S.R. Grosslight is a minister and spiritual guide in the Sufi Order International. He is also a psychological counselor at Wise and Healthy Aging in Santa Monica, California. He is well-informed in the fields of vocal music and baseball, having followed both for over 80 years.
Seven Ways to Leave a Marriage
He dons Groucho’s nose and moustache
taps cigar ashes onto the rug
goes into his crouch
slinks out the door
He poses in her black chemise
turns slowly before the long mirror
closes his eyes…
He speaks forcefully
to an empty chair
which turns its back
He spray-paints three letters
of a four-lettered word
He rolls himself tightly
in a Turkish rug.
Movers toss him into a truck
He scans the obituaries
can’t find his name
wonders what it takes
He lies naked in the hot tub
watches his penis float in the moonlight
Rate of Interest
She says she can’t marry him; with his
money they’d barely squeak by.
She says my daughter, Lucy, her best friend,
told her the squeak is in her soul.
But, money is a lubricant.
I laughed, asked her if she would marry me.
She said if I weren’t Lucy’s dad, she might.
More serious, I asked if she would sleep with me.
She said if I weren’t Lucy’s dad, she would.
Tonight, I may shoot my daughter Lucy.
First, I’m going to count my money.
The dog knows he’s not allowed on the bed,
so he crouches at the foot,
little soft cries in his throat.
I take some of her dresses out of the closet,
inhale the sweetness, the pain, rumple them,
put them on the floor, point and say “Down.”
He noses them, walks away, returns to nose
them again, can’t make up his mind.
That’s what I do in the morning — leave
her pillow, walk to the bathroom, go back.
My friend tells me the first month
is the hardest. I tell my dog, console him,
hug him, assure him that time
will do its thing.
I say “my dog”; of course I mean hers… followed her
to the beach, to market, to her bedroom,
probably to the cemetery if I let him.
I fancy him walking slowly to the grave,
bouquet of lilacs in his mouth.
Beyond the Border
for Alberto Rios
Last night I wrote a poem in Spanish;
I want to be Latino.
I want to love my family
as if it were a beautiful woman.
I cherish your work for its silence —
the sound of fruit ripening,
the kisses of eyes.
You have laid my heart open
like the red melon.
If someone were to say to me
my poetry is utterly Spanish,
I would smile for the rest of my life,
except of course,
when I was weeping.
The Old Gang
Lenny Leekas leaped the longest.
Lenny was by far the strongest.
Shot down early by a Zero.
Lenny Leekas was my hero.
Billy Bernstein ill at ease.
His change to Benson didn’t please.
So when he started selling stock,
he signed his papers William Block.
Georgie Bell taught English Lit.
Bought a bar, smoked some shit.
Made a potful at insurance.
Georgie Bell had great endurance.
Benny Loew was never wrong.
His nose was longer than his shlong.
Benny Loew summed up his life:
“I had an angel for a wife.”
Five there were and now just one.
And I am slowly losing focus.
Time’s black magic spoiled the fun.
Hocus Pocus Dominocus!