Saturday, December 13, 2008

Renee Fleming

click on this to hear Renee Flemming sing O Mio Babbino Caro

The RiverTevere

through many days of rain,
thousands watched from bridges,
disaster flooded many
along the long river Tevere

now, at last, blue sky,
cold waters will recede,
for those unscathed
normality returns

Friday, December 12, 2008

At the Corner of 63rd and Life

what i am doing
with this blog of poetry
is the best i can

at the corner of 63rd and life,
my objectives are too easily clouded by
hyperbole and dense intense delusion,
my favorite being that i need one
hundred thousand blog hits a week,

why? so I can go on Oprah? when?
will they pick me up? do I have to wear makeup?
the next day will Oprah invite me to lunch?
will she still know me? can she cook?
will she send me a holiday card via email?
tell her i don’t open any attachments

this afternoon i got a cell phone text message saying
for only 1.2 euro (that’s how they wrote it) i could get
a chance to win a new Fiat,
what kind of chance they didn’t say,
but if i don’t spend 1.2 euro
it implies my slim chance bypasses all at high speed
and zips directly to Hell’s Inferno

great. if you want to give a new Fiat away
do it, park it outside and leave the keys in the mailbox
i’d ask for a driver, but M. can do that, she likes to drive,
that’s settled then, i’ll wait to hear the keys drop in the box

until then i have stuff to read and things to write,
i’ll walk to the store when i have to,
to help M. carry the groceries,
and continue to do the best i can,

i know we won’t be going in a new Fiat

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Giacomo picked me up

coming out of Standa grocery store
walking in the sun toward the Tram Otto
I see a smiling face looking at me
It’s Mirella

there, at an outside coffee bar amid traffic on Vialle Trastevere,
we sat at a table and reunited with Mirella and Aldo
now four years retired from the outdoor market,
she’s had each leg operated on and is walking again,
I had painted her many times when they worked
in the Piazza Campo Dei Fiori

later Giacomo picked me up near the bar of the witch
at the corner of Lungo Tevere and Vittorio Emanualle
we went to Donetella’ restaurant for lunch,
she was in Copenhagen, but the staff was there
the lad from Romania called me by name,
the parmigiana di melanzane that looked like taquitos
and tasted like heaven
lucca looked older, walked with a crutch,
he had an accident on his motorino,
Sunday he goes to his sailboat in Barbados
to take tourists around for a month

heavy rain again this afternoon in Roma
after lunch Giacomo dropped me off
in front of Santo Spirito Hospital, one of the
oldest continuous running hospitals in the world,
I’ve spent some nights there before the renuvation,
when the church part was a large open ward for the men,
this afternoon I caught a bus from there

on the way home I stopped to inquire
about an old friend, a gentle man,
we used to see quite often dining at the Oassi,
he taught at catholic college, used to play piano duets
with Pope Ratzinger in private rooms at the Vatican,
last year he was doing better, his voice returned,
the lady at the coffee bar said
he became weak again this summer,
after forty years in Roma
Father Lawrence went home to London to die

the sky has darkened,
it’s only four p.m.,
the street lights are on already,
it's colder now,
how quickly days tumble by
as we reach December

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

laid felt ye same sanome

“laid felt ye same sanome”
i wrote these words,
for years they were on a piece of paper
on the side of my refrigerator
i don’t know what it means
the words sound like something to me
the sounds are the poetry
it’s a chant, a mantra

more words are for my hurt
when i put it out there where it won’t go
i gave to someone who couldn’t give back
saw it coming
knew it all along
fell again
hurt again
should have ducked

that’s enough, for now, for then
in a while i may do it again
that’s what we do
always the ones we can’t have that we go for
the ones that want us, we don’t want

it’s in the past now
yet I recall
this foolish way of youth
felt ye same?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

the masterpiece of kin

the masterpiece of kin is cunning
in similarities quick to begin
at times they think the same
grip the same,
gripe the same
walk and talk, dress
and look the same

i remember a family of five brothers
all looked like their father
half again like their mother
a year parted each birth
a revolution of the sun
between each of their worth
enough to get another
one practically
same as the other

not in the name
but in the soul
lies cold truth told
deep somewhere in the whole
where a lonely star hovers
the person slips through
to be their own self
apart from the others

not in the name
but in the soul
lies the whole
deep somewhere

Arrotino

arro rhymes with borrow
arro teen, oh
arro tin o

call it out, sing it out
let it wail in the air
and hang there for all
so they can hear you coming

sing it everyday for thirty years and more
like your father and his,
while pushing your bicycle
with a grinding wheel mounted on top
up and down cobblestone streets of old Roma
then you’ll have the voice of the caller
the sharpener, the arrotino

let them bring their knives down to you
to sharpen on your wheel
call them
the call will richocet off stone walls
echo and carry the cry
into every doorway, every window
they will come
as they have for centuries
arrotino

our times

after food and shelter are satisfied
seek beauty in your life
keep order in your space
everything in it’s place

appreciate the out of doors
complete your chores,
stay within the lines
do your best, enjoy the times

Monday, December 08, 2008

after coffee sunday

after coffee at Isa’s in Trastevere we
had lunch at Giacomo’s and Virginia’s
wonderful mezzo rigatoni pasta in tomato sauce,
I cleaned up her pc while they all cooked

last night Virginia's brother won best
cinematographer at the European film awards,
his son won best Director for the same movie,
the film swept the top five awards

two months ago they won at Cannes
we saw this latest award on the TV news today,
that’s why when we went to Donatella’s Friday
she and Marco and Mateo were in Copenhagan

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Every Viewer

sitting in front
of a plastic box
smiling, usefully as a carrot
God bless us Every Viewer

oh, humanity you sure as Hester
got suck-ed-up in a good one this time,
careful now, don’t use up your brain,
you may need it for something later