Chaya Grossberg Speakout

Submitted by admin on Fri, 02/23/2007 - 04:15

Chaya Grossberg


for poetry:





















Algorithms and Euphemisms and Cans

God is in charge of Love, I remember,
as I forget.
The winds pick up.
In Orange County New Jersey,
Satir laid an egg.
There are countless options with writers,
and on the ballroom dance floor.
The news goes on, the news goes off.
Everywhere I look I am dwarfed and shackled by a
My throat is satisfied, that’s all that matters.
I’m heartless, so I eat fish.

I’m sexless, so I combine nuts, seaweed,
honey and dew in a bowl
and try to be genuine.
I’m real, but it’s not.
There’s an anger and a rebellion beneath the surface
of the sea.
It’s called prawn.
It’s called the octopus.
Rats and Chimps speak in another language.
The octopus has a game to play.
The psychosis calls itself by its given name-
Words are deeply, emphatically wrong
Illness of the psyche-impossible.
The neurons? Impossible.
But certain food is probable.
Certain board games never end.

The game shifts gears.
We no longer want to win
or even have fun,
We want to change the medication model.

You said you had breakfast with elephants and I agreed
with you twice,
but I didn’t tell you I went to a bed
and breakfast once with an outdoor tramp-
oline and chocolate candies in the bedside drawers.
I never told you more is less
and less has to eat smores.

I never can’t eat a raisin or suck on a toddlers
lick of a pacifier.

We pacified the children with tranquilizers so Mommy
could get some rest
and then reimbursed the doctors and signed up for more

We dressed ourselves in the “he”s of their products
and drank them down with orange juice
and another pill of premature elephant snot
and cries to hold down the lot.
All we know is one two three.
All we see is you, me, the world, that’s three.
All we put in the container are algorithms and
and cans,
So that every time the red ball blinks
we know we can hold hands.

This does not stay the same folks.
A pill does not make the reality of change

A pill is another poisoned orange juice
and promises long term less engage
with the change.
What a relief.
No more sight, smell or math.
No more class or bells or draft.
No more- that’s what we say-
there’s no more hay in the elephant corral.

There are horses in straight lines and horses wild,
There are women in tulip curls and medicines called
We are relieved at the change about to occur.
We only want to know how to stop it from happening
Our toddlers are on the phone with antelopes.
Please secure them a seat on the plane to Milwaukee.





The Next Planet

by Chaya Grossberg

Cover photo by Susie Benton

Table of Contents

2. Our Celestially Marinated Duet

5. Sacredness Takes Over Noticing’s Job

6. Untitled

7. A Lightning Rod For Me, A Cactus Pod For You

9. Quantum Leap

10. Science to the Limits of Literature and Dark Cake

11. Love’s Necessary Rebellions

12. I Do a Ditty and I Do a Dance

14. Love’s Arms, Armor and Sense

15. Outta This Land

16. Recollection

17. Remember Your Friends

19. Tom’s Message to Chaya

20. The Ball’s On Drop

22. We Took a Step Towards Fun

24. The Apricot Spread Toast

25. Pickpocket the Stoners Poetry

27. State to State

Our Celestially Marinated Duet

I wonder…no…funky…fro…tell me…

what I need to know right now on this one day

less than full moon

time, a sliver so silent we may as well be dressfully

God fully

scared of tiny Nila wafer colored dogs

and claws

and scratch scratch scratch through doors

and shyness and turns from cigarettes

and blankets to keep us from getting wet

and another sheet

with music for our celestially marinated duet.

Our marionette duet,

our performance

when things are dry and free.

Our doorways

lined up one two three.


that we like to take in the form of trees

and freeze with the branches

all Winter we are ice

all Summer we are stream

all Spring we are noise, we are music,

that sounds like a convulsing man,

we are an organ

that knew melody how to plan,


and underneath our hats are rats,

we are Rockland County

and we are Pittsfield, Mass.

We don’t engage in conversations,

all we do is teach

a math class to dolphins

so they’ll know just how to shake

so they’ll know we are awake

and we’ll HAMMER

tables and rules into their backs,

so they’ll be filled with metal jacks

and give humans the coats off their slippery backs.

We have WAITED

for treaties one by one.

We have ARGUED

with thick spines two by two.


with elephants in the park

by now the sky is dark

so it’s time to view the spark

from our little bench in the sea

that will mysteriously

find it-self…

in the stars

with a colony of guitars.

God bless our souls on their way to meet their spines

Sacredness Takes Over Noticing’s Job

I feel I am going to be won by time. 

The too many things happening to catch everything is eventually going to be realized,

Yet in the wind blowing every single branch, hair and molecule,

Light hitting everything that is seen-

God blesses all

And sacredness takes over noticing’s job.

Sacredness makes space for a single feeling to stir the soup of events, images, thoughts, words… 


He was wrong

She knew it all along

He was stew…

All she could do…

Was brew.

A Lighting Rod For Me, A Cactus Pod For You

I relentlessly adhere to the plan:

Shun the man in hopes he’ll change.

My cynicism increases at the rate of my pocket change (fast).

I capitalize on the laundry quarters remaining.

I tremble because of you, and what do you do?


So I tremble in my continue on.

I continue on to the stream

and paddle down it alone

since I don’t want to ask you for help.

I retreat from partnership and

pick up my paddle.

I pick my nose and really


I don’t wait for you.

I’m downstream in my own canoe,

the seaweed green

the seaweed blue.

I telephone everyone, including you,

just for something with which to do.

Alone I am sad

alone I am mad

alone I am brave and I don’t wait for you

to come back.

The wave in back of my canoe,

the telephone treaty to mix up the glue.

The hippopotamus in the stream

comes up for air,

the gleam in my eye has nothing at which to stare.

The shine in my hair is no longer stroked,

the ball in my throat is not still all choked.

The tractor trailer is made of rabbit’s poo

and elephant glue,

and me and you.


An alligator chew.

A minnow too.

An antelope canoe.

A telephone tea for two. 

A lightning rod for me,

a cactus pod for you.

Quantum Leap

There was an ant

And a plant

And a fountain

And a pearl

And an easel

A pond

A quantum leap

Science to the Limits of Literature-and Dark Cake

The cake has seven silver spoons in the inner circle and 20 in the outer, stuck in it for 27 to eat. That is my limit.

There is nothing like combining tambourines, biology, history and the drum. And stitching a pillowcase of the pages and pats God by God, hole by hole, trick by trick, touch by touch. God by God. Twitch by twitch. Trickle my trickle and humming.

I believe in science-real earthy molecular science to the limits of literature. Biology, Chemistry, Physics to the music of poetry-they ice the cake.

The icing is sweet-so sweet I put my finger out and lick it, tempted by sucrose. And dark cake. I swallow nothing. Wax from the birthday candles drips to the floor in a pool of orange, yellow and blue. The gold ring falls once the wax hardens to a swirled tricolor circle and the gold band sits atop the wax art.

Love’s Necessary Rebellions

Maybe it’s the Winter that makes me break away

Maybe it’s the Summer sun that taught me how to pray

Maybe it’s the music that I shook out with a rattle

Maybe it’s the ache I cannot feel because I left the battlefield

Or is it the tuning itself that needs an adjustment?

Or is it just me?

How I climbed an oak tree to the top, and pop,

our whole love affair changed.

I knew I needed to fall off the top of the oak and hit the ground,

I knew I needed to remember what was down there,

to pick a blueberry from a bush.

A key, a tangerine, an apple and misery,

I sense misery and honest to Jesus I like it,

I will no longer fear to love as you did Christ

And I will pick pebbles from the dirt and string them on necklaces.

What if you do just the right thing tomorrow?

Give me just the right gift or kiss

or make me feel just the right way?

Well then will I forget about these words with relief?

I just may I just may

but the words are here now, heavy, I mean them,

I need them.

I Do A Ditty and I Do a Dance

I love the sunset and evening stars,

But better the nighttime stars

And negative two rains,

Better the growing pains

That send me to bed,

Better than that other world,

Better was my dream last night in another world-

I wish for another world, any other, any adventure,

Anything besides the same old day,

The same old worries and to do’s-

I want escape, I want a lover to fuck my mind open

And I want to go somewhere else- somewhere with

Tangerines, rosebuds, bells and reachable stars,

Somewhere with dance bars

And someplace else with revelations that can be seen in the atmosphere,

But brand new ones that have never been seen before

As I exist on the edge

Just like time,

I flirt with the edge

Of a different kind of reason,

In the fifth season-

A different seasoning that has never been tasted, smelled, known

Or seen before-

A relapse but a concoction nonetheless-

A relapse but love nonetheless,

A reachable star, but passion and compassion all the more,

A torch, but someone in the next room who knows my name-

What we need is a box big enough for each shoe.

The five year deal, it’ll be pretty-

Grandma has pink carnations,

White roses,

And a ditty:

I do a ditty and I do a dance. 

Love’s Arms, Armor and Sense

I skim the lava in the heaven of creation, the galaxy, the street corner

High school run in memory

The pizza place with stools,

The girls with curly hair,

The rain don’t rain, it drools,

The puddles are full of rules.

So-and-so has something to say to you- Wait-let him say it-

Then remember your plans

and sever the ties

that bind you to your single life-

go all the way in

enter the relationship fully,

give it your all-

otherwise you’ll only crawl-

if you do, you’ll walk two by two in love’s

arms, armor and sense.

Outta This Land

Continue down the slide- easy chica,

And then tumble around -n-glide- then

Reinvent the blowtorch, the wedding, the rum,

Rejuvenate-try a glass of juice-

Juice here, juice there, juice it up baby, juice it up.

Pickle me, pick me pickles and pickle your frequency-

And sour up the salamander carnival in the cattlefield.

Never again let the rehearsers invent cream,

For they do not know what it means

To dream.

Continue on down the slide,

Send a paper mache mask by way of paper airplane to the bus.

Travel much more sistah- go here, go there

Outta this land, outta this land-

the otha lands got some good treats for ya too and you fa them.


I wanted to reach into the past and re-collect everyone I’d lost.

So what did I do?

I paddled my own canoe?

And who showed up?

All of you

Remember Your Friends

The never-ending shadow

The ever-lasting moan

The teacher who tattled

The Rembrandt who disowned

His moan

He disowned his moan

For the sake of a pay telephone

He disowned his moan

To talk to me on the drone

Remember kids, there’s no time for fun!

A treaty must be won!

A tattletaler brought everything he ever won

Besides-the rum

She decided to drop the wine-every time

The clock hit nine

She decided to run to Greece

Just to visit her niece!

She decided to swim to shore

And live like a kid forever more

She swam around time,

And pennies and dimes

“Electrify”-the snake hissed

“Electrify” he hissed and hissed.

The lovebirds pecked their final kiss.

It was bliss for the showers

Bliss for the showers

Hell for 24 hours and then bliss for the showers

And of course the peanut cups-

Remember the small ones?

Remember this didn’t start



It started with a crust, a pie pan,

land and a plan

you filled it with your frosting and

forever we ran…

This is where it ends

In Heaven we’re all friends-and

We don’t worry we don’t have time for our friends-


We don’t worry we don’t have time for

Our friends

For friendship never ends

Sewing the stitches of humanity,

In the end, we will all, re-friend!

Tom’s message to Chaya

The colors of wax-dried drips of wax on my menorah look so vivid-a sign that Tom is here.

Love, we must remember to love more, criticize less, see the good in one another and tell each other all of the good we see- write it if we can’t say it.

As women we are the seeds, the feed, the food, the Love, the telephone pole, the dolphin, the crisper, the container, the realm.

We are rapturous and kind, we are good to be mined.

The Ball’s On Drop

Drip drop

Tick top

Cleanse and rectify the ball on the crop

Drip drop

click drop

ramble on and on and on to the rummage shop

tick top,

the ball’s on clop-

the M&Ms, the candy fries,

the ball’s on drop

The ball goes round and it goes round till you’re

sitting in sop

the ball’s been dropped

the mu-sic stopped

the ache goes on and on until you’ve reached the top

I sang a song, I sang a song

Rehearsed and curse for all along the

fryer had been on.

So I turned it off.

Everyday we sit around and say

The balls up top,

The ball is a flop

And then everything is drop and pop

Drip drop

It ne-ver stops.

And round and round and round and round

Till we’re over the


We slip away

Into the night to pray

And then we stop

The bird flops and crops with the weight of a mor-ning mop

The bird flops and crops

When the ball’s on mop

The balls been stopped

The mess has been mopped

The kids go round and round with the hope

That they’ll get stopped

The joy’s on top

The bubble’s been popped

The rant goes on and on until we’ve all been cropped

And stopped

The rent’s been topped

The music stopped

The raven propped primped and primed up for

The girl with the mop

The style is sopped

The carnival chopped

The Canterbury illusory version of wopped

The reels been clocked

The telephone tocked

Nevermind it all! he called

And called and called and called

Why do it now when it’s been done?

Why call a clown to have some fun?

Rush to the table, look under the table!

The kids are crowded looking at ma-ple!

The ball’s been popped

The envelope stopped

The tree grows higher and higher and then

reaches the top

and she stopped! She stopped! She stopped! (ecstatically)

The pot’s been dropped

It’s been dropped

IT’S BEEN DROPPED (screaming loudly and ecstatically)

Drop me, swap me but

Ne-ver crop me.

She remembers her cup

And picks it from the top

And picks and picks and picks

Un-til it’s all been chopped

She’s stopped! She..ees STOPPED

We Took a Step Towards Fun

The jam and the toaster

The ram and the pecan

Everywhere I go,

all I see is snow.

Every time I run,

I pretend I’m on the go

Listen Mr. Elbow-

Our kids have things to share.

Listen for the renters’ song

Then listen for the owner’s ring.

Ding a ling ling…

A canvas I did bring

Ding a ding dong

I wrote you yet another song

It goes (stomp)

Howdy howdy ho

Howdy howdy hey

Put a sticker in the snow

Put a rhyme in the hay

It goes howdy howdy ho

I got a clock and I got a cloak

Howdy howdy hum

I’m gonna reach,

I’m gonna reach

I’m gonna reach out for some fun.

That’s how it’s all begun

We took a step towards fun.

The Apricot Spread Toast

Ariel needs a hug, a cradle, her head two big warm hands. Hands to cup her fragility, hands to grip her arms and warm them to toast on which she’ll spread strawberry preserves. Blueberry preserves. Toast with butter, diner style. Thick homemade quinoa multigrain toast with apricot preserves and hip to hip sitting, two squished in a chair for one big one-hip to hip, lip to lip. Ariel has a piece to fit on her left side-side by side they slip along one another’s sides, hip to hip, lip on lip. Upper lip on lower lip, grip to grip

They ride their bikes, grip to grip they line up their knuckles,

They toast knuckles, grip to grip

Hug me- they hug arms around one another’s torsos,

And Ariel hugs children tight,

She sets them free, lets them be-

They play in the backyard

Ariel like their special friend cannot be classified as mother or aunt

Just that lady who they know,

Who’s image will stay in their mind

And they touch her with their soft kind.

Diapers, baby wipes-never mind.

Now it’s time for the big bed-this man is tall and spelt,

At Ariel’s side, a candle lit,

Dried flowers hung around,

Crushed in bowls, by and by

By and by, side by side.

They slide under the covers,

he warms her to a crisp,

she’s soft and she smiles

and bites

the apricot spread toast.

Pickpocket The Stoners Poetry

It’s a deep dark night, my life much more adventurous lately,

Trees white branched and glowing,

Flowing like radar and uneaten chocolate chip cookies

And energy that never run dry,

A night that will never fry,

Some small little lights up in the sky,

Some tolerance and tornado potatoes

And a time I think, I wish I could cry,

I wish I could cry

I wish try was try

And cry was alive in the beat of the vision,

The meat of yesterday, tomorrow and today meeting,

Like popcorn meets,

Like Pac man meets the soul,

Like mouth meets food 

And stoner meets smoke,

Like reckon follows “I”

And eye interchanges with socket,

math equations, rounded pies and all.

Never mind logic and carnivals, we’re here for the free spinach dish,

We’re here to announce life no matter the hour-

It’s pound over penance, not sound over sentence

Or repentanence

Or matzo meal which is not a meal.

Listen up y’all, there’s some fun to be had,

Some life to live, just as your life is now,

So eat a cherry and frown,

But be alive for the night once upon some times

And trip on the second hand laced marijuana smoke in the air,

Pickpocket the stoners poetry

and make a second hand sentence,

a stolen phrase, a trip worthy confectioner conversation,

conversable and well worn,

well inhaled like a clean night could be.

State to State

It’s funny when you follow a rainstorm state to state. Each time I go back to New York, something happens to remind me that: Marriage is a soap bucket, a bottle, and fish taken out. 

It’s a white sky that’s open for what’s next, it’s by and by and thick river run texts- it’s salami and poetry again because I told you I meant it, because I blow into a fountain, stick to my guns and stick them out at your buns.

Oh well, there are stories to tell, oh well I hear a ringing bell, and the river runs, and the stream it clears, the waters deep green, the litter, the dirt, the smile you gave me hurt, the heart I never chose, the ransom note I used to offer you a think with which to blow your nose, the magenta shirt, skirt and shoes,

The me you’ll have to choose, the you who claims he has the blues, the money I’ll make, the blue cheese I’ll create, the phone calls you’ll have to make, her alibi.

The tenant you’ll invest in, the fame I have that makes you nervous as you trip in your finest outfit to win me over. The rich life we’ll lead, but all along the way, I’ll sing down the stream of corn chowder and whipped cream, just to make you earn it, earn what you need. You call it greed, I call it creed.

You’ll sing a song at the wedding, I’ll finally say I knew it all along, and every time you have to will me back, stronger will be your back, every time you lose your shoes, I’ll secretly consult my muse, every time you travel seas, I’ll go about my business for you got down on your knees,

One for each year you let me go on alone, one for each ring, one for each eye of mine you love.

Clear the costumes from the costume closet, clean the blood from the sink, this time it’s clinkety clink, this time I’ll slink down, you’ll drink down, a green flavored potion, the clock’s hands will point to 9. A green fluorescent potion, and lotion, So-and-so you are mine-that’s what you’ll say on and on-you are mine. I’ll think about the other times. I won’t jingle bells, I’ll just point out rhymes, all the while you’ll know you miss me, and you’ll have one more chance, for a first kiss-and I’ll have many more chances, to-be-missed.

So I slipped into a trance…when I asked for some romance, I was told time will tell but I didn’t hear the chapel bell sing, ring a ding ding. I decided to stop speaking and instead I’d sing, the elementary school prophesy, this is what it said it would bring.

When hectic becomes a heck of a long time, that is when I’ll sing my rhyme, until then I’ll party all the while, content without your smile, and sure it’ll be a mile to the next pit stop. But I travel road to road, sign to sign, smile to smile. I get drunk on the now, rather than drone in memories. I never forgot Toys R Us, I never saw you as a plant. You wrinkled in my palm when I stopped promising anything and started living. 

Unsure if you’d ever show up so I could say your name aloud,

To the crowds I love so dearly, what I did was count to three, because a dead guy mentioned that tactic to me. Never mind the courtesy.

There’s a fly drowning in your water cup

This time I just smile-

You order more water, you say, Drink up.

Time by time we create something new, you’ve turned around, I’ve unglued my shoe. And I’ve eaten a potato or two

But I haven’t unlocked time, I haven’t rented rhyme, I haven’t stuck my shoe a second time. I love you Chaya, you say. 

I love you too.



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