Saturday, April 25, 2009

market review

Call this - I told you so. Here's something posted on this site February 7, 2008, a few months before the dive.

market analysis
holy catfish the markets diving
and won’t come up for air
all your trouble is like a bubble
when it pops sit back and stare

no need to hurry if you want to worry
you’ve got the time to spare
but hold that frown, cause it’s going down
every stinking where

a man desires

all a young man desires in a woman
is a good figure, some brains
an eager willingness to do all the washing,
shopping, cleaning and cooking
while being a total sex maniac on overdrive
oh, and did i say rich?

but now that i am older
it doesn’t matter anymore
just so we’re nice to each other
well, rich still would be good

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rome Welcome II.

My friend Rocco, who works two days a week in the administrative offices of the police department, told me that over the Easter holidays six hundred thefts were reported at the crowded Rome train station.

our friend’s vacation was scheduled
to last three weeks,
while crossing the ocean he
spent six days aboard ship in bed
not a world class lover,
wasn’t sea sick,
he had suffered a stroke

five minutes after arriving in Rome
he reached into his pocket where
four credit cards, a drivers license, reminders,
several permits, papers and
cards too important to carry
that should have been left at home
plus five hundred or more, in cash,
were all packed and gone
in his stolen wallet.
his passport remained safe in another pocket
even thieves only have two hands

we walked him around a few times
though nearly in a daze,
i think he enjoyed himself

three days later i helped him buy a ticket
then put him on a train
for the remainder of his scheduled vacation
to see his family in Switzerland
where his cousin had just died
two days before

Thursday, April 23, 2009

two for the street

They started there about the time I first came to Rome.

Thirteen months ago I wrote about the two old ladies living on the corner in front of Rome’s train station. This winter one was gone. A weeks or so later, the other disappeared.

No doubt one had died and the survivor was taken weeping to an undisclosed location for the aged, derelict, and possibly mentally challenged, yet feisty.

Had twenty years on the street had done them in?


winter was long and wet
the rainiest in two hundred years
so they said,
if you can believe their record keeping,
no one can contradict
for sure, everyone talked about the weather


first came spring,
then the two old ladies were back again
with bags and market shopping cart
taking turns sleeping
on one of the busiest, noisiest, wind blown corners
in all of Rome

the very corner where 20 or thirty buses routes
and any of the cities six thousand taxis
turn to enter the train station to pick up passenger
thus providing
twenty-four hour traffic, stench and noise

and there, an arm’s length from the curb,
in blankets and rags do they camp,
together again on their home turf
using a bucket or the restrooms at the station,
one at a time, as needed,
the two bundled octogenarians
enduring, perhaps enjoying
the great out of doors


sure they could have more
a better corner
by the sea,
an open field
or in the woods
but they took what was available
i think i should be happy for them

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

on the bus

a kid had the double front seat
he was ten, skinny and healthy
I asked for the seat and he sprung up

it’s good for him to learn now
the way of the world, how old people
impose their will on the young

anyway, he didn’t need that big seat
I’ve seen larger wrapped sandwiches,
fold the kid up and he could ride in a lunchbox

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

began studying early in life
carved the pieta age at 23,
the David at age 26

five hundred years later,
still marveling, fascinated,
we wait in line to see his work

occasionally deeds
done in the fire of youth
are honored for a long, long time

Sunday, April 19, 2009

rome welcome

I’d like to tell you this is a love story, something fuzzy, warm and cuddly. Instead I’m kicking myself for his misfortune. It wasn't my fault. I tried to help. I'm just asking why don’t they understand that 20 years in the city has taught me things an outsider doesn’t know?.

For sure I told him to be careful. I know I did. It’s a given. After all, he was a new guy to the city, coming in to the train station for the first time. But what good was my telling him? How can someone digest the importance of everything heard in a transatlantic phone conversation, when there is the excitement of the trip to think about.

When I gave him my phone number he wrote that down. But who is going to write down the warning “watch out for thieves”?

rome welcome

a friend arrived in Italy by boat
on a luxurious sixteen day cruise
with six ports of call
to the final port an hour away

wanted to help every way i could
hell, everyone likes special treatment
offered to meet at the train
to kind of ease him into the city

this experienced world traveler
said he could easily get one block to the hotel
he was going to handle it,
would call when he got in

about the time I expected
the phone rang, he called to
tell me yes, he was in Rome and
his wallet was stolen at the train station

credit cards and about five hundred dollars
gone with the quick hands,
this is not the end of the short story,
he still has three weeks to go