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...the meadow and the puddle
you wouldn't come out of

wild and simple joy

invisable to eyes, now...

I wander the meadow grass

the fields where the flowers glow
in early morning
sunlight

the fields you
only dream of
where your soul is always free...

and you come running

spectral through the mist

I walk lonely fields
2d · 29
the prayer
and through an open window
tiny red eyes on little feet
roam the 4 corners of my prison  
where the dice roll
but never fall.


hold on

st christopher
former saint
taken off the calendar

how far is heaven?

aspirations
like the shadows casted
by the corner boys
as sunset approaches
i'll follow you down

into the tall grass
where the lions wait for  
tattered dreamers

i sit and pray
wondering
if the barbed wire
faces in or out

and standing I push the toilet handle down
watch the water swirl
and go down

st christopher
i need a little faith

I ve been locked up
way too long
in this crazy world

how far is heaven?
6d · 116
those who use...
those who use their real names
on poetry websites:

we own a poodle
2 leopard geckos
buy ***** by the half gallon

have killed 2 to 3 people
BUT ARE NOT
serial killers

we only listen
to Tom Waits
songs

are surely
on the f.b.i 's no fly list

may own too many
guns

we  wonder???

how long???

is a piece of string???

and tattooed
on our genitals
"live free or die"

a dog pees on
every tree
telephone pole
and mailbox

to let  the other
dogs know he was here

and here I am
Oct 12 · 315
the sky is on fire
the sky is on fire
at sunset

(and you want to know
why i'm sitting
on the roof

the sky is on fire

and I only dream of you

and in Tibet
the monks write their prayers
on rice paper
and climb to a high mountain top
and fling their prayers
into the wind
where they will float
to heaven
and be answered

the clouds:
violet,
pale yellows,
and pink

and you want to know
what i'm doing
sitting up on the roof

so standing
I take the toilet paper
from my shirt pocket

and the wind knows
and skyward it goes)

the sky is on fire at sunset

and I only dream
of you
a sky of caring
a rabbit foot on a chain

two 6 packs
3 friends

take me back to the river
by the railroad tracks

and shelly
and keats
and junior kimbrough

take me back
to the river by the railroad tracks

and the flat pennies we held
in the palms of our hearts


fall
is a forgiving season

so take me back to the river by the tracks

where the river runs
deep
and wide
and the memories have souls
once inside a woman s heart
tell no sweet lies

she loves the unlovable

so hold her closer

kiss her tenderly

thunder and lightning
a slow dance
and she dreams only of you

once inside a woman's heart

the touch sadness from her hand
heartaches wrapped in silence
only women bleed
no shinning light

ambulances and cop cars and nightmares
concrete and ashes 

streets too dead for dreaming

the abandon buildings
like tombstones waiting


as night edges prison walls
in the vanishing landscape

we were kings of the neon sky


and when the bars close
through puddles of lost tomorrows
running every red light
on main street

in a sun turned black as night


we were the kings of the neon sky
Jul 19 · 19
2 men in suits
t-borg was a hugarian freedom fighter, or so jimmy says. the other man in the suit never talks. just smiles

When we were kids walking through the walkway between the bar and the house, grandpa would hang out the window waving a .38.

I remember that.

the men have come to speak with the grandfather.

the grandfather walks through as if he owns the bar. He is doing a favor.

jimmy turns to leave.

t-borg wraps his arms around him, wrestles with jimmy, but it's more of a hug

" you don't **** with these guys, jimmy, you don't **** with them."
he s standing on the table

i'm looking up at him,
"this bar
the city
this city
isn t the place to lose your mind,"
I try to tell G..rge

Geo... only listens to sad songs

he's coming undone

he s been thrown
out of 3 bars
one bar twice

did 12 years in state,
said he loves her

"I only stabbed her with the steak knife in her thigh,
I wasn't trying to **** her,"

blames it on
the moon

"the gravitational pull...
we have water...
our bodies are 80 percent water,"

he says, " our brains...90
...the same thing
...happens to the tides."

his eyes rolling back and forth
adrift in that ocean

"...and why do barbers
always think
they need to talk to you..."

edged with sadness
his mind filled with ghosts
she runs around inside his head
like a mouse on a wheel

and the wind runs dancing through the trees
Jul 10 · 527
a soft, summer breeze
comes across the hill

a bluebird singing
the red ribbon in her hair

in the pale moonlight
hold me

softly In the pale moonlight
                                                       ­ 
sweet summer breeze
a fire in her heart

gentle summer breeze
and the ribbon comes undone

there is a love
that waits  in pale moonlight
Jun 30 · 97
"the thought police"
( "........... ...  ..............., ..... .......  .
......... ..................... and ................ .......... .
............, ...................... ............. ."
Jun 29 · 62
zen moments 2
i was looking for a job.

can you drive a truck, he asked

sure, i said

i tried to back the truck out
and hit the concrete retaining wall
that ran 150 feet along the driveway

the whole 150 feet went down

people wandered out of the warehouse.
eyes wide, mouths open

no one said a word

thank god it was a sunday.
any other day of the week there would have been
10 cars parked on the other side...

   *   **

"dad get me out of this"


ft. Lauderdale:

Why?

George: I don t know. One window was broken so frank starts  breaking the rest of the window and then sammy starts breaking the other windows.

It was like what chimpanzees would do to a room...

The manager came, the cops came. My dad pulls up. He says he ll pay for the windows...

As sammy always said," after 12, 14 beers they all taste the same."

...   ...   ...
We were driving down the turnpike and bobby wouldn't stop so I could take a ****, so I roll down the window and get on my knees and I m peeing, a car comes passing and he s got his wind shield wipers on...
Jun 8 · 322
blood and bone
and
when she left
hemingwey

ernest put the barrel
of a shotgun
in his mouth

big toe
in the trigger ...

line and color
at the tip
of his brush
van gogh
knew her intimately...

ravel
felt her with his heart
and composed
the piano concerto for
the left hand...

and his dead hands
and with his dead hands
still clutching a book of poems by Keats
shelly slept with her
on the sands of Italy...

the wolf and the elk
blood and bone

a savage
animal
she is
when taken
for granted

the night
jumps from
the wall

and...

she walks
8th avenue
in the rain
and snow

beauty always
has her price
(usually 20 and up
depending on
what you want)
May 22 · 219
another lonely night
and here I stand
a stone
beside an unshaded lamp

4 walls and a door

I've tried to chase
your ghost
out that door
many times

and the unfathomable echo
of your footsteps lingers
forever fading down the hallway

the unshaded lamp
the mirror above the sink

a dangerous animal
a broken heart is
in the unforgiving light of a windowless room
May 18 · 806
mt. temple
little purple flower
In a desert of scree
waits for a butterfly

            (me, too)
May 3 · 1.3k
girl of the lake
across the log
as graceful as a dancer...


rising out of the water
jeans and blue t-shirt
like a weighted blanket

muddied and wet
the girl of the lake
delighting in the fall

the playful eyes
that wild in her smile                               

(I too
knew that smile
intimately
once
and dreams were plentiful
as the songs
that kept me alive

but the wind walks
a singular path
through the tall grass
surrounding lakes

a thief tip-toeing into another day)
Mar 30 · 160
that bar
the bartender knows my name
but I ve never seen him before
or so I think
and he keeps my shot glass full
and somewhere between
my 6th shot
and 3rd or 4th beer
he begins looking familiar
"hey donald," I say
and he smiles
seems to know something
that I m not sure of

an argument by the pool table
the man pulls a knife
and donald hops the bar
pulls out a 38
"you think that knife s ill
do you any good?"

the man stabs the knife
into the pool table
walks away
game over

don suggests
I leave so
that s it for me
i hate violence

so i m driving down
US. 35
hit about 100mph
and there s flashing red lights behind me
so i pull over
as the state trooper is putting
the handcuffs on me, he asks,
"where the hell are you going, anyway?"

"I m racing to Paris."

I don t go to
that bar
any more


(i don't go to that bar anymore," is the sequel to, "i don't go to that liquor store anymore")
the red glow of her cigarette.
the fingers of her left hand
yellow  with nicotine
clutching dying flowers

"buy a rose for your lover," she says,
"buy one for your wife. buy 2."

"the flowers are wilted."

"maybe it's your eyes that are wilted.

she had black hair
black as the night
the violent night
and gray eyes
the shade of ***** ice

"you must love
someone,
some of the time, no?
put a rose on
your father s grave, then"

"love is like lost pennies
falling from a broken jar"

she smooths her hair with one pale,
long fingered hand, "you re crazy,"

"my mom says so."

i was born to
have adventure

I followed her up the steps

i was born to chase the night
through the forest
of dead roses
Mar 24 · 202
last dance
I floor the car
through the orange traffic light
pass a line of cars
have to cut in
and I m behind a hearse

trapped in the sad procession
traveling
to
some cemetery...somewhere

and on the way
I have time
to contemplate
my demise...

... at the viewing
as I lay in my casket
I want speakers playing
a lively tune

and a strope light
in my coffin

the scattered
on again off again
flashing

and
it ll look like

I m dancing... dancing



my last dance
it is a cold january night.

I walk into the bar.

it is "Beach Night", and
ed maloney has trucked in
3 hundred pounds
of sand...
2 drunks are
trying to build
sand castles.

the bartender 's girl friend
is howling to
"the werewolves of London."

the bartender bob has
a mouth full
of tequila
and a lit pack of matches,
he sprays the tequila
setting a pack of napkins
on fire.

crazy george is swinging
from the wagon wheel
light fixture.

ed Maloney yells
something
but jumps
grabbing
the other side of the
wagon wheel light
and the wagon wheel light fixture
and crazy George
and ed Maloney
come crashing down
into a pile.

it is the one bar
that
ed couldn't be
thrown out of.

he owned it.

ed had stolen
thousands of dollars
from the company he work
for.

(the rumor was the company
was the
CIA)

the company
couldn't figure out how
he did it
so they paid him
100 thousand dollars
to tell them
how he did it.

"how did you do it?"
I asked.

"ghosting the darkling"
is all he said.

he always said ghosting the darkling
whether it was the company,
the bar,

life.

That's what he
called it,

GHOSTING THE DARKLING...

                         *    **
The brush stroke of a genius is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places, and incidents are
Absolutely True...

(that's my story,
anyway...)
Jan 5 · 179
zen moments
the roof rack:

george:

I pulled the car in the driveway and my father s standing on the porch, he s wearing boxer shorts and a t-shirt

"George, where s the roof rack, where s the roof rack to the car???

George, "what roof rack, dad?"



sam and george at seton hall university:

sam: "we were smoking *** and drinking beer, I don't know who brought it up but we decided to drive to Steubenville, ohio and run naked through the girls dorm, we made it to youngsville, Pennsylvania, we ran out of gas and didn't have any momey so we go into this store, tell the man we ran out of gas and don't have any money, he reaches into the cash register and hands me a twenty...  

stolen cars:

(we weren't stealing cars, we were joy riding...borrowing)

bobby came back with a car, I dove through the back window,  he crashed the car in Belmar, bobby was smart he walked down to  the beach, I went to main street and, the cops stopped me and I would of gotten away just denying it but my hand was bleeding and there was blood in the car...
the owner of the car claimed there was 2 hundred dollars in his wife s pocket book...there wasn't, I know, I went through it...

...I wasn't with sam but he sideswiped a row of cars on second avenue, it was front page news and I read about it...

jack:  they needed valets to park cars at the berkley carteret hotel, this guy pulls up in a mercedes and hands me a ten... I drove the mercedes to the nearest liquor store and bought a six pack. I picked up a ******* 2nd avenue, she really loved the car...
... I pulled the Mercedes into the entrance to the hotel just as the owner of the Mercedes was coming out. I jumped outta the car, handed him the keys, he gives me another ten...

miscellaneous zen moments:


it was the state fair at the horse farm and they were charging 25 dollars per person and jack was with his girlfriend, he didn't want to pay 50 so he climb into the trunk of  the car, unfortunately he put the trunk key in his pocket.

Marybeth pulls the car in front of jack's house.

Jack's dad, "where s jack?"

Marybeth says nothing, stares.

the voice from the trunk, "in here dad."

Dad shakes head.
Dec 2020 · 2.5k
emilys hill road
guy scutellaro Dec 2020
along emilys hill road
the trees are bare

she's skipping stones
across st martens creek

as she turns
smiling my name

her breath comes out
white clouds
mingles
and hangs in the air

the quiet
stillness
in her eyes

she sees something
in me
that I can't
see

and that s why
i love her so



emilys hill road
unchanged

the trees are bare

she's skipping stones
across
st. martins creek

I believe that's the way
I remember her best
Nov 2020 · 673
long fallen trees (you)
guy scutellaro Nov 2020
build my gallows
build my gallows high

blood moon, fire red
no gentle breeze
not a flower in your bed

the echo of rocks
from your fingertips
a roll of the dice
in your eyes

no flowers or the sun
a roll of the dice
and i'm gonna run

build my gallows high
with long fallen trees
in ragged, wind blown skies

build my gallows high
guy scutellaro Jul 2020
staring out the window,
I remember you as you were

a bird always in flight

a fist full of tomorrows
held in the palm of your hand

staring out the window at the pouring rain
the warmth of your hand
pinions of a dove's wing
your hand in mine

I will not see the shadow
under your smile


gathering all the light in a room
like a flower in the sun

I remember you as you were
Jul 2020 · 169
la dee da
guy scutellaro Jul 2020
an old man in a corvete convertable

a tip jar at the liquor store

2 men in suits at my door
from the drug enforcement agency
want to know if I
can
point them in the right direction

our lady of perpetual motion auto league
sirens coming
  
a passing fire truck
someone in a mickey mouse suit
waving

fat albino lesbians wearing ******* ******
...thin lines that went nowhere so...and you can get electricity
from a potato...and

some day this will all make since

that s my tale anyway so

la dee da
guy scutellaro Feb 2020
the point of the knife
spoke lightening
above the witch grass
carved into the trunk of the tree
then
she had worn something
pretty and white

and he slips his arms around her waist
and she cups her hands around his face

and
she wore something pretty and white

and she feels his breathing
feels
hearts beating
faster

and
on and on
the
drip
        drip
drop
of regret
like a bird shot gunned  
from blue sky

and the ticking clock
          and the beating heart
turns everything
               into waiting worms
guy scutellaro Feb 2020
ice forms along the edges of ponds and hearts
thin ice...

holding you in my arms
after
puzzled you

johnny al said it was always *** with you
just *** and even if I was good at it
(and I was)
I was out of my league
johnny al said that


the cat that plays with the mouse is sad
when the mouse dies
and it doesn t know why it is sad

sometimes love is like that

the door to night swings open
and the night comes down hard
I still love you so
Jan 2020 · 315
a clean emptiness
guy scutellaro Jan 2020
"what are you doing out on a night like this?"
the man with too long legs
wants to know

swallowed by storm and rain
standing on the steps of the row house
"a girl has to work"

"girl, why, you re a pretty woman,"
bullfrog says

her smile is fleeting and she s all business.
"15 dollars a ****
25 around the world"

old bullfrog raises his arms  
to wind and rain
a mannequin
come to life
and with those long legs
he dances a fandango
in a puddle of dead tomorrows

This time she gives
a knowing smile

"heh, heh, heh, heh," Bullfrog slyly laughs
as he pulls up the collar
of his army coat
over his neck,  
"hey, ha, ha," he knows he is crazy
too...


the church bell is ringing

and bull is running up
the worn steps
of st. mary's roman catholic church

bull pulls the big oak doors open
walks respectfully on blue carpet

dips ******* into
the bowl of holy water
touches his forehead

heart

each shoulder

he kneels on one knee
before the statue of the ****** mary
asking for forgiveness
as the rows of candle light
run up and down the pews
and around the marble columns

every candle is a wish...
        
bullfrog shoves
the crowbar into the poor box slot pulls
but the lock holds
and bull is angry
and anger is a kind of hope so
he pulls again

the lock gives
the lid falls open

he pockets his prayers

twilight forever
blending into drug stores
and liquor stores
and street ******

and he s off
down church street
cleaned by the rain
Dec 2019 · 680
love
guy scutellaro Dec 2019
she puts her toes
to an imaginary line
raised by wolves
she chews to the bone
Dec 2019 · 221
the thrill of the grill
guy scutellaro Dec 2019
6a.m. to 2:00
the diner is open
a little ***** in the morning
so sometimes she burns
the hash browns

eggs
always soggy

her black shirt and pants
the black shirt and pants
that at one time
showed off
her ***
so well
too tight now
like a snake about
to shed its skin

"sometimes I see him in the mall,"
she often talks to herself,
"I ask him if he d like to meet his son.

I don t know why he thought
that

I did nt want to marry him anyway,"

she s *******
flips the hamburger

watches it  

slowly
peeling off the ceiling

a black moon coming down
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold ,dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The sauve, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday. Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why? I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is and adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Wagon Wheel Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells the boy, they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sargeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"So why did you come over to talk to me?"

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

"Yeah, sitting by the pin ball machine staring at the wall, and sometimes, you'd take out your little blue note pad and write in it.
"What are you writing? Are you goin to write about me..."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son, but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I didn't want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

"Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When is reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Theresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head. "Put the sunglasses back on, you look like a friggin raccoon."

Dell smiles. The blood running down his lips."Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Teresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Theresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of white that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, the shadows erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over. Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night. Perhaps there are shadows where nothing exists to cast them.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, "What should I call you?"

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

The Elvis impersonator that almost played Las Vegas; the hairdresser that wanted to be a race car driver; the insurance salesman with a Porche and a wife.  Her men talked about what they owned or what they could do.

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No."

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match. The flame flickering in her eyes. "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth  across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME, IF YOU LOVE ME TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "How are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real from the horror of what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the heart of an old man.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone

Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he has put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching. Joseph grabs the crow bar he keeps under his pillow. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms and kisses her and they walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of sun and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

Dell, standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend." His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

"*** always ruins every thing," Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. He pulls her to the edge of the table as Ronnie sings, "O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."


They are sitting on a couch in the room that atone time had been a sun porch.

Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."

"How did you get those little round scars on your arm," Jack wonders. "Up and down, hear and there."

"Do you really want to know?" There is anger in her voice and Jack does not understand.

"Why, yeah."

"My foster mom always wanted me to be clean and if I didn't I got hit with the belt. I tried to keep my face clean but it didn't do any good.

He was the worst, though, dad. He'd burn me with his cigarette. That's how I got these ****** scars. And when I knew he was coming home I'd get sick to my stomach and when I heard his key in the door, I'd wet myself.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

When they didn't beat me or burn me they ignored me, like I didn't exist, like I wasn't even there."



                                             Chapter 10



All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile. "Kathleen pulls away and faces the wall.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

The lingering silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares at her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all sad, she has she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the  dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, He ran out the door when I screamed."

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6,"Says Jack. The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead.

Jack starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. She looks into his eyes.

"What is it with you , two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V., he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy,"the little girl her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform , grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the ride starts.

Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride starts slowy, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all the her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattered thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back.

His girlfriend in the tight  black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack does not. Stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, "the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard. Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of the clock."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, " O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals, electric impulses, and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last he is exhausted, collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy.

The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar.

Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides into the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into an abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and Jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbly to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"Da DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND  MY BRAIN..."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A heart that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you."
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is  startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The dog has him pinned down, goes for his face.

And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
draws to the inside straight of desperation

and
in ruins of his room
among empty beer bottles


the room
where the floor is tilted
like the fun house floor

the man with the axe wrote
poems on

paper bags

toilet paper

on the back envelopes of overdue bills
from a past life ...

on paper plates
flung from the window
like dead flowers

on those

abandon buildings on
cookman avenue...

...the click clack
on sidewalks
from his duct taped boots...

the forlorn echoing
off the soulless places
that made him feel

feel so good...

the man
axe in hand
chasing
tommy
down 5th avenue...

too soon
the night has found you

to soon
you left this
Earth
Aug 2019 · 1.4k
The Carousel
guy scutellaro Aug 2019
(Kathleen's birthday, part two.  )


"Daddy," the little girl has her hands folded and is looking up at her father. "When will it stop? I want to get on."

"Soon, Darling," her father assures her.

"I don't think it'll ever stop." The little girl says.

"Sweetie it'll stop, the ride always stops." Daddy takes her gently by the hand, gently squeezes. "See it's stopping now."


When the carousel slows down but has not quite stopped, Kathleen steps onto the platform and grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride and into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette, she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot into the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. The ride trembles and starts with a jolt.

A man is staring at Kathleen. Sitting on the pony has made her short skirt ride well up on her shapely legs, but she is too drunk to care. When the man comes over, she hands him her ticket.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her daddy who are sitting in a gold chariot pulled by two red horses.

The little girl looks at her father, and says, "Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

The man smiles back and strokes his daughter's hair. "So do I."


The heat makes the dizziness that Kathleen is feeling grow worse and as the ride picks up speed, she begins to see two of everything. There are two rows of pinball machines, eight flashing signs, and too many prize machines. The red , blue, and green lights from the ride signs blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street. She feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But honey the ride isn't over yet."

Kathleen finds that if she concentrates on other things the dizziness and the nausea become less severe. She tries to perceive the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or  a life. When she does this, and as she becomes accustom to the movement of the machine, the floating , spinning objects come together. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze and the blurring of lights becomes a beautiful waterfall.

The horses in front are always becoming the horses in the back and the horses in back are always turning into the horses in front. All horses gallop ahead. Settling back into the saddle, she follows them riding her white pony towards the receding waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock and who you are and that is alright with Kathleen. That is the way she feels. She has left something behind her. She does not know what, but whatever it is, the merry-go- round will chase it away.

She leans forward to embrace the ride.

Then just as suddenly as the it started, the ride is stopping, the music stops playing.

Kathleen climbs down off the horse as the Merry-go-round is slowing down. She stumbles off the platform and staggers out the door of the amusement park.

"****, *******," Kathleen yells, still too drunk, careening into the railing and almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She walks a few steps, sits down on the curb, hears the carousel music, and knows the ride is starting again, and all the terrible dreams that people do crawls into her like the sounds of a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up taking her breath away. There is so much of it so she lays down on the grass facing the street of broken buildings full of broken people. From the empty lot of scattered thoughts the Mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into the dark landscape, exploding for an illuminating moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold darkness.
Jul 2019 · 3.1k
grande vide
guy scutellaro Jul 2019
the average cost of a funeral is
$8,515

death is unaffordable for me

put me in  big oblong cardboard box

2 feet by 3 feet by 6 feet

packing list enclosed

fragile (not really)
      please handle with care

keep upright

       or

supine

send me to the
grande vide

postage due
Jul 2019 · 2.2k
turn up the radio
guy scutellaro Jul 2019
we were poor
but not deluded

and when
van morrisson's
"brown eyed girl"
comes on the radio on
that worn
old
brown rug
my brother and I
started tapping our feet
shaking our heads
to the music and
our sisters are smiling
at us and
our mother is laughing
at us

and all we needed was
laughter and love
a prayer and a song

turn up the radio
Jul 2019 · 470
a strip mall on rt. 9
guy scutellaro Jul 2019
if a person is famous
they name a bridge after you or
a street

at least a rest stop
on the turnpike

greatness

however

is a different matter ...


melodious percussion

the guitar player
in dark sunglasses
wearing a fedora hat
the brim pulled down

the vocalist
with a voice
like rain


you find greatness
in the strangest of places

a pint of bourbon
a poem

or

at
a strip mall on rt. 9
Jun 2019 · 353
smoke in an old book
guy scutellaro Jun 2019
open window

a cold breeze

a dusty box and the book


50 years his ashes blown by the winds

who remembers norman morrison?

the children who write with chalk
on the sidewalks
don't

nor the ****** 
who walk 42nd street in the rain

manamarra and westmoreland

he s not
one of their nightmares
any longer and

jerry rubin has too much on his mind:
college speaking dates
stocks and bonds

his shadow
long scrubbed from
the steps of the pentagon


norman kissed his wife and son
good bye

doused himself with gasoline
and set himself on fire
on the steps of the pentagon

he cried out in pain

like a mother screams
giving birth

like a baby cries being born and

when the sun rises

all the flowers

of the field

weep
who remembers?
macnamara: one of the architects of the Vietnam war.
westmoreland: general
jerry clyde rubin: viet nam war activist
guy scutellaro May 2019
in blue sky
the hawks circle
the bird feeder

the ghost of
a young adolf rules...

the dog that's
been caged
growls
walks in circles
(the wires to the cage
sit in Washington) and

as the cage opens...

smiling
say i
prancing in a circle

one hand waving free
"don't tread on me"
an American revolutionary war phrase, "Don't Tread ON ME," positioned below the rattlesnake is a warning that reflects the basic principle of individual FREEDOM!
guy scutellaro May 2019
in the dark corners of
bars

the crazy things he'd say
like
all shape is creation

he'd give you a nod
throw down a shot
and walk away
but

like a miracle
he had you wondering.

ron dreamed of angels
but love
is never
what it ought to be

his life was like a circus
wire walker
wandering aimlessly
day after day

and

one day

he disappeared
like the magicians dove

now

ron was a warrior

outside the 7- 11
were
his x-wife worked
with her knee high sock
he hung himself
May 2019 · 2.1k
in the shadow of the moth
guy scutellaro May 2019
laughter and love
relentless as time and neon lights...sarah

...beneath the lids
your eyes grow fixed
on the edge of dark
relentless as time and neon lights
on the brink of the void

in the shadow of the moth
perhaps finding that
elusive peace
another poem about sarah. "in memory of sarah" is perhaps a little clearer as to our relationship?
Apr 2019 · 1.1k
i, bank robber
guy scutellaro Apr 2019
I walk through the door
the manager walks passed turns
and stares as if he has forgotten
to say something
but i'm on fire
I hold the withdrawl thing in my right hand
the tellers are all so
willing to help
I walk over to the teller
the most nervous one
use my withdrawl slip
slide it across the polished counter
she hands me a pen
tries to smile
i make my withdrawl
get my money
and
slip the pen
slowly
carefully into my
back pocket
guy scutellaro Apr 2019
and through an open window
tiny red eyes and little feet
roam the 4 corners of my prison  
where the dice roll
but never fall.

hang on st Christopher
former saint
taken off the calendar

how far is heaven?

aspirations
like the shadows casted
by the corner boys
as sunset approaches
i'll follow you down

into the tall grass
where the lions wait for  
shattered dreamers

i sit and pray
wondering if the barbed wire
faces in or out
i
standing I push the toilet handle down
watch the water swirl and go down

st Cristopher
i need a little faith

I ve been locked up
way too long
in this crazy world

how far is heaven?
Dec 2018 · 787
portrait of a seeker
guy scutellaro Dec 2018
she wants to see
what the eagle
sees so
she puts on her dancing
shoes
(come and ride the wind)

walking among the meadows of time
always near and always far
she
searches for the beautiful poem
never realizes
she is the poem

the dreamer of good dreams
fears not a ghostly wind
  
the good dreamer
as clear as mountain lake
seeks the fruit of life
the sweetness
the truth of life
with a heart and mind
that are one.

this rose has no thorns
Nov 2018 · 1.2k
la luna
guy scutellaro Nov 2018
...bobby stole a car
george jumped
through
the open back window
we tied robbie up
left him on some ones porch
were surprized when
the spainish people carried
him into the house
(so much for robbie)
we egged chamburg's parents
put a box on a porch
with john inside
rang the doorbell and
ran
across the street to hide behind a car
john jumped out
the lady screamed
the husband yelled
john ran
came back the next night
attached a long cord to
the empty box
rang the doorbell....

hang on st. Christopher

the moon
        was never fuller
and we all enjoyed
a little madness for
awhile
Oct 2018 · 796
Jack's slide
guy scutellaro Oct 2018
The rain turns to snow.

With each lunging step he takes pain throps in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the great drafts of cold air he ***** through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache, he does not pause to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe probing for crevasses.

The pole slips effortlessly into the snow. "******, another one.!"

Moonlight coats the glacier and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the morning and he needs to be high on the mountain before the morning sun softens the snow. Jack moves carefully, quietly, humblely to avoid a fall into an abyss. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl. He has a pounding headache.

"Da da Dun , da da dun, hey purple haze all around my brain, lately things don't seem the same, don't know what's happen, is this a dream? Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me..." Jack thinks the song is in his head but then the electric guitar notes float down the mountain through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier.

It stops snowing as he makes his way up up the ridge following the music and at the top, standing on an arête , is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 m.p.h.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders suspiciously, stopping him dead in his tracks. "Am I dreamin...ah what the hell. PURPLE HAZE ALL IN MY BRAIN," Jack shouts. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. Hw swings his ice axe around strumming it like a guitar, and then he continues singing. "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, GOT ME LAUGHIN AND I DON'T KNOW WHY..."

                                      *   *  **

Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, " her voice startles him. "Are you awake?"

"Yeah, I'm  awake.

"What's the matter, Jack.  Can't you sleep?"

Jack shifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep, alright." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to some high alpine meadow." He tells her."

"A belly that's empty hurts," The shadow replies. "I miss you, Jack Delleto.

"I'm glad someone does. I miss you, too."

There is silence for several minutes and then her voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When she is in front of him, Jack stands slipping his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter? She raises her head to look at him in the darkness." Jack, why your crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry, Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. " I can't bear to see you unhappy. Tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," Jack softy whispers.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter.

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow tighter.


The dread begins to grow. Jack Delleto explodes back into consciousness. Instantly, he sits up ******* drafts of cold air coming into his room from the open window. He gets up  off of the chair and walks over to the sink. Jack turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes the water on his face. Dripping, he looks at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes meet.
Oct 2018 · 3.1k
kathleen s birthday
guy scutellaro Oct 2018
"Daddy," the little girl has her hands folded and is looking up at her father. "When will it stop? I want to get on."

"Soon, darling," her father assures her.

"I don't think it'll ever stop." The little girl says.

"Sweetie it'll stop." Daddy takes her gently by the hand, gently squeezes. "See it's stopping now."


When the carousel slows down but has not quite stopped, Kathleen steps onto the platform and grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride and into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette, she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot into the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. The ride trembles and starts with a jolt.

A man is staring at Kathleen. Sitting on the pony has made her short skirt ride well up on her shapely legs, but she is too drunk to care. When the man comes over, she hands him her ticket.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her daddy who are sitting in a gold chariot pulled by two red horses.

The little girl looks at her father, and says, "Ooooh, daddy, I love this."

The man smiles back and strokes his daughter's hair.


The heat makes the dizziness that Kathleen is feeling grow worse and as the ride picks up speed, she begins to see two of everything. There are two rows of pinball machines, eight flashing signs, and too many prize machines. The red , blue, and green lights from the ride signs blend together like when a car drives at night down a wet street. She feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But honey the ride isn't over yet."

Kathleen finds that if she concentrates on other things the dizziness and the nausea become less severe. She tries to perceive the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or life. When she does this, and as she becomes accustom to the movement of the machine, the floating , spinning objects come together. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze and the blurring of lights becomes a beautiful waterfall.

The horses in front are always becoming the horses in the back and the horses in back are always turning into the horses in front. All horses gallop ahead. Settling back into the saddle, she follows them riding her white pony towards the receding waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock and who you are and that is alright with Kathleen. That is the way she feels. She has left something behind her. She does not know what, but whatever it is, the merry-go- round will chase it away.

She leans forward to embrace the ride.

Then just as suddenly as it started, the ride is slowing down. The music stops playing.

First she feels the heat and then the sickness in her stomach as the dizziness returns. Kathleen climbs down off the pony. She goes careening backwards and then she lunges for balance falling forward. The merry-go-round trembles, starts with a **** , and rights her. Slowly, it picks up speed bringing her to the exit of the building. Kathleen stumbles down off the platform and goes through the  exit door careening into a railing and almost falling into Wesley Lake.

All the terrible things that people did to her comes crawling back to her like the sounds of an animal dying in its hidden place.

She takes a few steps to the curb, hears the carousel music and knows the ride is beginning again. Kathleen sits down on the sidewalk curb and it all comes out choking her, taking her breath away. Alienation and loneliness. She lies down.

The mockingbird is singing from the world of scattered thoughts and empty lots. The images shoot off into a dark landscape, exploding, illuminating, then growing dim and dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.
Sep 2018 · 6.2k
a candle in the night
guy scutellaro Sep 2018
the x wife calls
tells me the children miss me.
her voice
a mirror of broken glass
fragments falling into
the touch of sadness
in your fingers
the soft laughter
of your eyes like a candle
in the night

tonight
twilight comes to play
whispering in my night
quick as life
I hear the sadness
quick as life
I can hear the regret

I 've wounded you

I can only be
what I was
meant to be

I am the candle without the wick

excuse me, I've got to go.
Aug 2018 · 9.3k
Bob's Wedding
guy scutellaro Aug 2018
She has make up on and her face looks pretty. Kathleen blows out the match and looks up.

"Hello Kate," Jack says and sits down.

"My name isn't Kate. It's Kathleen." The bourbon makes Kathleen feel confident. "Hello, Dell," She says mockingly. "You know Sue worships your ***. She just loves to call you, Dell. She thinks Dell is such a **** name." Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette and rubs it out in the ash tray. What should I call you?"

"How about, Darling?"

She looks up from the whiskey glass she is fondling in her slim hands. "Hello, Jack, Darling." Her soft, deep voice whispers accenting his name and the word, Darlin.

Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. She is drunk, but Dell does not care. He leans forward. "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we could go to the beach and walk along the sand."

"It's 20 degrees out there." She takes the the glass and swallows the last of the whiskey. "We'll freeze."

"I'll keep you warm."

In the other room the kitchen door swings open as Paul Keater and Bob O'Malley come rushing out, talking, laughing and rubbing their noses.

"Come let's dance." says Kathleen.

Jack stands up and takes her hand. She rises and as he draws her close her ******* flatten out against his chest. Jack feels her heart thumping.

Across the smoke filled crowded room, the bride is cutting the wedding cake. "That's a beautiful wedding gown." Kathleen tells Jack as he moves her around the ***** floor in and out of the circles of light cast by the overhead lamps. " Theresa looks beautiful."

"So do you." Jack holds her tighter.

"Do you really think so?" Kathleen is flattered. She is perpetually surprised if some one thinks she is pretty.

"I do," He says with sincerity.

She rests her head on Delleto's shoulder. The man with the bruised face disturbs Kathleen.

Most men like to talk about themselves. They have a need to tell what they own or what they can do well. They need to impress and when Kathleen is with one of her men he genuinely awes her.

Lifting her head off of his shoulder, "Does your face hurt?"

"Only when I laugh or cry," he says as he moves Kathleen in and out of the circles of light.

"Jack Delleto has anyone ever told you, your a strange man?"

"Just my mother."

"Did you win?"

"What does it matter? Sometimes tryin is more important. Not giving up. "

"you lost."

"Yeah."

" Kate, what's important to you?"

Kathleen raises her head off of his shoulder to look up at him. "I don't want to depend on welfare and other people and I want to send my son to college. But most of all I want a home." She rests her cheek against his. I lived in foster homes all my life and I always knew one day I'd have to leave.

"Do you know the difference between a house and a home."

Jack thinks for a moment, "No, I' don't."

And her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear.

"LOVE."

The song comes to an end. Kathleen takes a cigarette from the pack on the table and puts it to her lips.

Jack strikes a match and the light flickers in her eyes. "Maybe, sometimes you'll tell me about your home."

"Do you want me too?" She leans forward and puts the cigarette to the flame. The flame flickering in her eyes.

"Yeah." Jack blows out the match.

(to be continued)
Jul 2018 · 1.5k
with her eyes
guy scutellaro Jul 2018
she wanders into my soul
so effortless
sweet and easy
like sunshine
on a sunday afternoon

she feels the raindrops falling
can see the silence calling
and steals the love
from my heart

divides my soul into equal parts
and kicks the pieces
into a hole
that she has dug
just for me

with her eyes.
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