Barry Wallenstein

The Imp Speaks

I may be too pooped to prove the point,
as we say in the lands of frolic,
but I’m still perky [perky still]
and can do the do
when my turn comes around,

and can climb the banyan tree
limb by limb to where the snake and tiger
wrap themselves in the myth of the manger;
and should you call up “when you reach the top,
toss me a kiss with your fingers,”

I’ll do just that – with the spark I’ve left,
more tired by then than ever I remember.


She loves me between the eyes
I feel it, but her world calls her

I wish she’d pull the trigger
and stop the tease that makes me

I could love her right back
and with wit, desire and

right between the gazangas;
live in that mood
so happily.

Pull that trigger oh my dear
wipe away the drift towards

let’s settle down – have a family
a dinette in place; a silver

A conversation, lascivity,
then, the next day, poetically,
a little fishy.

Your itchy finger’s pressed down;
the bullet’s on its way –
it’s not too risky.

Barry Wallenstein is the author of eight collections of poetry, and his poems have appeared in over 100 journals. He has made nine recordings of his poetry with jazz. Barry is Emeritus Professor of Literature and Writing at the City University of N.Y and an editor of the journal, American Book Review.