mommy i can't

what are these
things in this book
these funny
squiggles and lines
and shapes
what are they mommy
do they mean
anything special mommy
i like the pictures
in here
they are pretty
i like all the colors
but what are 
all these funny shapes
what do they mean
is it special mommy
do they mean something
special mommy
why won't you tell
me mommy
why won't you tell
me what the shapes
are you being mean
don't you love me
you used to tell me
stuff like look both
ways before crossing
the street
or only cross at the green
or don't take candy
from strangers
so why won't you
tell me what these
things mean mommy
aren't they important
oh they are words
what are words
what do they
mean mommy
what does read mean
they said i couldn't read
and i don't know
what that means mommy
what does write mean
they said i couldn't write
and i don't know
what that means mommy
you can't read or write
can you mommy

© 1997 lgjaffe

Larry Jaffe

Larry says he was born on a mountaintop in the South Bronx (despite statements to the contrary and that there are no mountains in the Bronx), in the shadow of Yankee Stadium.  From the time he could walk he either was going to play baseball, hoops or be a poet or writer.  Either that or as the spiritual reincarnation of Davy Crockett; he just couldn't make up his mind.  He felt he had that mountaintop thing in common with Crockett and his folks once bought him a coonskin cap that he felt ridiculous in, thus took off on this peculiar tangent.

He is the product of his own dreams born and bred from Eastern European stock of Russia and Romania. He has decided that he no longer believe in biographies, and adamantly poses "Why must I trot out lists of places I have appeared and places I have been published or tell you about my childhood dreams to be a beatnik when I grew-up. If you want to know who I am read my poetry, It's all in there. The air is letters, I breathe them in and simply breathe out poetry.

He has produced several chapbooks including:  Winter Rose, Hates not Natural and Eating the Rain.  He has one e-book entitled Jewish Soulfood available from Dead End Street Publications .  His new CD Unprotected Poetry and accompanying book has just been released by PoetWarrior Press.  Pudding House Publications has just released a special book of Jaffe's Greatest Hits along with several other poets.  Salmon Publishing will be publishing his  book Lying Half-Naked in the Doorway.  And Lummox Press is about to publish his book of poetic noir, L. A. Rhapsody.

Jaffe has been featured in poetry venues and festivals both throughout the U.S. and abroad.  He is very active in the poetry community hosting the very hot ultra chic weekly PoeticLicense series at Zen Restaurant in Silverlake, California.   Jaffe is also a featured poet for Daimler/Chrysler's Spirit in the Words poetry program.  His web sites have won numerous awards, and he feels one of his best creations is the poets4peace site at  Each month Jaffe writes a poetry column for as the socal poetspondent for their Museletter.  He is the International Readings Coordinator for the United Nations Dialog Amongst Civilizations through Poetry Project, and he has spearheaded organizing poetry hosts around the world through the PoHo community group.  He was recently named Artistic Director of Poetry Series for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage.

read Larry's poems
knots and tangles