Llanto Tonto by David Almaleck Wolinsky


Llanto Tonto. David Almaleck Wolinsky fronts his claim on us with a self-mocking, euphonious rhyme –  a near-antinomy, in an idiom that is neither these poems’,  nor his own.  Well. He could well be another scribbler splashing around for a moment before he drowns in obscurity. He is clearly someone who knows that, but still seeks  to draw an And yet… from you. Who blindly imagines a “you” will exist. The author is deep into his grandpa-time, but his nation: a failing empire at present governed more like a banana republic. And his Mother Earth, Pachamama, herself in danger.

When Hell beckons

the tempo quickens.

And when Death

opens its maw, With grace

or with luck, shameless I declare,

it is a door.

This book is divided into two parts. The first is a collection of laments, elegies, lover’s complaints, and a few tirades. Part 2 tosses “Forty-Two Etudes and Bagatelles” at us. Jokes? Chokes? Nursery Rhymes? All of the above, at times. The author seeks, in these short pieces, a kind of unbalanced balance – encountered only when “you” weigh in.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 110
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: November, 2020
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-94-7


‘In Wolinsky’s poems, the spirits of Mozart and Andrew Marvell converse in Elysium a haunted, beautiful book.’’ —NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

‘David Wolinsky’s poignant verse could have been written by the waters of Babylon. Perhaps, as we read we will help lift the rock from the heart of hope, even as we glimmpse its transcendence.’ —BONITA J. PORTIER, D.O.


Bronx Buddhism

I am attached
to the cat who is not attached.
See him there on the mat?
He knows how to sit; I do not.
If I look long and soft
into his green eyes, I might
disappear, or become otherwise wise.

It is clear:
Watching, being watched,
I will not be scratched
by that cat. I will keep
my vigil, and later his breathing
will measure my sleep.

I tried, I really did,
not to want him to stay,
not to watch too hard
as he crept away.

You already know it:
When this cat died,
I cradled my face and cried.


David Almaleck WolinskyDavid Almaleck Wolinsky has had a chequered non-career. Highlights include  6  years of middle-school teaching in the Park Heights ghetto of Baltimore, a novice at age 47. Grandpahood later. Lowlifes include 3 volumes of unpublished poetry.

The Almaleck in his name represents his mom, her parents, and their lineage from Al-Andalus, Muslim-ruled Spain. His Sephardic ancestors had to leave their homeland in 1492, at the completion of the Catholic reconquista. He also answers to grandpa, and sometimes Grandpa Whiteboy, participating when he can in the Poor Peoples Campaign, 350.org, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Levantate/Rise.

David, his wife, and his suegra Florinda, 106, live with two cats in central Maryland. They share a small patch of earth with the birds and the trees, rhizomes and other critters.

Additional information

Weight 7.4 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in