Gene Goldfarb lives and works on Long Island. His poetry has most recently appeared in Heavy Feather and High Desert Journal, and is scheduled to appear in Quiddity in the December issue. His first short story debuted in Bull and Cross.

girl world

Gene Goldfarb


little ones

(from the outside)

invitations needed

but can be waived

if you’re a quiet uncle

and contented

to sit in the corner

or on the bed

and watch

without  question

while teacups

are set scrupulously

then reset and reset again

and the teapot given

its royal place,

then small friends

a doll or two,

a few stuffed animals

ushered to a place of honor

around the table,

finally an invisible friend

might be welcomed

as a special guest

and room made for,

a chat begins

mysteriously between

hostess and her other selves

in hushed tones

where if you listen

most carefully

you might even learn

where the Queen

has chosen to vacation

or why the butler

had to go.

The Genius of Stick Figures

Gene Goldfarb


No left-right bias

as symmetry abounds

and the architecturally minded

can start with the spindly legs

instead of the monstrous round head 

though top down is the way most of us go;


it is a white cosmos of emptiness

and our mommies, daddies, brothers

and sisters will float unapologetically

unless a horizontal line near the bottom

of this two-dimensional universe

brings us to ground

where everyone will obey gravity

but still dance awkwardly

and often chain themselves

by holding hands;


the boys and men will wear no pants

their arms and legs joined

to their proud heads

by a line that is their torso,

their straight alimentary stance

in their brief exhibitionist lives

while their faces contained

in that one piece of roundness

will reduce the rubric of emotions

to an idiotic smile, ghastly moue

or poker-faced serenity;


the girls and ladies will often

claim exemption to this bareness

wearing triangle dresses

to cover their joining legs

and the pomp of curlicue hair

crowning their heads

while the males settle

for a few stubby lines or spikes;


and the plainest smallest house

off on the side happily resting

will fit the entire family

no matter how big.

The Pendulum

Gene Goldfarb


When I was a boy

and saw the pendulum

at the United Nations building

swinging next to the stairway

in such clean wide downward arcs


I found it more impressive than

all the important diplomats

and the foreign leaders there,


more striking than their fine

speeches about world peace

and the need for cooperation

and how progress couldn’t be

stopped or if it was, woe unto us.


Its movement so clean it would

have been perfectly fitted

for beautiful, public executions.


The only thing that could diminish

its breathtaking amplitude was

something called friction, perhaps

the grit of national pride having

cramped into the dark oily pivot

that suspended the bob way out

singing endlessly to gravity.