Alan S. Kleiman



In the middle of the day
Six teenage boys
Came to me
As in a dream
Whoa man
Said one
Whoa whoa man
Said another
Hey mister said a third


None knew my name or my game
Or the name of my dog


Later at the cupboard
Getting a mug
For hot water and tea
I said to the receptionist
Show me your numbers
And she lay down
On the table
Lifted her skirt
And there on her right thigh
Almost to her knee
Was her federal tax ID, her cell phone number,
Her American Express account and curling up toward the outer thigh her visa and library card numbers, ending in her driver’s license number
As if it were the cross piece of a scrabble game triple word score.
I never forget who I am she said to me

Oh, I replied
But I still don’t know your shoe size
let me look at your arch.




The snow came so quickly
I was in the museum
And came out into a Utrillo painting
Walking along the Seine
Sidewalks covered
Trees dressed in winter white
Snow blowing cross wise yet gently
past my eyes crossing my face
touching my cheek


I walked for a mile
I was art personified
In the perfect storm
For me romantic
And I was hungry enough to think of food
The temperatures were rising
And soon the frost would be rain
and wash the painting clean


It was one of those evenings
I didn’t need a fireplace
or a glass of brandy
The night, in each whiff,
contained chocolate, coffee, tulips
Mozart, Brahms, cognac, oysters




By 3:23 the light begins to fade
And that’s when I take late lunch.
I go to the food court
And find the stations with the least crowds
Where the food must be bad
Or out of fashion
Or maybe the price is $2 more
Than at the other stations.


I take a seat, a counter seat,
And read the sign board
Not knowing what anything means.
It is like in Petersburg trying to
Order Olivia Salad and learning it is as Greek
as Greek Salad
Or Caesar
Names that must be learned. Hot Dog.


I don’t want to eat but am hungry.
The crowd, thin that it is, is young
Handsome and pretty, chic and cool.
I don’t fit in the place
I’m like a chaperone at the
Junior High Dance.


When I pick my meal to order
It is sold out.
“Would you like Mel Dubin Salad?” I’m asked.
Would you?




Her beauty like a flower
that launched battleships
drew men to arms
led stallions to leap
lit starless skies
when darkness was everywhere
and blackness prevailed


Her beauty struck a match
like sweet william in still air
like twilight bird’s silence
like foxglove trellising on sea cliffs
that roam the islands edge
before tide crashes
spray mist in the air

Her beauty he saw
and she saw it reflected
in his eyebrows
how they rose and fell
like tides
when she smiled
or snickered
joked or cried
everywhere her beauty lay
on the rocks the sand the dust the clouds the stars.




Outside my window there is steam

and there are lights in a skyscraper

where people sit at their desks

and the lights let them work.


I bought two hot tamales

from the Mexican food cart

hoping it would warm me.


The lights are cold

as I see them

some go in rows

running away from me

and others go in rows

perpendicular to me.


I like the ones that run away

as if they have a place to go

where at the end of the line

people are warm

without coats.

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Alan S. Kleiman is the author of Grand Slam, (Crisis Chronicles Press). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Verse Wisconsin, The Criterion, and Festival Writer. Fine Line Press and Red Ochre Press have anthologized his poetry and it has been translated into Spanish, Russian, Polish, Norwegian, Danish and Ukrainian. He lives in New York City and works as an attorney when not writing.
For more of his writings, check the Archives.

©2016 Alan S. Kleiman
©2016 Publication Scene4 Magazine




October 2016

Volume 17 Issue 5

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