Stevieslaw: My poem A View From the Ridge on The Drabble

My poem was just published by The Drabble.  Here is the poem and the link:

A View from the Ridge

It is a time of gathering.
Summer spent
with little gain,
we pick among the skeletal vines—
stuffing cheeks
with amulets to ward off
the weariness of winter.

There is a turning here.
Another year
discarded like a faded friendship
I fear the time approaches
when I would willingly sell my soul
for one more day
of wholeness—
to breathe the autumn in with joy.
and witness the harvest
with these two eyes.






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Stevieslaw: My poem, Untethered, on Street Light Press

My poem untethered was published today on Street Light Press.  Here is the poem and the link.

By Steve Deutsch

We all knew something

was not quite right with Mike.

What sprang from his mouth

had him spending more time

in the Principal’s office

than in the classroom

and angered the older kids,

who would periodically lay him out

in schoolyard beatings.



the year we turned 16,

he climbed the fifty-foot maple

just outside the Post Office

and neither his father’s threats

nor his mother’s tears

could convince him to come down.

The fly-catchers got him

and took him upstate

to the red-brick asylum

on the river.


Mike told me once

he felt as if he had left

all solid ground behind.

“On good days I was drowning—

sea-slimed and salted

on a relentless ocean.

On bad days I fell through the sky

like a kite some distracted child

had let fly off

to be steered untethered

by a sorcerer’s wind.

I fell and rose,

and fell again.”


He got worse after he returned—

though I didn’t stay to watch

his downward spiral.


I see Mike now and again


He lives in the half-way house

at the bottom of Gray’s Hill

and runs errands for a local restaurant.

We sometimes reminisce

for a moment or two

on the busy sidewalk.

Gentled now by the years,

he always has a kind word

and asks about old friends

while I search his weary face

for the child I once knew.

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Stevieslaw: My Voices of Central PA. June Article

Stevie's Law

The LAGuide to Voting in America

At Stevieslaw, publisher of the Less-intelligent- than- average American Guides (LAG), we recognize that many Americans do not vote. The statistics from the mid-term elections are staggering. In Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett took the governorship by a margin of eight votes—31 to 23, while Pat Toomey won in a near shut-out, 8 to 1.  Glenn Thompson was apparently able to elect himself, as nothing else can explain it. Corbett confided to Smokey Diamond, our intrepid reporter, that the reason for his victory was his ability to convince his cousin’s club to vote for him en-masse, at a dinner he hosted at the Olive Garden in Altoona.  The twelve student dominated districts in State College produced only one vote, a guy named Marvin who accidentally wandered into a polling booth next to a local bar—and, in the process, elected Scott Conklin.  In this week’s primary election…

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Stevieslaw: Have you read it?

Stevieslaw: Have you read it?

Marsha, Cousin Myron’s long-suffering wife, called at 10:30 this morning.

“Have you seen your bonehead cousin?” She asked.

Without waiting for an answer, she announced that she thought Myron was off to that big-deal Kosher deli we were keeping secret, to stuff himself with enough delicacies to kill a horse. You all know Myron, the high-school dropout and math savant that made a small fortune betting on the ponies.

“Something new is bothering the him,” she continued. “He’s got high blood-pressure and if he makes himself sick, I will kill him.” Then she hung up. Marsha is like that.

I high-tailed it to the Deli—which is up on Queens Boulevard—the one we are not disclosing the location of. Sure enough, Myron was there. He had three corned-beef sandwiches, four potato knishes, and enough sour pickles to lower the Ph of the city by a point or two. When I came in, he was emptying the contents of a salt shaker on a huge platter of french fries.

“Hungry?” I inquired.

“I take it you’ve read the U.N. report on climate change,” I said, coming right to the point. The U.N. report predicted a climate disaster by 2040—much earlier than we had thought.

“Yes,” he implied with a nod—his mouth was full of corned-beef.

“Damned climate deniers,” I said. “They’ve cooked us now.”

“Don’t be a dope,” replied Myron. “All the people with real money and real power believe the science,” he said, turning to a knish. The anti-science bullshit is for the political hacks and the poor dumb base—the people who need something to scream about.”

“They know,” he said, “And they’ve made the calculation that there is nothing the world can do to head off disaster. They plan to make as much money as they possibly can and hunker down and prepare to survive in luxury.”

“We’re cooked,” he said. “Have a corned-beef.” Myron’s eyes were always too big for his stomach.

Just then there was a rap on the plate glass window. Myron’s teenaged twins had tracked us down.

“We were worried about you, dad.” They said—not quite in unison.

I could see from my bighearted cousin’s face that they were not half as worried as he was about them.

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Stevieslaw: Ekphrastic Review



My poem: Naming Names is up on The Ekphrastic Review today.  It was written in response to Anne Ryan”s collage #7.  Here is the poem and the link:

Continue reading

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Stevieslaw: A Sense of Humor

I found this in a New York Times book review article on the Nobel Prize. I really like the last line.

“. . . common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing. Those who lack humour are without judgment and should be trusted with nothing.” Clive James writing about Arnold Bennett

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Stevieslaw: Leroy

My poem, Leroy, was just published in the Ghost City Review.  Here is the link


and the poem:


It was right after the rent-a-cop—
with his fine-tuned
sense of self-preservation
made his tattooed self scarce,
that they came on the court,
so loose-limbed
you imagined them melting
in the August heat.
Yet their procession
seemed as inevitable as the tide.

I hadn’t realized I was still dribbling
until Leroy was on me—
face to face.
I had played b-ball with him
at pick-up games on Stone Avenue.
He was like some sub-atomic particle—
always moving.
He was good
and when he went up for a jump shot
I was left defending knees.
Leroy showed me a metal Band-aid box
full of twenty-two shells
and a taped up pistol
as ugly as Brownsville.
He told me—
“I’d stay off the streets tonight.”

Soon after
the draft started
to round up the basketball stars,
the craps addicts,
and the layabouts
from the bowling alley.

Word was
Leroy flushed
his subway token
and took off—
with just his basketball
and his dad’s pay envelope.
They haven’t caught him yet
and the smart money says
they never will.

Perhaps, he will
grow old
and prosperous—
on a court somewhere,
lofting one-hand set shots
over his grandkids’ heads
and catching only net.



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