The Bronx by Zee Zahava

I so enjoy Zee Zahava’s work. And it is one of the wonders of the internet that I can read about her creative process on Facebook, find her new work, and share it with you in a matter of hours.
When I first became aware of the potential of the web my first thought was–I’ll be able to find my whole small press community out there. Which mostly proved true, but I didn’t realize I’d also form international community as well. And “the bronx” is a lot of fun to read, and I think it also contains an implicit writing prompt–to take the name of the place you were born or raised and repeat and explore it.


The poet writes: “It is a cold grey wet day in Ithaca, New York. I took myself out for lunch at Diamond’s Indian Restaurant. YUM. While I was eating I started thinking about a series of small poems that would all begin with the words “the bronx,” my hometown, and I jotted them down in my purple notebook as they came to me. Now I am sharing them here. Perhaps you will read on . . . .”

the bronx …. small poems

the bronx
dad’s fear of the monkey house
he won’t take us to the zoo

the bronx
sweet smells from down the hill
stella d’oro cookie factory

the bronx
on the way to school a man
shows me his penis — i laugh

the bronx
my father is well-known
in every chinese restaurant

the bronx
1965 — blackout —
we don’t own a single flashlight

the bronx
van cortlandt park boathouse
my first and last cigarette

the bronx
i can sing two leonard cohen songs
before i get to school

the bronx
friday night dinners at grandma’s
we never say the blessing

the bronx
the first Burger King opens
dad forbids us to go there

the bronx
every time i leave the apartment
mom asks are you prepared?

the bronx
skating in the building’s hallway
the old people hate us

the bronx
i refuse to pledge allegiance
to the flag

the bronx
dad says
stop talking about Vietnam already

the bronx
just a short subway ride
to Yankee Stadium . . .
but we are not
a baseball family


This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

4 thoughts on “The Bronx by Zee Zahava

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