Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Every November

Every November, I remember my father.

Most especially, I remember his kindness; that thing he kept in his heart.

My father appreciated simplicity.

He loved his children, his wife.

On summer nights, he liked an ice-cold beer with his dinner.

He liked his eggs scrambled.

He liked his friends to be true.

Every November, the air takes on a chill and I remember my father — In my mind’s eye, he and I are outside; air escapes from my father’s mouth, bent as he is, on a conversation.

Watching him speak

I think about his heart, his lungs.

Breathing in, my father’s chest rises and I think:

“How wonderful God, giver of life.”

It doesn’t last —— the breathing.

Eventually my father’s heart, his lungs gave out; cancer the cause.

We mourned when the angels took him home.

We cried tears of sorrow.

Every November, on the day my father died, I make a point of remembering my father’s life, not his grave.

I remember his commitment to loving well and earnestly.

Every November, I give pause to a man whose life helped form mine. . . . Whose hands held mine when walking was new to me.

So it is in my memory my father lives.

It is in my mind I see him clearly.




Every November.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


In the United States, the 2 parties ( as pictured here, employing the fine folk art of ) go head to head in the voting booth. Be you for the Democrats or the Republicans, what is crucial is this: GET OUT THE VOTE.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In the year 5769

Wall street is weak.
It is a patient
in the finance ward.

Two men
both qualified
to be
The Man.

White house ambition
should get us out of the house
Make a decision.

Pit bulls and I
have always gotten along.

Not this time.

You didn’t ask
but now you know

I wanted Hillary.

we get what we want.

what we want
isn’t possible.

I leave it in God’s hands
Every last desire.

come and go

Politics is a pendulum.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Recollecting OJustice

Unlike so many whose attention was riveted by courtroom events in LA
where Orenthal J. Simpson sat, for more than one year, accused of two brutal murders, I was not a faithful or vigilant purveyor of justice, California style via CNN, CBS or the LA Times. I simply didn't have enough time to have the kind of patience which that kind of media watch demanded. Nor am I inclined to follow O.J. Simpson's latest legal woes; though the media has once again made it as easy as a stroll down the street.

Some media analysts dubbed The People v. Orenthal J. Simpson, "The Trial of the Century." Others accused the media of once again, pandering to the lowest common denominator.

There were audible rumblings about how the option to watch Mr. Simpson's lawyers-in-shining-armor defeat the fire-breathing dragon prosecutor Clark while laying racism at the familiar door of the LAPD resulted not in the fairest trial possible for Mr. Simpson but in the most sincere and ruthless manipulation of the people's right to seek recompense for
the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald J. Goldman.

Money talks in America, sometimes rightfully, sometimes not. Sometimes it gets in the way of our ideals, to which every single one of us, like it or not, is wed.

I was hopeful Mr. Simpson's multi-million-dollar dream team would reveal evidence sufficient to expel my conclusion that one of my childhood football heroes was a killer.

I wanted the memories of O.J. to stay intact, like granite on the side of a mountain so I could point toward them and say "That's someone to be like."

I tip my hat to that other O.J.

The gentleman.

The athlete.

Despite the verdict, I am relieved, in an economic way, that Mr. Simpson's money removed the noose around his neck. What a shame it would have been if an innocent man, who spent millions to defend and assert his innocence, lost.

Mr. Simpson was able to tell the jury he "did not, would not and could not," commit the crimes for which two people still lay dead, unaccounted for.

When the children of Nicole Brown Simpson find themselves unprotected by the veil of youth and uncover the gruesome details of their mother's death as free agents in the domain of public information, I hope their father is able to assert he did everything he could to lay justice before their feet by routing out the true killer(s). What a fantastic offering that would be.

The O.J. Simpson trial put to rest one thing for sure--Racial hatred isn't expelled from the hearts and souls of those paid to "serve and protect" just because they flash a badge, tote a gun or wear an LAPD-issued uniform.

It so happens that Mark Fuhrman's zealousness, his passion for hate, brought home the truth about black folk. They do have something to fear, something to be concerned about, a reason to be suspicious of justice, American-style.

It is possible to reach very separate conclusions about the guilt or innocence of O.J. Simpson, the prosecution's success, the defense team's skill, without giving a moment's thought to the hue of the defendant. That's what justice should be about.

But if the jury traded the lives of two people for one whose life is thought to be too symbolic, too endowed with cultural import rendering him in effect, the symbolic vindication of all the wrongs white America has bequeathed black America, then justice is even more of a dream than Dr. King ever fathomed.

©2008 Right Hook Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Joseph's garden

From our bedroom,
I sometimes watch
tending his garden
on his back
like a target,
for the birds.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Peace Plan

Oh Palestine,
my Jerusalem.
You could be
Such a lovely shape
The kind of place
Albright* would dine
bask in the glow
of Euclidian grace.
Oh Palestine,
my Jerusalem
Don't you think it's time
You got to know
The truth —
that three creates
a prism of faith.
Us to make.

Oh Palestine,
My Jerusalem
Whose Koran, whose Torah, whose Good News
do you seek to emulate?
Brothers, sisters
There is no God
But one God
That's what Muhammad said
That's what Moses meant
When he danced with Miriam
at the sea
And as for Jesus
Everybody knows
Asked some questions
Paid a price.
And wasn't that enough?
© 2008 Julie Holley

* When Madeleine Albright was confirmed as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States, she became the first female United States Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the United States government.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Frum family

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama girl

Some say: All politics is local. In the case of this Obama supporter, seen on the B train in Brooklyn, such is the case.

Friday, August 22, 2008

High Holiday Dispatch

It is

on days like this,

I think of Spielman

And how he sounded the shofar

"You must have heard him."

I wrote to a friend,

in Boston.

I was boastful.


... To have been part of that


of life,

in Brooklyn.

On some Sabbaths.

I think:

"These people don't get it.

They don't realize,

how lucky they are,

to have such a place

as this

at the corner

of Garfield

and Eighth."

They are not grateful enough,

I maintain

in my mind.

... Caught up

in judgment.

What happens to us,

on days like this?

When we atone.

… When we reconcile

The arc of our triumphs

and pain

With that of our sorrow




had we

but remembered god.

What happens is

We get dressed up

And write a check

To discover

that God

doesn't deal

in bribes.

That as much as we can be bought,

The commerce of our souls

Is a different matter


We must,

if it matters

if we aren't

just dollars

and cents,

We must

become god.

.. . With our lips,

Around the instrument

Of our choosing.

the new math

it is sundown.

the jews bow

toward jerusalem.

i scrape

the interior

of my soul—

the chasm


my skull,




... its only measurable geometry.



the difference—



like the dusk.


the jerusalem sky


with calm.

Men (for all of the straight men, who wish I wasn't a lesbian.)

i love dick.

i love

his attitude
in the marketplace

and on the floor

of intellect.

his drive.

his muscle.

his rhythm

on a field

yardage contingent

upon masculinity.

i love his cock

in ballet tights.

his depth


at the Met

his ambition

his attraction

to me.

his ability to bravely escort liberty home.

his power ties.

his power lunches.

…and how much i have been a part of them.


he remains


when i disrobe


England's Rose

princess diana is dead.

her sons

will have to change their plans.

rearrange their schedules.

get ready for a funeral.


mommy is gone.

they will have to reach in

to themselves.

be brave.

be regal.

and mummy

will still



Charitable Deduction

there is a pile

of clothes

I have been meaning

to drop off

at the salvation army.

you know the one—

by MIT,

where the fire station is—

near our first apartment.

one day i'll get there—

i'll stop meaning

to be charitable.

and just concentrate

on that pile of clothes.

Crayon Soup

when thought wields you,

i implore innocence.

that of

the innocent hope that

you will matter

years from today.

. . . years away

from whatever trust we manage

to borrow



our minds,


creditors, debtors

in the rugged exchange

not always brave.

when we are years away

from today

its potential





or stupidity

or dishonor,

i don't want to find myself

beside you

our ruins

heir apparent

in our bed

in the morning,

when we face the morning sun

snow gilded

upon our favorite branches.


i desire


so i maintain


in my heart



and i learn

what hope is.

and i become it.