‘The Unfunny Bridge’ and 2 more by Gene Goldfarb


Orange is a color you can’t take seriously.
It’s like a clown named Bozo.
I once had a hearing and the witness
was a medical doctor from Saharan
Africa whose last name was Bozo
I think his native language was Beraku,
which was only spoken in a region
of Chad. To this day I can’t remember
anything he said except for his name.
Whether his native language still exists,
I don’t know. Blame the Rocky & Bullwinkle
cartoons where the African nation there
was always Bongo Congo. Today it’s worse
with two adjoining countries called Congo
only distinguishable by a poli sci grad
with a scalpel. At least the orange-painted
Golden Gate Bridge isn’t named the Orange Gate.
Aside from over 1600 suicides by jumpers, it’s done
a lot of good preventing air crashes in the fog.
Kinda funny I thought, for a bridge.


If cats could speak Italian
I could have one read me
a few poems by Giacomo Leopardi
and confide in me what sweet nothings
Dante may have whispered
to Beatrice on that bridge when
she would go by daily,
then I’d interview a girl
for me to give her a job
as a coffee gofer and to look nice.
I wouldn’t waste a dime on the
office electric bill, with only one
client on a nine-year old
case that’s still stuck in court.

But before I’d hire the cat,
he’d have to get bar mitzvahed.
And not waste his office time
corresponding with his cousin
in Algiers in French (I hate
the French and their habits,
cigarette ash all over the floor).

Back to the cat. I’d prefer
a Roman, but if necessary
I’ll take a Napulitan or yes,
God-save me, a Sicilian.


Tessie, a mere six, could handle conflict.
On the Etch-A-Sketch, she began as
her little brother watched with his
eraser on a side slot at the ready.
‘Okay Jimmy, I’m drawing you a princess.’
‘No,’ he grunted and with one quick
motion erased what she had drawn.
Tessie went on, ‘Fine. I will draw you
a queen.’
‘No!’ was Jimmie’s answer
and he erased it as soon as she began.
‘A princess and a queen then,’
her exasperation starting to grow.
A raspy ‘No’ followed from Jimmy
not unexpectedly,
as he quickly erased that too.
‘Fine. I will put the Etch-A-Sketch
on the floor and you will step on it,
and then I will trace your foot.”
‘Okay,’ Jimmy relented.

And so Tessie had now emerged
two-hundred years after Talleyrand
who understood diplomacy as well
as he.


Gene Goldfarb now lives in New York City. He writes both free verse poetry and short narrative prose. His passions are reading, movies of all kinds, travel, and international cuisine. His work has appeared in: Adelaide, Black Fox, CafeLit, The Daily Drunk, Rat’s Ass Review, The Gorko Gazette and elsewhere.

Photo by Colin Gee