Christmas defeated Chanukah
once again last night
by a margin of three billion dollars
or so, but every time I hear
a Yiddish word like bupkes
in a movie (L.
or when Oleg Cassini in that new play Jackie
calls a garment a shmatta, it's "good
for the Jews," as our parents used to say.
Meanwhile some things have
stayed the same; the drunken lout
in the street is still somebody's father.
Hey, kid, how does it feel to have a pop
that's a flop? And we had such good ideas
for changing the mental universe, if only
as a project in philosophy class, the one
I still dream about failing when I have
that dream everybody has, of being back
in college and needing this one course
to graduate, which I forgot to attend
by David Lehman
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