• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 10
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Paragraphiti On The Cusp Of Jewrotica: Living With Olives

“You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so hard
But you don't understand
Just what you'll say
When you get home.”
— Bob Dylan, Ballad Of A Thin Man

i. I don’t remember when The Pilgrim’s
pork pie hat & suit bobbed into consciousness
though knew immediately the blue sky
buttoned down faceless man was Dad.

It must have been during my ornery
delayed adolescence since Magritte
died the same year that he painted it

which was 1967 which was exactly
the time I fled Victorian Harvard for
San Francisco’s Summer of Love,
anti-Vietnam draft resistance, etc.

René got me thinking surreally not
seriously so I quit medical school
thereby violating an implicit contract
that till then I didn’t know existed


Paragraphiti On The Cusp Of Jewrotica: Living With Olives

with Father who quickly proceeded
to withdraw $$ support so I crashed
w. Kenny Marcellus’ Mission Rebels
as a token white guy in the SF cult.

On the only visit home, Pops/Mom
conveniently had some renta-rabbi
there whose guilt trip pissed me off
so much that I simply walked out.

ii. Fast-forward about a half-century,
I ask the pediatrician my youngest
selected to care for her newborn
what current literature suggested

regarding the risks vs. benefits
of circumcision before the family
proceeded with plans for the boy’s
traditional bris on the eighth day

which in reality wasn’t an issue
but after which I snuck in the real
question, What precautions, if any,
should be enforced marijuanawise

around the baby? – I’d read PET
scan studies showing consequences
through teenhood. Without hesitating,
she opined, You must put on clothing

you’ll take off before having contact
with the infant. A light bulb went on:
after Poppa died at 99, I kept his fedora
with red feather plus outrageously cool

silk corduroy smoking jacket he wore
puffing the pipe he gave me when I
returned to training, as looking like
movie star James Mason, Daddy served

martinis to docs who referred him plastic
surgery cases at our annual Beverly Hills
Christmas open house I now recall very
fondly from a quite delightful childhood.