Saturday, March 06, 2010

the ultimate capolinea

we can get on any bus there
she said as she pointed.
it was a capolinea, a stopping point,
halfway, for several bus lines

but she had called it more than that,
this was the great one.
she said from this capolinea
it was possible to get on any bus

sure i am reasonable,
but not a doubter.
if she said it, than from here
i imagine we could get on any bus

how about we take a bus
that goes by the great pyramid, turns left
then goes along the beach in
Zijuatanejo, Mexico in . . . say 1935

wait - i considered circling the moon,
then decided instead we’d take one
that sails the Caribbean - around 1500,
or there abouts

if you ever decide to ride this one
do wear light clothing,
bring sun protection, and be very sure
to pack a sword

Friday, March 05, 2010

way out to lunch

I have to report, because someone will comment about M. getting sick last week and my timing was off, so I’ll explain: this poem was getting warmed like buns in the oven since last week. I generally write them as they occur. Occasionally this is a diary of sort, but this time other things crept in and this piece had to wait.

So the story is that M. had the fever and is now ok. You can bank on it. So now read about it.

way out to lunch

out to good food lunch,
maybe the air was bad, of vegetable we had
a colorful mood bunch,
she liked it, that’s my hunch

though she didn’t say,
just went home then, the bus ride way, easy,
later that evening
she began feeling queasy

when up came a flash fever
she decided to chuck it,
couldn’t just leave her,
so i manned the bucket

Thursday, March 04, 2010

rode the bus

rode the bus,
tourist window on the world,
fewer buses now in Roma
and they’re driving faster to make up for it

i don’t think we are supposed to notice the
cost saving measure, but i was seat sliding.
as we spun around a corner i reminded myself
the pleasure of dying in an accident

there is no prolonged advance worry before hand
like applying jelly to toast,
the knife hangs suspended,
then swipe, that’s it.

turned 65 so i paid half, 16, for a month bus ticket
now i ride twice as much to make up
for all the other years i paid double,
i think i can do it, i think i can, i think i can

Roma is changing face from winter to spring.
i pull out pen and paper to make note of
the two conditions of retirement:
nothing to do, too much to do

incident report from Rocco’s pizza,
dear sweet happy Claudia from Romania
got her vial tapped by the gangly mushroom man
long may they run, and happy together

got out in front of the bookstore at Largo Argentina
a grey worn tenor sax man in his late seventies,
with jazz music in the forties, has some stuff,
playing for hours, solo, for infrequent coins

as i drop him some, he slowly looks me steady in the eye.
insurance for my future, could be me some day
my wife pointed out that i don’t play sax
pshaw . i told her i could learn

backing up to see a phone number over a door
i fell back into a large flower pot, pot and i both ok.
i’m wearing my mail man shoes today,
got them resoled for 15 euro, met a new friend.

at the center of Piazza Cavour on the head of the statue
of Count Camillo Cavour who forged the kingdom of Italy,
two birds stand side by side appropriately
at pigeon attention

half hour later back on the bus
caught myself humming
the sax man’s tune -

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

b. dylan

word got out, came around,
about this young guy
making music in the Village
knew he changed his name from Zimmerman

saw his wild strange mess photo,
and his songs came in on radio,
tried to wake us up, talked for us,
kept coming, slapping us awake

he wasn’t Peter, Paul or Mary
his voice and diction were unruly disorder,
played a funky guitar, so that
his harmonica was a dissonant plus

but his words, oh, the words were tight
they were packed weights, color and light,
riding melodies that rang hearts and minds,
even the timing for his coming was right

we wanted and needed him
there was a space in culture just then,
an opening wide enough for him to joggle through
tip his cap and be Bob Dylan for us all

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

there was math involved

when i was a kid i put a firecracker
into a lunch box
lit it and closed the lid
and threw it into my closet

i peaked to see the lid blowing off
then opened windows to get the grey smoke out,
when mom came home i told her so she’d quit worrying
cause she smelled the smoke

if i built that real moon rocket a few years later,
the explosion would have blown it to smithereens,
they had the thing go up for real, it did
and kept going up and up and out and far

now, before it happened the word was out
real good, because everyone knew,
even the night was perfect that July,
and the astronauts took a camera along

good planning to have a camera for everyone
everywhere in the world to watch it live,
the picture wasn’t perfect
that hardly mattered, there it was,

we saw Neil Armstrong come down that ladder
we knew his name right away, and that he was from Ohio
and we heard his words when
he stepped his boot in black and white into moon dust

we sat on the floor eating popcorn, as close
as we could get to Walter Cronkite, the TV and the moon
when he said one small step for man,
one giant leap for mankind

Monday, March 01, 2010

poetry began at the Ritz Theater

a scratched nineteen thirties movie
black and white, new way back once upon a time,
quality withered, it used to be so sharp
but who knows where that film was stored for years

hear clicking, the projector runs the sprockets
house lights dim, Mr. Mattee has a flashlight,
the smell of popcorn drifts and fills the air,
previews, the cartoon then the grand theme starts

filmed at dusk, there are fires
with nine hundred extras changing costumes
to be the villagers, the Vandals and than an invading army
fought inside, over and along ancient castle walls

of course there were towers, a moat and stirring music
and that’s the true story how i began writing poetry
when i was a kid, before that i thought about it
but wasn’t serious