stupid little rich boy, you kicked out my tooth

and before it tumbled out the one next to it, turned black

and they both fell out  


Come over, he said, why did I go?

To be chased around his sunken

living room, to be tied up, called stupid names  

stupid little rich boy, I knew better

but what about my body is it

that makes you want to hurt me every time

we meet


It’s your hips its your hips you look like a girl

You don’t box at summer camp you look stupid

with your stumpy blackened teeth. did the sugar plum

fairy snatch your tongue, pull your nose little Jew



Clothes full of tears sleeves full of numbers

It only makes sense, makes it worse, wide hips

sad hips big lips black hair dark eyes hide in

the scent of my mother, my father, my brother

all their long pants their suit jackets coats and hats

dry cleaned dress wear with plastic sheets to cut holes in

pull on lean from curl up like a somersaulting astronaut


There is the white fur coat from a Montreal first cousin’s store

My father, cigar smoking Jew man the scent of mothballs

in automobile driving for dinner out, and  father’s

anger grandmother’s impatience the smell of stale smoke ashtrays

full of cigars father cuts with a metal cigar-cutter and

the picture of dancers La Palina, decanters of whiskey, foul moods, 

so, they call me names Father calls our mother names


In our corner house at the end of Paradise Road

Near a ravine and houses with stained glass windows

TV pictures of Martyred Christian saints in etched plates

You can never go home again, you name your house,

House of Jewish Tears, House in the Industrial Town

House /Inside the House /of God


With its red plush carpet  spilled grape wine,

under foot slippers big rabbit feet if I

could,  I would hop away, hop away from here

to the Hope Ravine off Paradise Road on Rich Boy Street

sweating dreams fever dreams the moon is a scythe

floating drifting clouds so high so cold so dangerously

close the words the words left bereft and shattered


You are not normal not normal not normal

You are friendless If only I was normal

If only I was normal If my hips weren’t so wide

weren’t so Jewish the chosen girl hips

Girl hips like emaciated bodies piled on top of one another

in world war II pictures of Bergen-Belsen

warehouses bunkers schools of smoke


O Mrs. Shapiro,

Why do you have numbers on your arm

pale ugly blueish ink  like those stamps on the side of a carcass of beef

Cows all friendless and bullied cut and bloodied

All the piles of bodies piled up all the carcasses with meat

Thrown on top of me

on the top my emaciated skeletal hips in newsreel footage

I dream wake to the sickle moon above the maple tree

The shaken tree by the skating rink


Am I a boy or a girl? Are you a girl, a boy?

Run to you  you are a boy, right?

The boy with curly hair who makes my heart pound

Why is my hair black my eyes brown

Why the curly hair Why am I chosen?

Chosen to stick out who chose

me,  they said we are the chosen ones,   

chosen for what,  for with my


hips so wide the path behind the house to the woods so narrow

at night in the dark,

You should be dead, To be dead to be dead

To be dead would be better


Little Jew boy with the black

teeth black and blue like a plum, thumb in your mouth

What’s wrong with you son, you’re anything but a man,


If only you were normal, to have been born normal, normal

like everyone else. Like everything else drab, dusky

dust and smoke-filled.

And Mrs. Shapiro said shut up and never mention

her pulled up sleeve, again (in or out of the radio shop).


Sometimes I think

It would be better

To have been born

 Normal, normal, like everyone else


Like the little stupid rich boy


He said as he kicked me then  kissed me

laced my hands up in too-big boxing  gloves

kicked me with his steel boots

spit spittle from his mouth on my head.

Said I am the King of scrap metal , the king

of spit balls king of the River.



And I am the Jewish Monster, I will haunt your dreams

What are you looking for?