Neil Silberblatt

Licking for Bobby

One envelope tastes so much like another
to a twelve year old tongue,
with reserves of saliva drained
then replenished
with that residual taste of …
was it spearmint?

Stacks of envelopes waiting to be kissed
by my virgin lips, but only after
they were filled with flyers
exhorting the recipients to

give a damn
be part of the solution,

feed the hungry
clothe the naked
end the war
before my elder brother,

like his,
could be killed.

On each flyer, a black and white photo of the
junior senator from New York
emerging from the roof of a car
leaning towards the cheering throngs
pounding the flesh
tempting fate, squinting,
his toothy grin and outstretched hand
and cowlick, tucked neatly
into each envelope
as I would be into bed that evening.

After my tongue was drained,
I returned home to find dinner waiting
convinced that I had

given a damn
been part of the solution
helped feed the poor
clothe the naked
end the war

which would last another five years

a delusion which went down well with
meatloaf and mashed potatoes.


Neil Silberblatt’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various journals, includingPoetica Magazine, The Otter, The Aurorean, Two Bridges Review, Verse Wisconsin, Naugatuck River Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and The Good Men Project. His work has been included in the anthology, Confluencia in the Valley: The First Five Years of Converging with Words(Naugatuck Valley Community College, 2013); and in University of Connecticut’s Teacher-Writer magazine.  He has published two poetry collections: So Far, So Good (2012), andPresent Tense (2013).  He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and one of his poems received Honorable Mention in the 2nd Annual OuterMost Poetry Contest (2014), judged by Marge Piercy.  Neil is the founder of Voices of Poetry – which has presented poetry events, featuring distinguished poets & writers, at various venues throughout CT, NYC and Cape Cod – and host of the Poets Corner program on WOMR/WFMR (91.3 or 92.1 FM out of Provincetown), for which he has interviewed acclaimed poets both on and off the Cape.