Though written in a tone of self-deprecation, this one flowed out in a wave of ecstasy after my grandpa taught me the Yiddish word ‘farblondzhet,’ which means utter confusion, stupefaction, woods and darkness of the mind:


Dumb, young, and poor — a little farblondzhet,
The word, a disease, I can’t chase from my mind,
Obsessed, anxiety pokes my ribs,
I go so fast that I can’t see my way.

Cities that I walk around — no relief,
My mind like a hutu of jangling nerves;
My days? Aimless. A stack of shuffled mist,
That awards me penalties: fear, sloth, guilt.

Why do I persist in my reckless path
When the tempting devils hoot at labor
And speak of a flat dulling existence
Like margarine spread a lying yellow?

I know that this caul will open
On days of autumn sun;
Then the worries will all disband
Giving farblondzhet close.

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