was no playhouse but a house in earnest.
Mattel® Toys in Rahway, New Jersey, in 1973,
built Barbie’s vinyl playhouse by the skidful
go under your Christmas tree.
did, my colleagues, and me.
my left a youth who wanted to kill Whitey;
my right a Honk-if-you-love-Jesus nut;
ahead a Cuban exile someone said
really built (all I could see was her butt).
man in the middle was me.
I was as white as the housewife’s
you see every weekday at three;
I was whiter than Moby Dick,
on an Ahab-angry sea.
snapped in isinglass windows.
stapled on the roof; Nat, the floor;
College (I) got the thinking man’s
the “detachable” door.
I’d pass it to the Jehovah’s Witness
wince as she put Babylon in a box;
off it would go on a conveyor belt
L.A., Sioux City, or the Bronx—
America was fabricating dreamgirls
oohs & aahs beneath a tinselled tree:
at Barbie’s playhouse!” Megans
Tiffanies cried. “She even has a tiny TV!”
seen photographs of weary Asians
track for the railroad industry.
seen real Mexicans on their knees
lettuce for the A&P.
have worked hard for little;
harder for less than we—
sweated in worn out jeans and khakis
a doll who cried APPEARANCE IS ALL.
the White House began to fall in 1973.
Siereck Gets a Sense of Humor
is a sense in which
can slip my hand
out my liver
slap it down bleeding
pink butcher’s paper
ave atque vale poor Hans Siereck,
out last week at a hundred and three
Plainfield, New Jersey,
humorless butcher of my childhood,
of the long glass casket,
which housewives viewed chops, cutlets,
of lamb, t-bones, kidneys, sweetbreads,
watch in silence each week
a boy eyed flesh and organs,
hungry snapping turtles.
I have twenty-five-cents-worth
your very worst chopped meat?”
two stores down, on an errand for mother,
hard rolls and a loaf of Jewish rye.”
I were Jay at Leventhal’s bakery
say, “You don’t have to call our bread
say with seeds. That’s what
mother means, isn’t it?”
if I were Hans Siereck, I’d say,“Vy don’t you try
own liver? I cut you nize slize.
turddles love it
ist gut for them.”
wipe the dark blood on my apron,
to myself in High German,
put another quarter in the register.