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Bruce Weber, Photo: Lynne Stone

Bruce Weber is the author of five published books of poetry, These Poems are Not Pretty (Miami: Palmetto Press, 1992), How the Poem Died (New York: Linear Arts, 1998), Poetic Justice (New York: Ikon Press, 2004), The First Time I Had Sex with T. S. Eliot (New York: Venom Press, 2004), and tThe Break-up of MyFirst Marriage (Rogue Scholars Press). Bruce’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, as well as in several anthologies. including Up is Up, But So Is Down: Downtown Writings, 1978-1992 (New York: New York University, 2006), Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers (New Paltz, New York: Codhill Press, 2007), and The Unbearables Big Book of Sex (Autonomedia, 2010). He has performed regularly in the tri-state area, both alone and for many years with his former performance group, Bruce Weber’s No Chance Ensemble, which produced the CD Let’s Dine Like Jack Johnson Tonight(members.aol/com/ncensemble). He is the producer of the 212 years running Alternative New Year’s Day Spoke Word/Performance Extravaganza. By day, Bruce is Curator of Paintings & Sculpture at the Museum of the City of New York, and splits his time between his homes in New York City and Saugerties, New York. He has also authored numerous publications on American art.

A poem by Bruce Weber:

German Toothpaste

They called it German toothpaste
Cause when you were in the trenches
You couldn’t exactly pop a bottle of champagne.
They’d lace their brushes with the stuff
And it would heal all odors.
Some of the krauts would laugh
When they heard the name
And nod their heads in wicked agreement.
Wars were different then before the bomb.
You could see the blood in your enemy’s eyes
And things had a more intimate and devastating ring.
When Uncle Elmo came back from the big one
He would shake like an old jalopy
Simply from waking up in the morning
And seeing the sun rise.
I wouldn’t want to put a damper on anything
But the more I think about it
The more I want to cry.
The salt cleansed my mouth
But my sores kept aching
And even God’s letters to my wife didn’t help.
I wandered the streets of my hometown
Like a ghost of some other age
When steel was King
And you could get a swig of mother’s milk
For less than a dollar at the corner of Main and Vine.
I’d open my mouth and brush up and around
Till the salt did it’s cleansing trick
And I’d pour my morning cup of java
And duck whenever a kaboom went by.
I’ll never forget coming home
And squeezing that white pasty stuff
And living the life of Reilly
With my feet up and a smile for the democracy of the fittest.
My mouth clean as any victory in the war to end all wars.

Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber, author of five published books of poetry, These Poems are Not Pretty (Miami: Palmetto Press, 1992), How the Poem Died (New York: Linear Arts, 1998), Poetic Justice (New York: Ikon Press, 2004), The First Time I Had Sex with T. S. Eliot (New York: Venom Press, 2004), and tThe Break-up of MyFirst Marriage (Rogue Scholars Press). Bruce’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, as well as in several anthologies. Photo: Lynne Stone.

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