Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, has been nominated for Pushcarts and authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published by Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and in Gargoyle, Margie, Main Street Rag, MiPOesias, New Delta Review, Brooklyn Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Voices Israel, Tishman Review, Suisun Valley Review, Burningwood Review, Fiction Southeast, Junto, Tiferet plus featured in New Verse News, Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords, Floor Plan, Good-Man-Project, Anti-Heroin-Chic, Poetry Circle, Fiction Southeast and Tipton Review. “Amber Of Memory” was the single poem chosen for my 50th college reunion symposium on Bob Dylan. Mount Analogue selected Sarnat’s sequence, KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY, for pamphlet distribution on Inauguration Day 2017 as part of the Washington DC and nationwide Women’s Marches. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, interviews; visit GerardSarnat.com. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry’s worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO and Stanford Med professor. Married for a half century, Gerry has three kids and four grandkids so far.
After last Ash Wednesday happened
Valentine's Day woohoo
Jeez time flied – guys up in that sky
-- JC Pesach sup with bros
Good Friday when stock exchanges
close as matter of catholic
tradition while those original Jewish
monotheists’re replaced by
Christians then a half millennia later
Abraham’s youngest branch
begins which now celebrates Sabbath
protesting new Eretz Israel
Gaza security rules: 16 Muslims dead
right before Easter Sunday’s
Resurrection occurred on April Fools
if gluten-free matzo ain’t gross
though non-GMO spelt grain’s worse
-- I’m a matzochrist who derives
pleasure from the bread of affliction.
dawn after Saturday night braised
osso bucco, walking on our virginal forest trail
with one grandson whose inculcated
as Benjamin Blaze
petit four trumpet daffodils opening under a double rainbow,
white Pascal lamb trying to be petted while avoid being spayed
by narcissistic anti-religulous adults exclaims
“Let’s get ready for adoration
from a little boy trading
in his black sheep for Resurrection’s payday.”
Passover Divining Rod haiku
Samurai hair bun --
chop stick sampling hive honey
-- zendo Ouija board
Fixin’ To Die Golden Anniversary Rag: 1967-2017
In 1969 I married my best friend’s date
from two years earlier right before San Francisco’s Summer of Love
when he graduated from what we considered “Berkeley” –
which is what those idealists who smoked Acapulco Gold
and took full advantage of newly-minted birth control pills
and went to Winterland plus the Avalon Ballroom
to rock out to Quicksilver Messenger Service or Janis Joplin’s
Big Brother and The Holding Company or Jefferson Airplane
as well as Country Joe and the Fish decrying Vietnam
after which, holy mackerel, this Stanford medical student
went to the barricades to burn his draft card
then almost get brains blown out holding a gun
to the head of a Marine driving a bus of recruits to Oakland’s Federal Building
-- instead of calling the great northern California university “Cal”
which is what the cohort our age who fell on the Silent Generation
side of the fence called the same school
where they got a world-class classroom education
while my best friend and his date educioed the Free Speech Movement
we thought was a Jeffersonian democracy silver bullet
that had blown the doors off status quo mealy-mouthed bourgeois flatulence
but instead simply opened the window a revisionist assassination-bloodied
decadent sliver before it closed only to leave us stuck
inside Big Brother’s consumer mobile with the Trumpian blues again and again.
Bad News Good News
Perhaps half of the time
ApplePay isn’t accepted
or does not take plus
is often accompanied by
disgruntled younger folk
in lengthening queues
hissing something about
you goddamn old folk.
Both renewed credit cards
that for the last six decades
were mailed in such discrete
envelopes they got tossed
or maybe never arrived but
then which finally came with
expiration dates now when I’m
50-50 one of those in our 80s.
out both ultimate Cezanne*
and post coital lulls.
*riffing off https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/09/the-lurchingly-uneven-portraits-of-paul-cezanne
MOST SIGNIFICANT YEARS OF MY LIFE
My (step)dad, although a somewhat legendary member
of the Jewish mob and founder of the El Rancho Vegas
who died suddenly from a massive heart attack, nonetheless
was the only father I knew plus best one since none of Mom’s
four subsequent husbands could tie his shoes -- much less fill them.
At first it had to do with Vietnam -- in my dummkopf case
just surviving holding a gun to the head of a marine driving
a busload of recruits on 880 to the Oakland Induction Center.
Earlier that year I’d left intriguing but often alien Victorian Boston.
Came back west -- specifically to San Francisco Bay area
during the Summer of Love, as it were.
Just in the nick to fall on the “forward-looking”
rather than silent generation side of the proverbial clichéd fence
-- and soon enough fall for the love of my life.
She showed how to be human/e and gave me
a family that remains our highest priority and source of joy --
along with our share of sadness.
This was provoked watching a doc on the making of 1967’s
epic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band -- looks of Paul,
John and George Martin’s ties; they too could’ve taken frostier paths.
Penny For Unsolicited Thoughts
My life has intertwined with Berserkeley.
Diverting there from Victorian Harvard
circa 1963 for virginal toke. Smashing bus
headlights on 880 to delay Marine recruits
from Vietnam deployment to meeting my wife
of 50 years to CEOing HMOs to now burying friends.
Lenny Robert Da Bruce Springstein [Sic] Sycophantish Geotrans Abstrusity
fem punk, desert
sand on Assad’s
or O.C.D. M.D.
help melt blood
tipped ISIS turd repository parades.
man guru Erdoğan
off rest of milk
chocolate bar star
in my landsman
thinnish air of
our muy mucho
this here quaint
pic ain’t made
into your basic
USA 45 caliber
now housed in
a Trump Tower
of rotting earth’s
public bootlicker Goldman Sachs Mnuchin’s red tilak
dotted pube domain.