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Charles Chaim Wax

Not A Precise Report

my sister said
Minnie said
her friend's son
fell off a moped
near Rochester
on a country road
then a car
killed him.
'how old was he, ' I asked.
'twenty-one or twenty-two, ' my sister said.
'I can't remember.
anyway
what's a year?
after you're dead.'

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In Honor of Zen Master Dogen

When I walked into
my sister’s apartment
Annie danced merrily.
so I whispered
to my sister
“I’m jealous
cause I want her
to be like me:
a loser
flop
failure
washout
not just me
also you,
your darling husband
not leaving your son
the whole bunch of us.
Not that I want her
to suffer
cause when you fail miserably

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Thin Walls

she was tall
blonde hair
not especially beautiful
unmarried
early forties
and through
thin walls
came to know
her existence
mostly alone
two years
my next door neighbor
but for a three month stretch
laughter with a man
love making with a man
perhaps happy
don’t know
then gone for awhile
came back
no hair

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Heroin arms

littered with tiny
specks of blood
punctured
a hundred times
for the sake of
a Paradise
beyond pain
never obtained
yet sought
time and time again
still
he dreams of Celene
of her black hair
black as night
dreams of Celene
with her black hair
soft and sweet
dreams to flee
this god forsaken city
sewer of death

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Beyond that final blip of breath

Bernstein wept.
Too late.
Fifteen years alive
this beautiful woman
then:
Chained about the neck and wrists
three circles cigarette burned
into her face
raped
eye sockets smashed
finally found
flesh hardly there
only mold merry at the feasting
and the sad tongue pleading mercy
but there was none
in Brooklyn
and at night the dream:
200,00 dead in Darfur
and who dared then to postulate
Heaven or Hell or a heart

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Sermon of a Soon to be Zen Master

What is power?
What is freedon?
When I stop breathing all of you will die.
Not only trees, rocks too. There are some
very clever rocks behind the Zendo.
My friend Hans
committed suicide. Everything went
smoothly. He planned it very well.
He turned on
the gas stove
and sat there
reading a book. Just this was not
the right place for him, so he went
to another place. He wasn't
psychotic or anything. He knew what
he was doing. I had another friend. His wife
committed suicide. She tried three times
and on the third try
she was successful. But for her
no place was the right place.

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A Visit to Victoria's Secret

I made a left
and pulled into the huge
Staten Island Mall parking lot
my sister and Nancy hopped out
racing into Victoria’s Secret
store packed
noticed a small carpeted section
motioned to my sister
sat down
watching women
examine racks and racks
of skimpy panties, silk slips, push-up bras
et cetera, et cetera
also four Transvestites
well, we all want happiness
I said to myself
no harm in a few accouterments
to help
in such a valiant effort.
Suddenly my sister appeared

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Christmas In June

The hottest June on record
couldn’t bear it
so played Christmas songs
sung by the immortal
Slim Whitman
Chairperson Linda
thought such behavior
not profession
ordering me to stop
but my students
as I did
loved the warbling
but she said
I’d be fired if I went on
so I haled the cherished music
Two days later a note from Chairperson Linda
to see her
She began immediately, “Mr. Bernstein,
I’ve been getting calls all day
from parents complaining about

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Another Life 5

When I returned to the Terminal Hotel
Frances said to Candy, “I like these little drinks.
I like laughter
and to maintain a good job
but lately I can’t work
except once in a while on the street.”
“That’s alright, ” said Candy
opening the bottle of Cherry Liqueur.
“I once was set up
with this guy for a date
when I spoke to him
on the phone
he had a pleasant voice
but when I saw him
he had a big head
like a circle like a full moon
deformed
the features all too big.
the worst Fetish I ever saw...”
“Fetish? ” I asked.

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In Countless Droves

On July 4th
we walked to the liquor store
on Surf Avenue
in Coney Island
“What’s a good Scotch? ” I asked.
“Dewer’s White Label, ”
said the guy behind the counter.
“That’s what Alvin Goldfarb
used to drink, ” said Melvin Hopp,
“before he passed
had a twisted mind
seen him gobble a waterbug once
just to impress Ellen Cleary.”
“Was she impressed? ” I asked Melvin.
“Yeah.
Who wouldn’t be
if a guy ate a waterbug
in your honor
then said
it tasted like applesauce.”

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