January 10-16, 2005: Louise Crawford and Ulrike Gerbig

week of January 10-16, 2005

Louise Crawford and Ulrike Gerbig

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Louise Crawford

Bio (auto)

Louise Crawford is a Brooklyn, N.Y writer She lives with her photographer husband and two kids She writes a newsletter for the Fire Department of New York for the families of those who lost loved ones on September 11th She worked in the film and video industry as an editor and producer for many years and made a documentary film called “In a Jazz Way,” which was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Film Forum, the Public Theater, and on cable television A full-time writer, she is finishing a novel called “Crossing the River,” and a book of poetry called “Five Ten on Tuesday ” She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Council for the Humanities for her film work
Visit Louise on the web:
wonderwheel.blogspot.com and thirdstreet.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Louise Crawford and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Such a balabusta
I am
bringing this tin
of homemade cookies

More fodder for
your extravagant elucidations
your theoretical be-bop

Chewing them slow
you savor the X-ray view
swallowing the id of me

Flavorful, rich
Freudian frosting
Purveyor of
phantasmic erogeny
and childhood suffering

I whipped up these
mnemonics of small
sweet longing
in my hot basement kitchen

For your plasir
and your analysis, of course

Sugar on your lips
you lean forward
eyes shut tight
receptor of
psychoanalytic radio signals

and riff radiantly on my
unconscious confections

Take them for what they are

my cookies
are yours


This poem is a frowsy bedroom
In a rent stabilized apartment building
where we rub excellent bellies
and trade aches and erogenies
whispering elixir words and poesie
on Louis Armstrong’s birthday
The neighbors across the airshaft
yell fuck you to the stars
Now I am unzipping you
bending down, holding you in my hand
Melancholy Blues is on the radio
My tongue licks like Niagara Falls
Dawn nears in this poem
and you are cooing


You are my dosa, 
my Indian sandwich
Long rectangular arms
enveloping, folding
wrapping me lovingly
in crispy fried flat bread
Saucy curried me
Chutney sweet sour
concoction of a personality
Oh my caramelized onions
My leafy green cilantro
My Xantippe ways
and desperate need
for mirroring and penetration
I am starting to feel
ancient pain
I am starting to love
our sacred hugs
Clinging, never letting go
You are my dosa, 
my Indian sandwich

Rapid Transit

A woman reads
How to Know God
on the subway
in a Panama hat, a red shirt, and
big, black, comfortable shoes

The Bronx

No blue embroidered prayer shawl to daven in
No kipah to cover your poet’s skull

No fountain pens
or Bundist Bar Mitzvah pictures
to share with your thirteen year old boy

No challah, or phonetic Hebrew
for hungry blessings on Shabbas nights

Your parents were
going to change the world
with mortal hands and kreplach

“God is nowhere,” they said
Zayde’s tfillin locked away
with Russian shul memories
in the broom closet

But God was everywhere

Even on Yom Kippur
when you ate cheeseburgers
in the red communal cafeteria
of your trade union apartment building
God was loving each and every atheist in the Bronx
Especially you


It’s a small death each and every
Tuesday when I lose you
to the buzzer at six p.m
You practically push me out the door

No sun warms my refugee shoulders
on your stone cold stoop
Backwinded, struggling to regain buoyancy
wondering which new port will receive my penury arms

The dismal neglect of your half-drawn shade
and your air conditioner’s steadfast humming
for the person who comes after

Their spellbinding specificity echews mine

If I go to Jack’s I’ll see my boy
He always has enough time for me


I think you like the poems
more than you like me
svelte, they are
in their
Subtle construction
minimalist even
like my mother’s apartment

What’s to like
about zaftig me?
My talk so rococo
a mix of polka dots and stripes

No wonder you like the poems

My chazerai
can be
a tad

Ulrike Gerbig


My name is Ulrike Gerbig and I live in Frankfurt, Germany as a woman, mum, daughter, teacher, mediator, friend, lover and poet
I am no native speaker, but have been writing poetry in English for some years now Why that is, I don’t know or can’t say I feel, think and dream in English often; maybe because some of my lovers have been English native speakers
But maybe it is because I never felt completely at home in Germany; being the daughter of a Jewis dad and a Christian mum always made me a soemwhat exotic plant
I am currently working on my second collection of poetry, “Love in all the right places”
My first one, “Every Woman’s Blues” (Lapwing Press, Belfast), was an attempt to download and overcome past encounters of my somewhat helter-skelter life in the past years
Since then, things changed and I have changed with them I became more and more interested in Buddhism and Sufism…everything that would teach me to enjoy each moment in life to the max, without too much pain, care or worry
I have begun to look for love in the right places…and I have found: in the work with my students, in fellow writers from all over the world, in my friends and in life, in general
I hope my new poems reflect that different attitude
Still, poetry is my means of getting to the core of what happens in my life Through my poetry fleeting encounters become more permanent, the feelings caused by them stay, and the true essence of each encounter becomes visible
Writing poetry is my way of making something in life last
My poems can be found on several websites like “Dead Drunk Dublin”, in E-zines, like “The Poetry Kit Magazine”, “Photoaspects”, “Electric Acorn”, “Unlikely Stories”, “Zygote in my Coffee” and “Out of Order” and will be found in the Anthology “Voices of Israel, 2004/2005”.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Ulrike Gerbig and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Last summer
I adopted a Geranium
At a market stall
it stood
and forgotten
I took it home
Under gentle hands
it unfolded its proud stem
once more
it grew a crown
of flaming purple
.all summer You loved Geraniums
lovably stuffy
a sign of home
and I loved you
.all summer In autumn
you left
the plant and me
It blossomed
all autumn
in hope of
your return
Winter found it
still outside
uncared for
it simply died
of exposure.

Kiss of the muses

my male Polyhymnia
Shed your Crotus’ skin
Under the light
Of Sagitarius
Forget your need
To hunt,
Let yourself be
Follow my
salt-sweat rivulets,
Soft hills,
Valleys ,
Down to,
The crevice
The cave
Lust and create
With gentle hands
Unlock the spring of
Magic potions
Let them
Quench your thirst
Dive deep
Into the sorceress
Into her warm well
She might ban
You onto

In between years

Sluggish days:

Time drips,
Leaded sand,
Through the
Narrowing waist
Of a hazy hourglass
Gluey cobwebs
Deny exit from
Memory maze
Tired eyes watch
The world in
Slow motion
Outside all trains
Travel backwards.

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