doing valuable work.

You can order these and others by contacting Angstman at: The website for the press

Here are a few poems from the collections for you to savor:


Hey buk
I ain’t mad
At you,old pal…
I like your
The way you
Fought life
Until you died…
I envy the books
You wrote,
And your barfly movie,
And your good mind,
And your thoughts,
And your friendships,
And your readings
For hundreds of bucks…
And the way you gave
As good as you got,
And all the women you had,
And all the letters you wrote
Turned into books
When you died…
And come to think
Of it, old buk,
What better way to end
Your life as a writer
Of poems,
Is to read all
In book form…
And in that way you
Live all over again…
So I salute you,
Cause you were one
Of us, once,
Until you came to dust,
And I will follow you,
Whenever my turn comes,
But I leave no letters,
Only a bit of dust
And rust.


When I ride the
Elevated train

I always
Sit near
The window

Looking out

As the train
High up
Through the streets

I watch
The rooftops

How different
Each one is;

Water towers;
Clothes hanging
On the line;
Tattered roofs
Low income

But it’s only
When the train
Suddenly dips
Into a dark

That I realize
How much I
Need the light!

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