This old man in the armchair’s plush embrace
waits for his thoughts to settle. He is not
my grandfather despite the wrinkled face,
gleaming skull, vast snout, gargly voice, and odd
twist of lips. They sound like men from the same
village in an old country bordering
on nowhere to be found again. He takes
a deep breath and shifts his weight, ordering
familiar words he has brought together
to address the final question of the night:
You see, I’m only a storyteller,
not a psychologizer. I just write
a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The meaning I leave to you, my good friend.
“Isaac Bashevis Singer in the Reading Room, 1968” appeared in Boulevard.
Floyd Skloot’s 18 books include the poetry collection “The End of Dreams” (Louisiana State University Press, 2006), the memoir “In The Shadow of Memory” (University of Nebraska Press, 2003) and the forthcoming “Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014).
JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.