I've been a practicing psychoanalyst since l984 and have been publishing case studies that read like short stories for years in places like The Psychoanalytic Review and The Partisan Review. For the past few years I've been meaning to publish a jargon-free book for the general public: The Man In The BMW and Other Psychoanalytic Stories but each time I'm ready to tie them all together I get waylaid by theater. Or a new book of poems. Finally my wife, Linda, and I are going to finish the book of ten "stories." If you're interested you can find the Man In The BMW on Google.
Stubborn Spring pushed through the cold twigs
In the small park across the street
From where Yud Schwartz, the poet, lived
With a deaf butcher and the butcher's wife
In one room cluttered as his grief:
Pictures of his dead wife on his desk
And of Schwartz, Sholem Aleichem, and Sholem Asch --
Three cypresses on a Bronx street,
Two of them dead, Yud Schwartz
Cut down as well. His bookcase was
A crypt; his Yiddish tongue was dust;
And she dead a week —
Ruts for the skidding wheels of a Ford.
"How do I feel?" I woke at dawn
In a yellow sweat, my sheets wet,
My guts stuffed with grass,
With bluebird bones, fragments of poems.
I dressed. Buttoning my shirt was hard,
Believe me. 'There's one choice,' I said.
'Make up your mind! and I half-walked
Down to the park. Forty-six steps —
I counted every one of them.
The clouds were rinsed of simile,
The sky bluer than Galilee.
The buds were out. I touched them: frail
As a wren's tongue, pale. The earth felt
Like bear's fur. Good, damn it, it's good.
"How do I feel?" He read a poem:
About wind, papers wrapped tight on his calves
As he walked Sholem Aleichem's street, the old shops
Gone, slush soaking his shoes gone poor,
Spanish in the tenement rooms
Where he spent the Sabbath afternoons
Wife his young wife, his poet-friends,
Peeled yellow apples and munched nuts,
Munched figs, and vowed to eat the world.
In Fall I telephoned. "Who?" said the butcher's wife.
"The poet." "Who?" "The boarder!" "Dead.
Last Spring. He left no money and no clothes."
©2017 Frederick Feirstein
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