The Story Behind “Love Song/Nostrand Avenue”

art-nostrandavenueToday’s post is written by Aliza Einhorn, an emerging poet who graced our inaugural issue with her piece, “Love Song/Nostrand Avenue.”

Roots Resistance

by Aliza Einhorn

Most of this poem is true. Not all of it, but most of it.

I do live in Brooklyn. I did live on Nostrand Avenue.

An old buddy had come to visit me. I was a pet sitter then. It was cold. I remember on Christmas Eve on the way back from a visit, she started singing Silent Night in the almost empty station as we waited for the subway. We fought about astrology, which I was studying at the time. I told her something about her then-boyfriend’s chart. “Well, doesn’t everyone have that quality?” she said.


There is a theory that all poems are love poems and if this theory is true then who is the Beloved in mine? Surely not Brooklyn. This poem is unsettled. Roots resistance. Not homeless, but feeling not at home.

I’m not from here, but I live here now. When does the tourist become a native? Before she leaves? Or after.


My father died when I was 21. His father, a pharmacist, worked on Nostrand Avenue. I knew this when I moved there. It could be a Dunkin Donuts now. It’s a long avenue.

One time my maternal Grandmother placed an add in The Jewish Daily Forward: “Seeking relatives of Charles and Sonia Einhorn who owned a pharmacy on Nostrand Avenue. Please contact…”

We got no reply, but I imagine the ghost of Charles Einhorn kindly haunting someone, somewhere, perhaps rattling the pill bottles nightly in medicine chests and purses and other hidden places deep in the kishkas of Brooklyn.

Correction: I just reread the poem. ALL true.

Aliza EinhornAliza is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her play Blood was in Smith & Krause’s Best 10-Minute Plays 2011 and her poetry was most recently published in The Louisville Review. Aliza makes her living as an astrologer. You can find her blogging daily at where she combines New York stories, astrological advice, and the occasional poem.

Photo credit

Speak Your Mind