Joe Krausman



The Passionate Accountant To His Love

Open the books to a world of many colors;
this witholding is excessive prudence.
Spend, spin, dance. Only joy makes sense.
Use your assets to hide the horrors,

of the grim collector who is waiting
to close our bright ledger forever,
in a land of eternal forgetting-
the place where no birds sing.

Know that ecstacy is a part-time thing.
The greatest joy is during tax season,
all the more reason for our instant union.
How can a passion so noble and pure, be wrong?
Kiss me, hold me, we're debtors as lovers.
If it doesn't work out? we'll find some others.


Organ Lessons

You're broke,
you sleep on a park bench,
and wake up with a sharp
pain in your back.

There's a note by your side:
"Sorry we needed a kidney,
you had two, so we took one.
Fair is fair...the five grand
is for your painsm a friend,"

You call the police.
They say the chance of
finding a missing kidney
is zero. "Do you think
we can X-ray the whole city?"

They take you to a doctor.
He say, "They did a good
piece of surgery. What's
done is done. You can live
with just one kidney. In fact,
I only have one myself.

You take the dough and go
to Miami Beach.
On a cool, starry night,
you sit on the beach
looking out on the ocean.
You're a bit nervous,
but it's unlikely to happen twice.

Don't be unhappy. You
shouldn't be sad about
sharing. Remember,
you used to be
a socialist.


Only One to a Customer

At the restaurant
called "Your Life"
you don't know how to take.
So you nibble around the edges.
The tables are overflowing-
The cherries must be eaten,
before they wilt,
the ice cream must be licked,
before it melts.

You don't hear the music-
At the bar you ask for
tap water, but thy're serving
fine wine and five star brandy.
You ask the bartender
for another round,
he says, "Only one to a customer."

It's nearing closing time,
such a pity,
It coul have been
The Great Feast-
You will leave empty.
When you came in
your pockets were jingling
with gold coin.


About the Author

Joe Krausman is a writer, poet, theater director, and former legislative analyst with the New York State Assembly. He was the MCA Fellow in Playwriting at Smith College. His plays have been staged in Northampton, Amherst, Iowa, Holyoke, Scotland and New York City. Joe also received a Massachusetts Fiction Writing Fellowship for the University of Massaschusetts, Amherst, where he obtained an MFA in Fiction Writing. He has participated in a number of poetry readings. and he has published plays, short stories, non-fiction and poetry.

"I'm not nearly as capable
as I may have indicated"
-Phillip X Levine

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