Saturday, December 18, 2010

thunder and snow

a week before Christmas,
in cold enough Rome,
clack rattling hail and rolling boom thunder
shakes walls and smacks windows at home.

looking out, blurry blue snowgusts and
patches of ice, show by street lamp light,
now in dark, and still wind,
hard rain falls tonight.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the unmarked bus

what is it? no number.
here comes chance.
an opportunity?
boarded it, to where it was going.

found a seat easily
because two uniformed
ticket checkers were aboard.
somehow arrived at the termini.

on the street a lad was selling colorful plastic,
blobs to throw on the sidewalk, where
it splatters like an egg. then, as if a sci-fi movie
it immediately forms into a ball.

talked to friends Rocco and Stefano
at the pizza box, then to Nicola, Cecelia,
Teressa and Corine at Sfizio, meaning whim,
where i enjoyed red yolk eggs for breakfast.

M. joined me for coffee, we walked to Piazza Vittorrio
and to Mas, which means more in Spanish.
four floors of store like a maze.
the basement alone winds on forever,

with at least twelve rooms
and connecting, elongated,
narrow, irregular levels
of corridor.

tried on pants in a dressing room
where behind a curtain the entire contents
of that room was one wooden knob,
mounted head high on the wall. no seat.

and then caught an old tram that ran on tracks,
circled Piazza Maggiore the magnificent, huge
stone Roman gate where centuries ago
you entered to get into the city.

switched to a bus,
got off near home.
it was one o’clock.
time for lunch.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

route change


on to Pasqual’s for polenta,
something not on M.’s diet.
I ate knowing,
but she abstained.

i mentioned it Wednesday,
said i’d go Friday,
she said polenta is Thursday.
how’d she remember? i ate. it was good.


opposite the restaurant is the building
where Samuel Morris lived around 1831,
eleven months. long enough to earn a
marble plaque on the exterior wall

that plaque says he invented
the electric telegraph magnetic writer.
which means, with different words,
about the same thing in English,

then boarded the small electric bus
and rode into a student demonstration
with traffic stammering, then blocked.
we gyrated around as best we could, the driver did.

having just eaten and
had a few glasses of wine to boot,
the days was right to ride around
in that little electric charm.

there were four other passengers.
to help talk away the ride.
while the bus made a circuitous route
to get around blocked traffic.

warm and sunny,
he drove us well.
no one minded the
improvised route.

in the end he got us
nearly where we
all were going
in the first place, anyhow.


the unfortunate part
of not making note
is forgetting what it was
that i never wrote