Roberta Gould


for Dorothy


The mentality of the oppressed took aim and she

would fidget and stutter have to figure out each

move same as a wolf pup under spotlight and

gun except that it was the family itself Papa

who wanted her mad to lock up and be rid of

She knew it always next to her sister the angel

who preceded her the one who now was the one

going mad foaming and raging not innocent like

she the star of this poem who twenty five years

old on a bit of peyote sat quietly playing under her

inner sky fat fingered and intensely happy it seemed

on the floor of the 26th Street loft a young woman

uncorrupted like the child devils who had stolen

her friend’s playmate at the age of four saying bad

words and lying from the dens of their heart No malice

ever in her no needles or bloated tongue flapping for relief

No! Purely playing as her friend danced behind the

old man mask, she redeemed everyone in the room

her friend, the young men who lived there, and even me



The closet is full of his clothes, the jacket with dandruff

and all the rest.  I tell my friends he’ll be back

to collect them  Besides there’s a new man now

and we’re practicing the tango

But he leaves, too, and I wait.  Nothing happens

He’s having problems with his visa

I’m like a past century whaler’s wife

He’s gone and there’s a war on

Everything seems wrong.  I surrender

My guru says that’s what to do

I forget myself in my work

I‘m an acress.  A good one. And  I believe


Roberta Gould… Among her 9 published  books are : Writing Air Written Water,  Only Rock  Not By Blood Alone,  Pacing the Wind  and Louder Than Seed,  She has worked with solidarity groups for Latin America and Haiti,  organized a responsible tourist campaign,  recently studied entomology and geology  and is looking for a ping pong partner.

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