Saturday, March 15, 2008

two old ladies

today from the bus in the rain
while pulling into the termini
i saw the two old ladies, older than most
who live on the corner by the train station

i walked over to the disheveled pair to learn of them
though they ask for nothing
pulling out a ten, it was i with the question
who handles the money?

both wore dresses, blankets and many sweaters
one took the bill, one stayed aloof
by showing an interest in their lives
the one who took the money began speaking

she said it was tougher now, life was rougher
twenty years they've been on that exposed corner
with their belongings in two shopping carts
when it's cold and rainy they sleep in the station

not to impose, i didn't ask much
are they too old and crazy to teach us anything?
what they say, what they know
did old greeks say 3000 years ago

Friday, March 14, 2008

brushing teeth, mine

i fell asleep brushing my teeth
thinking how my grandmother used to like
saturday tv with the midgets wrestling

Your mother's mother? she asked
"Yes," I said.
"That figures."

now what was that supposed to mean?
i gave her a sharp look, i did
you should have seen it

anyway i didn't really fall asleep
zoned out into brushing land
more like it

a mild trance state
perfectly normal
it happens, right?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

the information future

make a hole, duck and cover
things
are happening so fast
more than anyone can grasp
you can't keep up

try as you might
it's blurring out
beyond sight
at record breaking speed
much more than we need

keep out of the way
they've pulled out the stops
let it roar on, roll on
'til it drops, or is drained
the seams are all strained
it's a runaway

wish the best to the future
wish it the very best
it is humming ignited
and flying nearsighted
exponentially

the hurrier it gets, the faster it grows
the larger it gets, the faster it goes

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

dim & sons

physicists say eleven dimensions
are going on here at the same time

they certainly must be observant
i wonder what channel they're watching

now, with eleven dimensions all in this space,
i know why you can stand alone and sill feel
crowded in your kitchen

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

'52 chevy

years ago the termini
(that's the rail station in roma)
had a '52 chevy pickup truck on display in the lobby
it was surprising to see it there
you don't see american vehicles in italy

well the termini and the times have changed
but i was thinking about my '52 chevy pickup today

i'm not sure when i saw the one in rome
or when i had mine
both were a while ago
1990 or so

mine was sweet
some young woman sold it to me
it was her x-boyfriends, he left it at her place
i guess she was upset with him
she sold it for three hundred bucks

it needed about a hundred dollars worth of work
by cousin don, a real pro and old vehicle lover
made my truck tick like an old singer sewing machine

cousin don wasn't my cousin before i met him
i found him through an add in a newspaper
but he remained a dear cousin and kept my truck tuned
until the day he died

how very dear that old truck was
original everything
even had a san francisco giants sticker from the fifties
on the rear window
a white billiard cue ball on the floor gear shift

the interior i had redone in original leather style
it had a visor over the windshield
some old dents, not too many
i did a green and black two-tone paint job
with a brush and matt finish
it looked factory done and aged by time

how sweet, it ran with such a tick, tick, tick
and i rode the old classic
everywhere in and around san francisco
so many time we crossed the golden gate

alas, we moved away and i sold it
where has it gone
like watching my children who have grown
like seeing all turn into the past

we love life
endure it
do the best we can
and the big wheel keeps on turning, tick, tick, tick

once in a while
we look back and recall
still keeping our heads up
as we move on into the future

Monday, March 10, 2008

too many

i don't know what happened to sunday
it started
there was the outdoor market down the street
meri picked up some good vegetables
i slept

we had coos coos and artichokes that meri made
i had negative contribution

after lunch
we went out and it was cool, but nice in the sun
from campo dei fiori full of tourists
we took a 62 bus as far as san silvestro

some how we wandered into the galleria
named for the beloved actor alberto sordi
a great old building converted into a mall
a fifty foot high stained glass ceiling and beautiful rose marble arches and niches in the well-sculptured structure
built about a hundred fifty years ago
they don't do this quality now

we were going to have a coffee and little half sandwich called a tramezzino, but prices were too high
2.50 to sit down with coffee
2.40 for a tramezzino that are usually 1.30
that 2.50 euro is 3.85 in u.s. dollars
coffee used to cost fifty cents
when italy first went to the euro prices immediately doubled
they haven't slowed
weekly news stories bemoan excelerating food prices

out the side door at a pizza place we bought a slice each
meri noted that when we were first in roma eighteen years ago
the pizza was always made on sight
now it is shipped in and re-heated in a microwave
fast food has arrived
romans are noticeably heavier

around the corner was trevi fountain
we wound through the crushing crowd and i took meri to the photo
exhibition that i saw last week at the italian government printing lab

outside was jammed. inside there was no one and four rooms of historic photos in this free exhibit
no advertising. no crowd.
photos of old roma dated from 1845 to about 1870

we noted the differences from a hundred fifty years ago
then there were empty fields, now in that same area are city streets and apartment buildings
it has changed from few people to full of people

we have seen so much change in our lifetime
i first flew in a two engine Ford Tri-motor prop plane before crowds
and before jets were the common airliner

a couple of years ago i was getting off a packed bus at chiesa nuova, a crazy italian guy who had been talking all along the way, got off at the same stop and said to me
"there's too many of us."
"what are you saying" i asked. i understood his words in italian, but wanted clarification about what he'd said
"people. i am talking about the earth's population. there are too many of us."
i nodded, said something in agreement and went on my way

about two months later we were in san diego, california walking down a busy street. in the group coming our way was a crazy guy talking to everyone. just as he passed us he turned back and said directly to me, "there are too many of us."
it shocked me, but i kept walking
it took me about a second to remember the other guy and when i turned back to him i said
"hey, you just told me that two weeks ago." but he was already gone, invisible in the crowd

Sunday, March 09, 2008

two dancers

two dancers
set up in front of Feltrinelli book store
when we were there

they had black and white outfits
one had stripes on her skirt, the other checks
a small sound system and taps on their shoes

their music began - it was anything goes
look at them tap, tap, tap, tap, shuffle, ball-change
the second song was put the blame on mame

this was at the bus stop across from largo argentina
some people paid attention
the girls had a routine and danced away

after a few more numbers
they took their collection basket and
music system and evaporated to across the street

enjoying it, taking what coins they earned
something to do dancers, helping us all
with their tap, tap, tap,tap, shuffle, ball-change