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POETRY STRANGE TEARS NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE Paulie find tears in the oddest places. Yesterday Mamma was alive and with us. Today She’s really Not. There’s nothing in the middle. He finds them in the mirror’s eyes. He knows they can’t be his; He’s too tough. His tears are made of muscle. BOUNCING BIBLE He carried his basketball wherever he went. Sometimes he bounced it fiercely and took aim at hoops that only he could see. Sometimes he twirled it on one finger like a bulbous ballerina. But mostly he held the ball between his palms, against his chest, the way a preacher holds a bible to make god’s point. Just like his mother’s little Christ, it strengthened his grip on things, extended his palms around a world he was barely able to hold onto. Dennis Bernstein Dennis Bernstein has worked for more than two decades as a front line reporter and public radio producer, specializing in life-and-death, human rights issues, issues of war and peace, revolution and repression. Currently he produces a daily drive time news magazine on KPFA radio, broadcast in northern and central California.Years ago, he founded the Muriel Rukeyser Reading Series on the Air, named for his teacher and friend, the renowned writer. He describes writing poetry as “the one consistent thing I have always done, besides eating and sleeping.” Naomi Shihab Nye