Repp's most recent collections of
poetry include The
Fertile Crescent (Cherry Grove Collections, 2004),
Gratitude, which will be forthcoming from Cherry
Grove Collections in 2005, and White
Doe (Mayapple Press, 2004).
A new friend calls this play money
so tales of me and money stroll
from my tongue like Danish philosophers
gonging their g's with xylophone mallets—
Bing-bong we were thus-and-so
till this-and-that so now
the smallest coin of any currency
clinking the nether regions
of a UPS truck will make
the little toe on my right foot
quiver and cramp so I'll
get the check drink up count on me
to figure the tip to the fair penny.
An old friend calls me money
as in You're so money
you don't know how money
you are and I say You're at least as money
as Mayakovsky and Mayakovsky
was moneyest of all our fellow-feeling
and newly fattened salaries yielding
a healthy stack of dollars
for the circumspect waiter.
Kathy and I drop twenty pounds and two hours each morning for a week
in Perry's where Moishe—Do I look like a Perry?—hawks
Bulgarian-French-Jewish-English pastries while Sonny warms Kathy's
bitter-chocolate croissant or tops off the coffee or fetches the
of parsley she's forgotten to perch on my spinach omelet or coos
mother's swing coat bought in the dim past at Erie's Boston Store
while I played
army in my father's National Guard boots
but in the right-now Earl's Court
of Perry's nothing matters but the platoon of Israeli bakers
a hill of apple fritters as Moishe scoops falafel for his brother
like Moishe in Bulgaria while Sonny toddled behind her mother
in Kensington where Kathy and I will end the day over soup and wows
at the plunder larded up in the British Museum and how good and dear
tomorrow's breakfast will be.
Thirty years ago Spike Platania charged two dollars a lesson thirty
blowing the out-chorus of
"Cherokee" three sets a night on Atlantic City's
World-Famous Steel Pier.
How much for a papier-maché Easter Island? How much for Chuck
You got a great mother as we
painted faces on the standing stones?
She pried up rocks and planted tomatoes to count the savings.
Gas up the Renault. Hope the fattest bank note covers it. Putt past
the sierra at dusk
without comparing anything to
How much the mourning dress abuela wore twelve years? How much baby
Strawberries misshapen and dusty free for the eating. Walk three
kilometers to the
village chewing free figs.
For nothing the couple bickering the motor-scooter
idling the bell in a girl's throat.
What price mortar troweled a thousand years ago? What price the
on the ancestral bungalow?
Polkas lime Jell-O apple juice in a jelly
glass got worked for.
Count this. It's what we have to live on.