The Organic Essence of Inorganic Chemistry

The Organic Essence of Inorganic Chemistry


Acid and base

Yields water and salt

With divine grace

The moles somersault


Antinomic Ions

Spark Electric embrace

Bit part peons

Their selves they efface


Sodium glares

Spies chlorine, bleached queen

They forswear their spears

Become a condiment serene


Copyright, David Gottfried, 1996


Jewish Cooking




The women are cooking tsimmis and borscht and chicken soup

Everything simmers over burners

Of gas

The fluids are reduced

The Yiddish is refined

To a pure German core

And the grease at the bottom of the pan

The organic essence of the chicken fat

(Carbon rings, lording it over oxygen and hydrogen atoms, just a couple of reactions away from the hydrogen cyanide of the camps)

Is Indistinguishable from



Copyright, David Gottfried, 1998





I feel like the Ottoman Empire

Dying so slowly

First, a few sores on the periphery

Then Byron Bellows my brains with poetry:

Toxoplasmosis, Dementia

And the reason of the Greeks is gone


And then Russians lumber through my Balkans

Like Burly Black Orderlies in Bellevue

While Italy, in the guise of Mayor Guiliani

Takes away my possessions in Libya


And when the Great War comes

I am carved up and become

A Turkey


Copyright, David Gottfried, 1995



Scarlet fever is associated with

Group A streptococcal strains…Among the

characteristic manifestations…are

… a ‘strawberry tongue’…


The Merck Manual, 14th edition,

page 79.


This is the dress in which I led the

cotillion.  Won the cakewalk twice at

Sunset Hill… I had malaria fever all

that spring…I had a little tempera-

ture all the time — not enough to be

serious — just enough to be restless

and giddy!…


The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee



The girls in a swirl of strawberries prevail

Flushed and fevered all night they assail

With gowns that glitter a glorious trail

And sharp trilling voices that royally rail


Oh Hail, oh hark, fine maidens so fair

With pale complexions so chaste and so spare

Like white sugar coating on pastries that swear

And swagger with red cherry insides that dare


To ooze and peruse every mouth without cower

Delicious, lubricious, but tinged with the sour

Flowering and yearning for despotic power

The black and the bold of the bewitching hour


Aroused and caroused like the Pox breathing heat

Inflamed, insaned, it will never retreat

But martial its forces ’till conquest’s complete

And shattered and vanquished is Christian conceit


Copyright, David Gottfried, 1999

The Cosmic Anatomy Lesson


The sun

Hemorrhaging Carcinogenic heat

Wild Life

As cacophonous as cancer


Epileptic seizures of the land

Tidal Waves

Vascular Accidents of Maritime Scale

The blue sky

A sure sign of not enough oxygen

The moon

A wide eyed uterus going mad

The stars

Millions of white blood cells getting ready to attack me

In an autoimmune disease.


Copyright, David Gottfried, 2010