Fear and Fire by David Almaleck Wolinsky


Between the raving idiot
and raging old man
there floats but a razor’s edge.
But why pay attention? To either? To both?
David Wolinsky’s answer – and book – proposes that while the rage of a Lear expresses a king’s destruction in the face of world-shattering events, we may find rage appropriate and necessary in our own world-circumstances.
The two plagues of his title are the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump’s America. The latter is named directly in “Politix Comix”, “Trumpettes of the Lord” and “Rhyme of the Wall”. Section III of the book offers a sequence of 13 short “plaguelings”. Psalm and sermon, Socrates, Superman, baseball and black butterflies all make appearances. Lear shows up by name twice – the second time in the company of David’s grandpa Julius. And then…
Around the bend
reality itself will bend.
The world will not end, no,
but that is not consolation.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 102
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: July, 2022
  • ISBN 978-1-953252-60-9


Fake Praise for “Poems in a Time of Two Plagues”:

“With his new volume, Mr. Wolinsky has surprised us again. Why is this not surprising?” —The New Dork Review of Books

“If only we could insert images like these into Mitch McConnell’s  dreams…” —The Philodendron Inquirer

“A plague upon the House and Senate!” – Mercutio Jones

A real response from someone who has read this book:

“It isn’t easy being an empath. It is painful to have clear vision. Still, David Wolinsky puts the truth unveiled for us all to see and hope that somehow, together, enough together, we would create an oasis that could actually tip the future balance toward “imagine”.” —Bonnie Portier, D.O.


Dangling Nonversation

Yes I did read the fine print.
It said: You will not live forever.

I am tired of reading, is what
I thought, and ought
to go off in the world.

Yes I went there. Yes
I went off. Lost my mind
you might say, were we
on speaking terms.

I talked up storms, drangs,
dragons. Trees crashed down,
while others caught fire.

It seemed like the entire world was burning,
but you know how that is. Worse.
And trouble finding
you, or anyone:
Just stray dragons, little green men,
and my jaw dangling
from where lightning hit, improvident.

David Almaleck Wolinsky reading from Fear and Fire – Poems in a Time of Two Plagues:


David Almaleck WolinksyDavid Almaleck Wolinsky’s non-career found him a novice middle-school teacher for 6 years in the Park Heights ghetto of 1990s Baltimore, and a non-blood grandpa many years later. The “body count” includes three published and  four unpublished volumes of poetry,  as well as a book of “translations and transformations” from Argentine Nuevo Cancion and it’s musical-political cousins.

‘Almaleck’ represents his maternal lineage from Al-Andalus, Muslim-ruled Spain, where his Sephardic Jewish ancestors  flourished. 1492 is remembered as The Expulsion, at the completion the Catholic reconquista.  Queen Isabella brought with her the Inquisition, human bonfires and forced conversions. Fleeing Jews were welcomed by the Ottoman Empire.

Among other useful delusions, he believes his activism and volunteer work (and some poems) honor the convivencia of a thousand years ago, as well as today’s cries of No Justice, No Peace.

David lives with his wife Lilia among the birds and the trees, rocks, rhizomes and other critters, in central Maryland. He tells anyone he can to read Robin Wall Kimmerer and Suzanne Simard. The critters, he says, agree.

Additional information

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in