Fall 1982 • Vol. IV No. 4 FictionOctober 1, 1982 |

Mr. Mintser

Gilchrist Avenue was a sort of semirespectable street, bordering on the town's Little Africa, with mostly one-family and two-family houses. Our end of it also had a few rooming houses, the fancier ones catering to jockeys and trainers during the track season in the summer. In the less high-class house next-door to us, the roomers seemed to be mostly house painters and restaurant workers, coming and going in spattered white pants and shirts, with a darkly male air of whiskey, rough language, and turpentine. They gave Mother fuel for sarcasm toward the neighborhood where we lived "temporarily" as she said, pronouncing the quotation marks, for thirteen years, renting the downstairs of number thirty-six from Mr Mintser, who lived in Newark. He was the kind of man who tried to get rid of the dust-colored pigeons who shat and cooed on our roof by catching a few and releasing them with one wing crippled, on the theory that their agony would scare away the whole tribe. The next-door p

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One of America’s most celebrated poets, Robert Pinsky served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000 and created the Favorite Poem Project documenting the life of poetry in the lives of a wide range of Americans.

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