Dorothy Friedman reads at Zinc Bar

On September 22, I went over to Zinc Bar to hear some poets. I was especially looking forward to hearing Dorothy Friedman because she’s always fun, a surprising adventure in English, the language itself and its delivery. The poet is as ubiquitous as air and water, and taken for granted perhaps, but important nonetheless. The little bit I’ve captured of Dorothy is on the Vimeo below. Enjoy.

at Zinc

Dorothy Friedman sent me several of the poems she read at Zinc.

Moving Noisily But Good

Hers was a wild docile childhood.
Ouch! Gigantic igloo
moving noisily but good outside.
Blooming on a gingko tree
was ecstatic hip replacement.
Conceived on a giant lectern.
A moral handed down.
Read from a diving board.
You may of heard her diving
into childhood. Into the nursery
of sad toys. Where all her dolls
wear rehabilitation. And one doll
bounces a ball into the pink sky,
doll and ball,
floating where they live.


Today we will write a new book in which we search for our eyes and lips,
in which we open our hearts to the dictionary of verbs and adjectives.
The nouns are our nieces, The adjectives our aunt and uncles.
Here in the dictionary we find our family. The lost tribe.

There are no better days to be lived. in these days of Aids and apocalypse.
One these days I am born in memory of my mother Molly,
who never learned to be disobedient. On these days I am fused
with previous angels in the maelstroms and hallelujahs of history.
What of the souls of galoshes?

Let us extend personal obsession to tenderize the theater of cruelty.
Let us take this verbal tenacity on thrilling taxicabs rides to the future.

But some of us are afraid of tenderness, as if in the nightmare of violence
we can lose our personal problems and find solace in conflict.
Some of us are afraid to leap into the unknown. To create a better world
in which poems reign, like certain sure children, full of color and balance.

On The Way to The Cote d’ Azur


I am devoted to the story in which our pillowcases unfold and inside each neat percale is a raucous record of not merely chap, but chapbook and chapel bell.  You may as well choose since life is slipping by as I write this.  But since the secret is out, I can admit there is so much you don’t like or approve of about me or that other fellow you met who you really aren’t like but in order to survive imitated and did all these things you said were necessary, then disassociated and made tea.


A story begins in which we hoped someone would love us but no one ever did.  You were engaged to marry a man but mother interfered and you married his mistress instead.  You were spoken for but never spoke up for yourself.  So in order to assist we dislodged the bullet from your heart and a sixth sense emerged and divulged hat you had been shot or orphaned at a young age.  Everyone cried and after we all drank Domaine du Vallon and dried our eyes.  And then we voted to exile you to the Cote d’ Azur because you had a certain lack of restraint.


In another version you were spoken for but never spoke up for yourself so the bullet was never dislodged from your heart.  You were engaged to marry a lass but married your mother or some other facsimile.  You waved to the mountains as the upholstery rolled by.  It later became divulged that you had been orphaned at an early age and everyone cried.  After that we were grateful you left the party early, so as not to disturb the Cote d’ Azur.


Pistachio is my favorite flavor, she said. What’s yours?  Marshmallow fudge, I replied.  And what about English?  Can we try on another alphabet please.  Because one day sooner than you think this will become tiresome.  After all it is a trick we do with light. Invent a new way to carry on, mate, ring the bell, have offspring.  But I must say gentlemen, I am much obliged to you for all you have done for me and am now ready to travel north with my huskies.

How People Are Born

People are born muddled
in dreamscapes and trashcans.

It was his coffee and her cup.
The one she brought to his L. E. S.
apartment from Crate and Barrel.
It was the afternoon she murdered
yet another set of parents and installed
a new tin foil liner in the trash can,

Next time people will be born
securely fastened
to their share of the weather report.

with Thaddeus Rutkowski and Amy Barone

with Jeff Wright, photo by Jennifer Juneau

photo by Jackie Rudin

with Bill Considine, Dorothy Friedman, Anton Yakovlev, Mitch Corber, Roxanne Hoffman and Stephen Paul Miller, photo by Patricia Carragon

with Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala, photo by Michael Andre

with grandson and son

with Michael Andre

photo by Michael Andre

photo by Patricia Carragon

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