On October 18th we will celebrate the release of Tinker’s Damn, a collection of poems by David K. Leff.  We invite you to enjoy this poem as a preview and share our news with the poetry lovers in your circle. And remember, if you place your pre-order in our store, you will receive your book a full 2 weeks in advance. Visit our Bookstore»





Blame the shoes for my tears.

After saucer-eyed half-tone photos of soon dead

children, images of fenced-in hollowed-out souls

with starved, bird-like bodies, and rough-hewn

wooden villages seething with life destined

for Blitzkrieg oblivion; after the cattle

car, heaps of hair, and gold-cloth stars

I cried over the shoes.


Randomly piled, cracked, gray and shrunken

with time, in styles and sizes to suit

every taste, I couldn’t help but imagine

the stolen feet they’d embraced. Footwear

formed from animal flesh, now bent, rippled

and bulging with distinct foot shapes,

I saw stillborn remnants of lost lives

in those pediform death masks. When my

grandmother died I found shoes

like these, perfectly shaped to her foot, old fashioned


as Yiddish inflected English. She’d sailed years

before Kristallnacht, New York’s harbor

sparkling like crystal, like hope. A girl

cowering in a fetid ditch, she escaped

the blood-spattered rampage that took her parents

from a world the War erased. “That was the old

country, tateleh,” she quavered

as I stood near her father’s whiskered portrait,

proud of my bristly teen cheeks.

“In America, we don’t have beards.”


Returned to daylight, I blinked like a newborn

on streets where all men are created equal.

Eschewing faces, I glanced down

to ethnicities of loafers, pumps, sneakers, boots,

sandals and flip-flops. Despite decades

and thousands of miles, I felt history’s heel

and the gravity of my own dumb luck. Conscious

of every footstep, I walked in well-fitted shoes.


* Original Image by David K. Leff



Tinker’s Damn

Poems by David K. Leff

ISBN: 978-1-938846-15-1 | 5.5 x 8.5 | 100pgs | Pbk

Release Date: October 18, 2013

Order through our store and we will send your book on October 5th!

About the Book: Deeply rooted in place and time, these poems explore nature, the built environment, and human relationships with an acute sense of reverence and wonder that renews the spirit. Reserve your copy»