Frozen by Fire

In his introduction to Frozen by Fire, Donald Kentop writes:

Since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, thousands of New York University students have attended classes in the Brown Building unaware that it was once called the Asch Building and was the site of a tragic fire that ravaged the very space they occupied as students. I was one of those students.

Frozen by Fire is a collection of poems imagining the lives of those who are forever frozen in those few moments after 4:40 p.m. on March 25, 1911. It is available from Paper Wings Press (

Alternate Realities

Let's say the man who jumped was Jacob Klein,
and say the girl was not his sweetheart, just
one of scores of girls he knew by sight.
Let's say on that burning sill, it was
a first and only kiss that bought the moment
which they lavished on each other's face,
devoid of blemish, cant, reserve, each stripped
of posture, emptied, unashamed.
Not just shalom, the kiss, distilled, contained
the lifetime's sum of love they'd never live;
and then, as heaven teetered on the ledge,
he let her go, and empty-handed, followed.
Let's say the girl was Daisy Fitze. Because
we'll never know, let's make her bright and brave.