The Quarter – Jared Chipkin

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Of Roth
Of Bellow
Of Malamud and Cahan

Of Singer,
Of Yezierska
Of Roth again
but not Agnon

Of that two-toned voice internal
Blushed free of warders cruel
Under slanted banner glory
Starred brick in dangled duel

Of hairy rooftop laughter
Raining tenement charades
Scream-stung single typists
Burping seltzered serenades

Of corned beef thin wax paper
Rye seed in held breasts full
Neon beaks point sensing
At grayed hung tongues of bull

Of cooper roads cracked shining
Two broken teeth for litter
Through pungent bloomer alleys
Favoured wizened tears too bitter

Of squat chairs chipped and filthy
Beaten heirs of litany swept
Out dolorous pitted windows
Harsh laments unspoken leapt

They did shout! They did shout!
Melting a nickel’s worth of words
Afoot in maritime spent medicine
Unfurling lungs up into birds

 

Jared Chipkin has worked in bookstores for over twenty years, and shares his poems with friends and strangers on his website, www.notapoem.com. He lives where his family has for over a hundred years, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not Kansas.

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