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Five Happy Gypsies
Greg Razran

"Five Happy Gypsies is a happy book with bittersweet overtones, told in a voice unique to Greg Razran-- somewhere between a storyteller and a stand-up comic. These poems are full of passersby and friends, shoppers at the dollar store, neighbors, the near and dear, animals and humans, the far and unfamiliar. Greg Razran knows how to embrace the strange with all his heart. He is a mighty new poet to be reckoned with."
Liz Rosenberg,
Book Columnist, "The Boston Globe" and
Editor of I Just Hope It's Lethal

"The poems in Five Happy Gypsies are chatty, colloquial, funny, self-deprecating, ironic. Greg Razran's poems speak directly to the reader. There is no pretense here; no elitism. What emerges in this work is a living, breathing person with a unique voice and a big heart."
Maria Mazziotti Gillan,
Editor, The Paterson Literary Review

Table of Contents

For the Oldest Living Manatee Born in Captivity         
At The Emergency Room, Just After Midnight         
The Neighbor          
Grandpa Macaroni        
Duds and Suds        
For Anna (at `Jiffy Lube')        
Larry King, The Smiling Buddha,
          and Number Twenty        
Mr. Lane, I Hope You Can Be Happy One Day        
Dancing on Leroy        
Moonlight Café, Late August        
One of Those Crazy Things (For Sherry)       
Strawberry Pie        
At the Jackson Pumpkin Farm        
Five Happy Gypsies        
Dad Meets Richard Nixon       
My '79 Gremlin      
Easy-Rider, 2004       
And Gorby Cried       
Binghamton, NY       
An Evening at Glenn's      
For Dick Pindell       
Nightshift at Dunkin' Donuts       
Fuck the Whales, I Say       
I'm Running!       
Wal-Mart, 3 a.m.       
All That Jazz       
Cabbage Picking, Circa 1990       
At the Dollar Store      
Jade's Iguanas Are Dead       

From the Book:

Larry King, The Smiling Buddha, and Number Twenty

Follow me.  I am sitting at this Chinese restaurant,
waiting for my # 20, reading my place-mat horoscope.
From the left hand corner, Larry King is speaking to me
from the screen of a twenty-inch television.
In the right hand corner, there's a six-foot-tall statue
of a smiling Buddha, dressed in a sharp pinkish robe.

The hostess / waitress  comes back to me, again;
"Would I like more hot tea?"  Sure.  She smiles and brings it.
"More crispy noodles?"  I haven't finished the first bunch,
but, yes, what the hell.  She flies away and then back.
She is still smiling, but now she is just staring at me.
The silence is awkward.  I love these, I say, and dig in.
"Number twenty will be ready in a minute," she says,
and quickly walks outside, through the double doors.

She comes back soon, heads straight for my table.
"You have a big car," she says, laughing and looking at me.
Yes, I say, it's huge, in fact I often get lost inside;
I have to pay this special tax, the big car tax, you know.
She blushes, laughs, then blushes again, more intensely.

I think of making a move on her;  a smooth line, perhaps.
But then I catch a glimpse of Larry King,  again.
He is staring at me with those big eyes under the glasses.
He leans forward into the camera, as if getting ready to jump
out at me, through the screen, suspenders and all,   
should I try any funny business with the waitress.

And then I notice the Buddha;  His eyes are fixed on me, too.
I almost think I see him smirking menacingly,
as he read my thoughts.
I give up the whole adventure, my motives caught
between the host in his suspenders and the robed Buddha.
The sound of the plate hitting the table breaks my trance.
She walks away, and as I dig into the food, I realize
she has brought me number twenty-five.
ISBN 0-941053-83-0

Five Happy Gypsies
is a 48 page hand-sewn book with spine - $12.00



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