What’s Wrong With You?

I’m a bull elephant in musth, a frenzy
of urgency in action, pacing, snapping

my jaws like a rabid dog, mouthing foam.
Drool runs down my chin. I can’t help it.

I hoot like a chimp, swing sticks and start
a riot, hide the best fruit. Hear me

howl at the moon, shout, Who? Who?
I fly with my pals in a V. Don’t interrupt.

On empty cauldrons, I bang, break crockery,
fluff my feathers, howl some more.

My growls grow deeper into infrasound.
Along busy roads, I march and talk to myself,

wave to passersby, practice Sicilian gestures
that make me feel young enough for anything.

I dance and sing old show tunes, imitate Barbra
and Ethel. I tell jokes to my dog, who listens,

but no longer laughs. She wears my mother’s
worried expression. The cats stay away.

Adolescent, menopausal, in senile decline,
a toddler in a tantrum, I’m a politician

drunk again. I’m a crow who remembers
faces, and I can hold a grudge better

than you’ll ever hold your whiskey.
Don’t talk to me. I’m writing.


Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber


Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Slipstream, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.