• Gene Goldfarb

Selected Poetry by Gene Goldfarb


Photo Source: Pixabay

On The Next Season of Plenty

Anita decides to have a baby.

Bobby is working

longer hours at Jefford’s

but not seeing a

real increase in pay.

Laura develops feelings for Larry

but remains jealous of Jake’s mom

who’s found a new man in her life.

David makes a

discovery about Anita

but will not tell anyone.

Rodney fears he may have to

return to prison

and knows Frank will be

waiting for him.

Anita becomes pregnant

gives birth to Bébé,

but won’t tell anyone

who the father is.

Laura starts making

goo-goo eyes at Rodney

and Jake’s mom’s new beau

but still has feelings for

Larry and David.

Frank breaks out of prison

burns down Jefford’s

has a rushed interlude with Laura

and seeks out Rodney.

Bébé is unusually precocious

and tells her mom, Anita

that Bébé is a stupid name.

Dr. Elfenbein comes to town

and starts a

group therapy session,

explaining to Bobby that he needn’t

worry about increased

tax withholding

since Bobby no longer has a job,

that David will plotz if he continues

to harbor Anita’s secret,

that Laura musn’t make

goo-goo eyes

at more than two men at a time,

and that Bébé

should indeed change

her name to Madison Joy.

In a moment of private reflection

he tries to decide if he

will take Frank

as a lover and move to New Jersey,

or commit suicide.

Absurdities Reserved for Real Men

Like the hero in silent movies

I will take all insults personally,

gallop off at the same time

in seven distinct directions,

stop only for some absinthe

to clear my head and pay

with a three-sided coin the way

all five-sixths macho men do

and go absolutely gonzo mad

when the hat check girl

loses my hat.

You understand my horse is waiting

and I’m double parked.

Bird Exam

Does a bird only have one song?

(One true song, not like the mocking bird

all pretense hopping from one imitation

to the next

making all those other birds swoon

at his cheap antics that hide no inner life.)

Does he sing his heart out

until he gathers a mate or is shot

or simply falls to earth dead

as a stone in winter?

Does a bird have a memory

of one fine summer with

a kindred soul

(something more than

gorging himself

with bugs and feeding his ungrateful brood)?

When a bird flies

south for the winter

does he then meet up with cousins

and the old crowd

who ask what he’s been

doing lately?

Does a bird ever cry

when he’s alone

or wish that he’d been

something else?


Why do I never see this word used

in a poem?

Banned it seems to the exactitude

of finance

like the Norman French and Latin

of lawyers threading their way

through the courts and conference rooms.

But why does this

most educated sector

of society insist on using language

500 years old? I am asked.

Oh, that I can answer: Because

we lawyers can’t

see around corners,

and the rest is commentary.

So let me amortize my frustration

over a few hours of sleep,

then wake and my mouth

now round and loving

pour forth flowers

and birdsong.

Taking Names, Giving Numbers

I was reading a book

and fell down a hole surrounded

by high weeds, distracted

finding myself in an etiquette

class, all of us being taught

to recite its myriad rules

each of us from different starts

carousel fashion having joined

at odd times, when a thought

pulled itself up in my face

that all names offend and

should be replaced by numbers

mother’d be one, father three,

liar five, using primes for basic

concepts, earth would be seven,

food would be four, violating

the prime number rule,

tax return would be 347A

for individual, 347B for

partnership and 347C for

corporate, death would be 0.

Gene Goldfarb, a Long Islander, does volunteer work and loves writing and travel. His poems have appeared in Quiddity, COG, Misfit Magazine and Green Briar Review. His blogs have appeared in Black Fox Literary Magazine, and his short fiction debuted in Bull & Cross and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight.