Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Poet Ed Galing: 93: In a wheelchair: still writing: still kvetching

Poet Ed Galing, 93, in a wheelchair, still writing and still kvetching!

By Doug Holder

When you are 93 it is an achievement just to get up in the morning. Well in spite of his infirmities my old friend Ed Galing, the poet Laureate of Hatboro, Pa. still writes poetry and is being published by some of the finest literary magazines in America. Not only that he has still has the strength to gripe that the New York Quarterly refuses to publish him! Imagine that. I published Ed in every one of the 27 issues of the literary journal Ibbetson Street, and promised him that as long as he is alive I will continue to do so.

Ed wrote to me recently:

“I’m old and venerable at 93. Indeed it is a struggle everyday—so much on my own—even though there is help. I have a ramp now to go out—one needs fresh air. I go out on an electric scooter—a chair with a motor. I don’t think I will use the walker anymore as it is too painful in the knee joints. I miss my wife and our youth, but it’s over. Being alone is hard—facing death is hard also. I try hard to be optimistic. Poetry keeps me going.”

Ed Galing was born in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1917. A child of Jewish immigrants, much of his poetry harks back to the teeming streets of the Lower East Side, with its pushcarts, street urchins, the maze of outdoor markets, the frock coat Jews, the whole milieu that was so wonderfully described in Irving Howe’s “The World of our Fathers.”

Ed had some poems in the current issue of the Chiron Review; I’d like to share one of them with you. Just to remind you that Ed is not going gently into the good night. By-the-way- for a guy of his age his poems make you sing, reminiscent of Louie Armstrong’s famed croaking plea: “Take your shoes off Lucy and let’s get juicy.” So if you are looking for a wholesome poem look elsewhere!


Just because I wind up in
A nursing home
Doesn’t mean it’s all over
Just because I had a stroke and am in a
Don’t mean I can’t get
A hard on
Just because my
Nurse Olive, with
Her dark skin and long
Fingernails takes me
To the bathroom
Dresses and undresses me
Don’t mean she don’t notice
My hard on,
Just because this nursing
Place has a few
Hundred people in it suffering
All kind of maladies
Don’t mean I don’t feel
Sorry for them, knowing
Sooner or later we are
All gonna die in
This fuckin place,
Just because I am in here
Day after day
Don’t mean that Olive can’t
Give me a blow
Job when no one is
She always licks her
Lips with her tongue
And says, you got a
Nice big cock and I
Love it that way,
Just because she gives me head
And makes me come
Don’t mean she is a cocksucker
She just does it cause
She knows I need it
Just because I tell you
All of this
Don’t mean I want you to go
About it,
This is between you and me.

--Ed Galing

1 comment:

  1. Cool !!! Way to go, if you got to. And I guess we all got to sooner or later !