Three Poems

Eleanor Levine



Inside the apple seeds of a man’s breath, with wooly facial hair—a migraine forest filled with the Unabomber’s brain. I will not give him a blowjob through the Fruit of the Loom fibrous underpants where penis meets cotton. I smell the concerto of apple perfumes through lips and curling hair that lingers down his mouth—hairlines, an insignia forest—curling and looping brown/red threads upon his lips, hanging loose like below.


A woman reads op-ed articles from the Columbia J School. Black and white opinion pieces with resilience because the course cost $1000 in the spring; you leap through consonants and predicates and muffled phrases that have residual effects on your brain; she is inspired, with her leather boots and no-name nail polish, to exude intrigue with these papers, which she considers “commercially viable op-ed pieces.”


A priest opens to Ephesians in a leather-bound Bible with indented words; the pages are mangled and smell like tobacco. His dirty fingernails move with riveting speed, and as the Lord’s servant, he says, “I love you, dear Jesus, you are my martyr and I am your humble crusader.” The black lady on his left smiles, and continues reading The Crucible.


*   *   *




for Gertrude Stein
Ida is my dead grandmother
She told me to wash the floor
I vowed I would always
needn’t worry with her
fluffy hair
Ida died the night
of my forensics tournament
spoke from the Heavens:
“Don’t forget Mr. Clean”

When I graduated from college
I became a maid at the Hyatt
walked in on two Germans
making love and returned
with ammonia
So when Deutsche űber alles
had finished they would
not hear a pragmatic
Yiddish lady screaming.

*   *   *



E’s Baseball

Lincoln Tunnel car fumes,
hot chestnuts in wax paper,
Hershey bars with orange peels,
screaming “Hank Aaron!”,
“Babe Ruth!” as brother
hides in Shea Stadium.

He bought nose-bleed seats
near God, and fumed with
swirling swastika eyes as I
viewed Goebbels Diaries,
not Tom Seaver’s strikeout
of the Chicago Cubs.

We won $40 Mets tickets,
saw the pizzazz of cleats,
butts hanging loose in field—
legs striding toward dugout,
Darryl Strawberry snorting
the great white dust.

At the Phillies’ game:
$4 hot dogs and indigestion,
Jersey girls/boys shrieking,
heroes in dust, which precluded
me skimming Nazis, though I
cheered mightily for Michael Vick.