Two Tribes Laughing - Poem by Linda Hepner
Across the street I sat and tittered
When the Shubert Theater glittered
With the British jibes and jokes
Good old slapstick, ribald pokes,
And I sang along with them
The mantra chorus their anthem
'Only look upon the bright
Side of things', for any plight
Can be borne if you would just
In a jokey god now trust.
But the stage across the way,
Helen Hayes, now has a stay
On a non-Brit, breathy Jew,
Sweaty, sweary, in a stew
Seething fiercely, about what?
Politics or what is not
In society, or lists
Endlessly in case he missed
Something that we have not marked;
He is like the dog who barked
Loudly all the sleepless night,
Giving everyone a fright
Till they wake relieved and laugh,
Tears run down until they barf.
What I love is Python fun,
Poking holes in everyone,
Really nice though, with a message
Life shits, put your horse in dressage,
You're in charge if you don't think,
Have a laugh, now have a drink;
But oi veh! across the street
Go my poor unwilling feet
And my memories and guilt
In my overheated quilt
Watch the Jew self-sacrifice
Dignity with every vice
Airing what I must avoid
If against me God's annoyed.
He takes on the world and woe
And the observations flow
Not like floating down the river
But like chopping up chopped liver.
He's my grandpa, he's my dad,
He's my rabbi, if he's mad
He's responding to the world
Like a python round him curled,
Get me out of here, I'll die!
But however much you try,
No escape from venal life,
Horror, stupid guys and strife -
Come and laugh, the clown is here,
Glad he's not me, let's all cheer
While he suffers on the stage,
Laughter for our evil age.
Oh to be a fairer tribe,
Take life easy, just a jibe
Is enough, now always look
On the bright side - shut that Book!
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