Saturday, January 07, 2012

stopped at a tintaria

stopped at a tintaria, door was open.
the name implies they dye material.
more often these days it’s dry clean they do,

a kind man i found there, always a good start;
re hooked the slider on my coat zipper in a minute
so it works like new again. he did. i’m grateful.

i said the fine service was worth fifty euro
he said one hundred and twenty. we laughed.
he charged me nothing. that’s fine too.

this is the city. we both were aware
that i may never stop again there.
he did the job; in these lines i remember him.

Friday, January 06, 2012

no state to deny

a pop up on my computer reads,
“your pc is in a perfect state.”
it is trying to convince me, however unlikely,
for my computer’s never been a lot of places.

though i reason, as for state, i'm in italy
where the consensus is: nothing is perfect.
as perhaps Italy is a state, meaning -
a condition: like insomnia.

although equated with a state of grace
there is no rational for some beliefs;
they are unexamined, tossed around
enough to be overrated yet acceptable.

with the favorite reason being:
that is how it has always been done.
don’t ask questions, don’t whine.
heads down, stay in line.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

any fine day

put two hundred strangers,
some jetlagged,
whirling in a crowd
out of order,

around tents, hand carts
small dogs and corners;
meander an electric bus
through the middle,

plus bicycles and motrorinos
on all sides.
now pigeons on the ground
in the middle of it all

hopping, running,
bobbing their heads, pecking
stretching their wings,
turning their heads.

half cover lightly
with rolling low clouds,
add brisk winds
and you're in the campo packed laughing,

wondering why those
quick dashing pigeons
never get bumped, run over
or stepped on.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

to market

I.

M. has arrived,
with no space for jet lag.
step aside please,
we’re heading to market.

first buy bus passes,
for she must be orderly, precise, never nonplussed.
those tickets checkers will get you if you’re without.
a fifty euro fine now, sixty-five if you pay later.

II.

seated facing everyone from the very back of the bus.
along our way a young man shouted
into his cell phone for all to hear.
perhaps as a youngster he spent his hours

yelling into a tin can tied on a string.
maybe someone was on the other end
with similarly rigged equipment,
maybe not.

IV.

i went along and did not sing
or read or sleep, just hung on,
for a bus over cobblestones
does much up and down bumping.

now we're both here, winter’s near.
to market and back,
as we settle in.
seems like old times.

Monday, January 02, 2012

the uniform

i saw the uniform in the open door of the closet,
hung pressed like new, was civil war blue
with a narrow yellow side stripe and metal buttons.
with boots, gloves, hat and sword in scabbard.

her husband’s or her father’s, i don’t recall.
she has since gone the long away.
i could call to ask my old friend George,
though we haven't talked since we were children.

and where has that fragment been,
that which i carry in my head?
when now so many years have gone by,
there remains only a thread.

not even my story, someone else’s life
hanging blue in the closet that isn’t there.
even that building exists only
in old worn photos and scant memories.