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April 10, 2008


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Superb poem.
-- Jack Cassidy


This is a perfect poem. I heard it and it almost made me re-read the Zohar in Aramaic.
Mitch is one of the eunknown masters of our
pooetry if not prose. When he was a, child,
and my roomate, he suspended a sword above his head. It worried me. But I kept Tibetan pills on my dresser drawyer. My girlfriend at the
time lINDSAY came in, saw the sword over the bed, and pulled it down. As far as I know, this was the begtinningnof Coinceptual Art, l967. It is noit true that
every year Mitch and I put up swords above our heads. Compared to the sword performance,
Conceptual Art was a monkey. But compared to the monkey, The moinkey is a monkey.
When he was a small boy, Mitch, my roomate, told me how badly athletes
were treated and he wrote sonnets on wrestling holds. The stories were true, racism too, and the sonnets were as good as it gets. But compared to his stories (SA Mean Teacher,
for example, which includes a sentenbce from my childhood,--compared to his stories,
the sonnets of the Full Nelson are just moinkeys. What kind of monkeys? Darwin says
men are colorful but women arew art critics. But comnpared to the Animal Expression
book of Darwin, the monkey is an art critic and Jewish masks hang above us, like swords--Did you know someone from Columbia, where Mitch was a tyyke, is going toi the Olympics
in freencing. But compared to Mitch's childhood, full of secret horror, a monkey is Jane Goodall. Men are colorful and sing of sex and territory,m and territory is sex, but comnopared to Chicago and Mitch Sisskind, men are monkeys. Mitch uses a sentence of mine
"I'm going to take you to dreamland," a sentence by a grammar school friend.
I heard him say it in a dark room to a girl once. I was moved that Rabbi
Siskind,m as we called him then, remembered it and used it. But compared to Lindsay, who took
down the sword in lessd than three seconds, thus spoaring us suicide and
giving us Mitch's enduring work called Half-SAwakened Birdsd, --compared to her, I say,
my typos are monkeys.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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