The Saga Of New York Jewish Liberalism


And they are talking

Talking in the Biltmore, talking in the boardroom

Talking to the clip of the time bomb tick

Talking of the time when there’s time to talk some more

Talking and weighing all the many risks of war


Talking to their wives and making alibis

Talking like the print of the stodgy New York Times

Dressed up in Ivy foliage, so cunning in the colleges

The choir of castratos never gets the least bit shrill


And they talk in New York where they’ve talked for

sixty years

About the Holocaust, the Exodus and Eretz Yisrael

About Selma, Spain and Sobibor and later still El Salvador

They talk, they deplore, and they always want some more:


News and food, food and news, while they plan to save the World

They order Chinese take out while they watch some children die

When this lecture is over there’s a nice buffet waiting

Lets munch, share our hunch, as to where Hitler strikes next


Eat chopped liver, chop my heart, be convincing and get tenure

Frost your hair like Susan Sontag — you may look rather sublime

See the Seine, write some verse, rather free and getting worse

And dribble clunky tears about Leon Blum et al.


Ten thousand in the Hagannah; two million in this City snide

Convinced some petitions really gave birth to a State

The Hubris of the Humanists, the West Side polemicists

Learn to fight with a gun or please shut the fuck up


Copyright, David Gottfried, 2002


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