I wrote this poem when a friend told me about one of the kids under her care. LJ ______________________________________________________

knots and tangles
a child of respect

she sits before me
in straightjacket silence
muted yelps echo
never forgotten pain
burnished indelibly on her soul
and my anger burns in
the same hushed screams
mirroring her never-ending nightmare
i cannot extract my solitude
nor pry myself away from her fright
my tears cannot fight her memories
she is some sort of wild child
caught in the crossbows of neglect
a refugee too young for lord of the flies to salvage
her passport is stamped with negligence
i stare at these knots and tangles
that go way beyond
her matted mass of mutinous hair
ever defying humanity's touch
those eyes a
keane painting in forfeiture
her face such twisted torture
those screams always ready
to fight back
how can a rapist
think it is possible
to make love
to a 4 year old girl
she will never be the
apple of anyone's eye
she lives her heathen ways
chosen by another
frantically rebelling at
crimes she did not commit
wondering why her punishment
has been so harsh
but there is not a day
that goes by
where she does not
fight her destiny
despite the cruelty
her persistence is eternal
the blood of god
flows through her
christina the most
appropriate of names

© 1999 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 www.poets4peace.co
m.  Each month Jaffe writes a poetry column for www.about.com 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