Saturday, April 24, 2010

saturday first thing

Saturday first thing
the crack of eight, remember that,
it's the hour to ransack Rome,
cause Romans sleep in the mornings

from our window above i observe a Bangladeshi
load the large wheeled wooden hand cart
for Campo dei Fiori venders Marco and Isa,
the guy needs the work, and they’re older now

we go out and down the alley way,
find Corado working alone at
Rosaria’s store, talk a bit.
he wants to see America some day

then to the laundry that still isn’t open
a half hour past the opening time written on the door.
after fifteen minutes of staring at the sign
we drag our cart to the Laundromat a few streets over

Crazy Mario is working, usually i go on Monday
with Bill the chef, when Luciano works there,
forever grumpy and dreaming aloud
of Thailand beaches, warm weather and low prices

our chores finished, we leave Roma by car to discover
it’s the day, it’s the hour, it’s what every Disneyland in
the world wants to be, charming as Sacrafano’s
medieval village center, rock village on a hill

now freshly green, deep springtime in the air
we have a coffee and walk around.
then to Alberto’s delightful home in the wild,
for lunch, half Calabrese cuisine,

half plain out of this world
Albie’s an artist, even when he cooks.
i’d tell you more but the page is nearly full,
must save room for desert.

Friday, April 23, 2010

road again

some road cops on the cruise
with nothing to do get a kick
driving fast and laying on the siren
they passed us like a bat out of hell

stopped for lunch at a mom and pa diner
in an atomic particle of a town.
out front a parking space for two was open
‘til that guy in front of me pulls into it

goes right in the middle
takes it all, he does
not thinking of me or you,
that’s how Italbillys do

during, before and after pasta,
vegetables, warm pie and coffee, i sort
piles of notes from my pockets
x ‘em out when they’re done, i do

at home i keep one of the old cigar boxes dad used
little notes and numbers
written all over it
a boy has to learn somewhere

the Giant Cyclops had it right
tell the villagers to leave some sheep
tied up by the cave at the bottom of the hill
or there’s going to be trouble, problem solved

lunch was home cooked good
made new friends
learned the river was down,
not rushing like years before

a local truck, vegetables in the back
parked outside
after lunch we gandered,
chatted, got fruit, we did

the road home, windows up against the chill,
all the way we could smell the strawberries
nestled in the trunk of the car.
now that’s a poem, partner

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i smile satisfied

crossing traffic
with bullfighter ease
having done it before
it’s a breeze

turning left
then I squeeze
across the lane
step, step

like a dance
kind of nifty
Hey - that SOB
almost hit me

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

baby down the well

baby down the well,
what the hell?
half a world away people talk
like it’s going on next door

next thing the playoff games
shadowed out by Dancing with the Stars,
you need some more distraction,
we’ve got robots going to Mars

so many i don't know

been through so many books
don’t know what all i’ve read,
who wrote them
or what they all said

while some of it took,
seems the most of it, i dread,
is floating here somewhere,
swirling downstream in my head

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

since the colosseum

in Roma the paper trail
dreadful long, runs deep,
employment for a relative,
nothing to do with efficiency

if they’re selling chances
don’t bet against it,
the outcome is fixed in stone,
that’s how it goes

Roma has the reputation
to convolute everything,
and lives up to it
every imaginable way

Monday, April 19, 2010

out of Roma ahead of the volcano

set a land speed record
on an intercity bus to the termini
the driver was in a hurry
to smoke or pee or call mama on his break

at the train station
oh the humanity
European victims of the volcano cloud
hurrying in, to find a way out

training south we stopped at Formia
a knowledgeable passenger said we’d be stopped a few minutes
i was three seconds from stepping off for a walk outside
as the door snapped closed and the train took off

a guy who saw it all
said it was close to disaster for me
and nearly smiled
when he said it

through Naples we passed
a dozen twenty story
apartment buildings with balconies
on all sides, all the way down

in Sapri stayed at a downtown hotel
a small park away from the sea
the racket was traffic and breaking waves of humanity
it was a fine afternoon

that evening at a local bar
i had a beer, M. had a glass of wine
served by the youngest bartender in Europe
my shoes are older than him

crashing waves
whish of the trees
laughing people
between us and the sea

so the volcano puffs
airports close
we had enough
soon we’re heading home

fat mouse sleeping

fat mouse sleeping
is how we travel usually,
but not this bus, we let the good one go,
and took one with the square wheels

and the driver who that very morning
dropped off his mother,
three sisters and fiancee
at the nut house

his grin as he drove reminded me of the odd man,
a regular at a lunch counter in San Francisco,
with the black rubber toupee that clung to his head
like a sleeping alligator, i shuddered

and looked over to M. to see how she rode,
one hand on the saddle horn like a broncobuster
grinning without hanging on
and knew she was fearless

fat mouse sleeping
is where i wanna be
but not on this bus
the one with square wheels