Charles Chaim Wax
“bernstein, What Good Are You? ” - Poem by Charles Chaim Wax
Caught off guard by the question
especially the tone of Treasure’s voice
sad, bitter, aggressive.
“And I’m tired of your talk.”
Staring now, watching me,
I didn’t like the waiting
so whispered, “What’s this about? ”
I never in my life.”
Suddenly Larry Plunkett plopped down
at our table in Meng’s saying,
“Need that dollar
in your pocket, Bernstein? ”
I dipped in and handed him
then he quickly played
a tune on his Kazoo.
“Without this little darling
I’d be a dead man, ” he said.
“You’re good at that, Bernstein, ” said Treasure,
“tidbits to the lost.”
“He’s does his best, ” said Larry,
“I’ll vouch for that, indeed
last week I seen him in
Brighton Beach coming
outta a health food store
which just so happened
was next to Starbucks, and don’t you
know, the man spent $4.75 on a coffee
for me, then handed me his copy of
the Times, and sat myself down, after saying thanks
and hobnobbed with the rich and famous
for a good six hours.
raining it was, so happy to be
indoors and warm. Thus,
to conclude, Bernstein is a righteous
“The New York Fucking Times…”
At that Larry began laughing
couldn’t stop, flopped to the floor,
looked up at Treasure saying, “You got a way with words.”
“Where I found out about children
forced into prostitution.
In the article I read twenty-six men
entered a twelve year old girl
day after day, until she said, “No.”
Beat her. Still, No,
finally drugged her senseless
then the fucking,
like fucking a corpse
cocksuckers didn’t care.”
“Bastards, ” said Larry,
“This happen over in Brighton Beach?
cause there’s perverts walking them streets.”
“Pakistan, ” said Treasure.
“Oh, ” said Larry
lowering his eyes
then asking, “And where might that be?
cause I failed Geography three times
in sixth grade, and, well, never did make it to high school.”
“Tell him, Bernstein.”
“Far away, ” I mumbled.
“Here, ” Treasure said
plunging into her heart.
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