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Zach Gomes Mar 2010
Joseph only nine sat at the dinner table, conversation passing around, a muffled, undulating vibration of utters.  “Don’t stare like that, it makes me uneasy, Joseph,” chided Joseph’s mother.  The hum resumed.  An hour later the table was emptied of its contents, except for Joseph, alone with his uneaten plate of food.  The TV, flickering its wantonly swirling amalgam of colors onto his mother’s face.  “Joseph, please, eat your food.  I’m worried about your eating habits,” her distant voice languidly taking its time to reach him from the couch.  His sister, all of seventeen, sat down across from him.  “Hey, kiddo,” in her reassuring singsong.  They talked and he ate.
Joseph hadn’t liked school since the kids began to make fun of him.  They poked and prodded him with words sharpened by blissful ignorance.  “Crybaby” the boys would jab, their penetrating and mockingly wide smiles, like jaws.  Each clinging to their inclusion, girls, in their giggling gaggles pass by him, atypically hushed.  “Yeah, he’s the one, the one that cried alone in the bathroom like a big baby” amongst themselves, but barely audible from the outside.
Joseph in his room, crowded by the darkness, lost in his imaginings.   The doorbell cries out for attention.  “Hey, kiddo” his sister affectionately, leaving the lights off.  She takes her jacket and leaves. “I’ll see you later Joey.” Hers and her friends’ voices waft, beckoning, upwards through the floor into Joseph’s room.  “What took you?” “Had to get my jacket from my brother’s room.” “Oh, he’s strange.  Sometimes it scares me how weird your brother is.” And Joseph, listening intently, as if balancing his entire weight on one single twig in fearful anticipation.  And his sister, her words forming slowly, then with gathering willingness, “Yeah, he can be pretty weird sometimes.” “Yeah, let’s get going.”  Joseph’s heart dropped, like a stone falling into a lake—less like a lake than an indentation filled with jet-black ink for water, and the stone, falling to the bottom, curling up on itself in the darkness.
Joseph, turning to his mother, her silhouette eclipsing a chunk of hallway light.  “You broke the mirror in my room today Joseph, you ought to clean it up now,” voice straight as an edge, though she layered it with a loud blanket of sweetness.
“No!” screamed Joseph.  “I won’t!  I wish dad was here, he would never make me do what you make me do!”
Her rage bursting suddenly through her self-control, flooded the entire room.  “Don’t talk to me like that!” her sobs even louder than his screams. “Its not easy for me!   Its not easy to do this alone, can’t you please try to understand…”  Joseph was having trouble hearing her, her voice and all else fading, as if the world’s voice were being smothered by a pillowcase, and he became distracted in the silence that enveloped him.
Joseph looked up and to the right, saw the stars, friendly and welcoming, with bright, honest smiles.  He decided he would rather be with them.  Joseph left his room, floating upwards, upwards, still higher, and to the right.
Joseph stretching his eyesight, saw something approach as he drifted further and faster into space.  As if from a horizon that couldn’t be seen and didn’t exist, there approached a colorful object.  Jupiter flashed by, looking very much like his mother’s TV.  It’s random assortment of colors whirled violently around in that confined space.  He said out loud, Jupiter is the most beautiful planet, I’d like to go there.  The planet whisked by.
Joseph, not disappointed in the least, kept floating.  He left the solar system, the galaxy, and came to a black hole.  It called him in, like a Siren, and Joseph smiled an angular, disjointed smile, and fell inward into the black hole’s embrace.
the dream



joan barimaster was a very independent woman, who wanted everything to be perfect, and she lives

with her 34 year old autistic son named robert, which can be a complete nightmare, because robert was

always asking questions like a eager to learn teenager, well maybe at first, but as he repeats and repeats

the same quotation over and over again, joan was totally sick of it, like this morning robert was telling joan

all about his dream last night, saying, are dreams the force of reality, and joan said, well yeah, if you want them

to come true, they’ll come true, but we really shouldn’t look to deeply into this dream, but robert said

well, i dreamt i was a star of the musical named joseph and the amazing technicolour dream coat and

robert was joseph, and joan said, dreams are all the gunk from your head trying too get out, and robert said

oh silly mum, that isn’t the cause of dreams, i must be healthy if that is the truth, because i dream all the time

and robert was asking joan twenty times over and over again, i am joseph, i am joseph i am joseph

i really am joseph, and then robert sang, i closed my eyes and drew back the curtain to see for certain

what i thought i knew, and robert sang that over and over again, driving joan completely nuts and

robert said, ok mummy, how about we go to the drama group and joan was busy and had to rush

which was a total disaster, first of all, joan had to get robert into the car, with robert being completely hard

to bare, asking stupid questions all the time, he was saying i am joseph i am joseph i am joseph

i closed my eyes drew back the curtain, to see for certain, what i thought i knew, and he was singing

the song ever so loud, making joan say in harsh loud words SHUT UP, but robert said, this is a dream of mine,

i am playing joseph, i am joseph, and that is my coat, when they arrived at the drama group, joan let robert out of the car

and didn’t move until someone brought him in, and that came in 6 minutes, and joan left, to go back home to do some work

now, joan has her own business in catering, and unless robert has to be somewhere, was always with joan, mind you

robert was never in the way really, it was just a little too much listening to him yack all the time about being joseph

and when joan picked robert up from drama group, robert said, i am joseph, they said i had real potential to be joseph

and joan said, really, that is good, robert, and joan went to this house on the rich end of town, to cater for a party and

robert went with her and started chatting up one of the female guests who liked the idea of robert playing joseph in a play

and she said she really loved that musical, and when robert sang the song, suddenly he was given guidance of the rest

of the song because this guest knew every word of the song and this made robert very happy, and then robert was told to *******

by the host of the party, and robert said, WHY DON’T YA UNDERSTAND, I LIKE YOUR DAUGHTER, I WANT TO MARRY HER

and joan, who was in the middle of preparing the meal, went out and said, robert, you have to quieten down, buddy, because

this man is one of my clients, ok, if i stuff anything up, i might lose this client and not get paid, and the host said, just keep your

son away from us, and joan put robert in the laundry, and this laundry was very interesting for robert, you see 2 washing machines

and 3 tumble dryers, and he played with the dryers and that made the host very mad, saying to joan, don’t bring your poor son to your jobs’

because he is stuffing us up, ruining our party, ok, i put in a lot of hard work, to be able to afford to have you cater for us, and having your

****** disabled son with you, is totally stupid, and joan said, nobody ever calls my son a ****** ok, and i don’t really need your money

so i will just leave you, to finish and me and robert will go home, he can’t be trusted at home, and the host said, what kind of mother are you

for letting your son dominate and joan said, i will cook these meals, so i can take your money for that, but you can wash and dry up yourself

you see, buddy it comes in a package, me and my son, ok, if you can’t except this, you can go and get ******, because i love my son robert, ya see

and joan got robert inside her house and said to robert, you were bad tonight, you know mummy wants to make a business with catering and robert

said, yeah i found that funny but Joan said, no, it wasn’t funny, catering is hard work, impressing people is hard work, you are hard work, but i am coping

and robert said when is drama on again, i am joseph, and that is what his lifelong dream was, to be joseph, and dance with pretty babes

and joan gave robert his medication and robert and joan both went to bed to be ready for the next day
ShowYouLove Apr 2015
Prayer of St. Joseph

Dear St. Joseph most chaste spouse of the Blessed ****** Mary and earthly father to our Lord Jesus let your soft and strong spirit be upon us this day. You were a quiet and reflective man. You were humble and modest. In a world that in this day does not place a high value on such virtues that you portray, we look to you St. Joseph as a shining example of what fatherhood and manliness can truly be. You were a carpenter, a builder, a worker. Yours were strong hands; rough and calloused from work, but they were also gentle and loving hands. Surely each piece you built was a work of love and crafted with great care. The hugs you must have given Jesus were so strong and gentle. You taught your son how to build as well. It is of little wonder then that the cross he would suffer and die on would become a great bridge connecting us to each other and to your son in heaven. Yours were warm loving eyes. Eyes full of sadness, pain, and incredible joy. Was there a time when it was revealed to you what your son must endure? I can’t image what that would’ve felt like knowing what was going to happen, desperately wanting it not to, and still knowing it was God’s will. Even with all of that you said “Yes Lord. Okay. Let your will be done. I trust in you”. I only hope we might have the smallest bit of the faith, the peace, and the quiet strength that you had. Be with us St. Joseph that we might learn how to better love, better serve, and better protect the sanctity of marriage and of the family. Be with us St. Joseph in our jobs that we may remain humble in the good work that we do. Let all the work that we do, be done with great love. Bless us St. Joseph and especially those that work with their hands. Bless us St. Joseph and bless our eyes so that we may see and love others in a more profound light and that our vision would not be clouded by pain and sadness. Bless us St. Joseph and bless our minds and our hearts that we might have the grace and strength to be pure and chaste as you were. Bless us St. Joseph and bless our souls that we might obtain some of the peace, the quiet strength, the faith to say “Yes” to your son and “No” to the wiles of this Earth. Bless us oh Most Holy St. Joseph that one day we may come to know you and be with you and the Holy Family in Heaven for all eternity.

Amen
preservationman Nov 2020
The highway thru bus to love, and as the curtain has arisen, so is the story.  It’s a hot day in the midst of summer when two musicians are about to find each other, and the analysis of Chemistry 101. The story takes place in Downtown Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Transportation Center on Greyhound for a journey to New York City. You see, Judy Smith, an accomplished Pianist is about to venture at Carnegie Hall for a concert. Because Judy hit all the right notes of melody, it was University of Pittsburgh in their amateur night sponsored by the Music department under the guidance of Professor Geoffrey Tuner. Now John Minichiello, an accomplished Violist from the Pittsburgh music arrangement society sponsored by the creator, John Carey. Back in his day, he was an extraordinary Orchestra Leader. Joseph was also going to play at Carnegie Hall.

Before the bus even arrives in New York City, there will be a music harmony of its own having a love tone and tranquility in a relationship in the making while at a Rest Stop. At Gate 18, a Greyhound Prevost with the destination in bold letters, NEW YORK, NY was ready for boarding for a 10:00 am departure. It the trip would take 7 hours. The Greyhound Driver was busy exchanging passenger Tickets at the gate, and the Baggage Handler was loading the bus. Judy Smith was in front of Joseph Minichiello, which he accidentally bumped into Judy Smith, which Joseph apologized, and Judy stated no problem. One begins to wonder, was the bump really an accident or a way of getting Judy Smith’s attention. The bus was backing out of the departure gate on time precisely at 10:00 am. The bus was going through the downtown streets of Pittsburgh heading for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Finally, the bus was moving swiftly on the turnpike passing cars and trucks. At about 2:00 pm, a rest stop was made at Breezewood, PA. The Greyhound Driver announced that the rest stop would be for 30 minutes. Oh good, here’s my chance too stretch my legs stated Joseph Minichiello. As all the passengers had gotten off, Joseph Minichiello and Judy Smith seemed too settle for another area of the rest stop, where Judy Smith was reading her music that she was going to play at the concert. Mind you now, none of them knew each other, but that is about to change. Judy looked over her shoulder, and asked Joseph, “What instrument do you play?” and Joseph replied, “The Violin”. Judy responded that she is a Pianist heading for Carnegie Hall. What a coincidence Joseph responded, he told Judy he was heading to Carnegie Hall as well to perform. They talked and talked, and almost missed the bus at the rest stop. They boarded the bus and proceeded onward to New York City. The bus was now on the New Jersey Turnpike. In the distance looking close was too far was New York City. It is now 5:00 pm, and the bus has entered rush hour traffic going into the Lincoln Tunnel. Finally, the Hound bus enters the Lincoln Tunnel heading for the final destination of New York City within the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The bus pulls into Gate 64, which the arrivals are Gates 62 through 66. When everyone is disembarking, Judy Smith asks where Joseph Minichiello is staying, and he said, “He will check into a hotel, but Judy suggested, why don’t you stay with me at the Carnegie Hall Tower complex as her University supplied everything, and Joseph said yes, why not.

It was a subway ride to West 57th Street on the R train. Up they went in the elevator to their room, which had a panoramic view of numerous New York City Skyscrapers, which the Big Apple is known for. Joseph stated he wanted to take a shower. So he showered then later came out of the bathroom in just a towel wrapped around his body. It was wrecking Judy’s senses of curiosity as to what size was under that towel. The ripped abs didn’t help either. Out of the blue, Joseph began to kiss Judy, and she became weak under his spell, and wanted more. Joseph then picked her up, and escorted her to the bedroom for unstoppable loving action, which added the tones of sequence with the playing of her ivories of melody.

The concert is tonight, and the music accompaniment is about to begin. Judy smith on the Piano with soothing sounds of peace and comfort, and on the Violin was Joseph Minichiello call of the wild and embracing the soul into taming the beast from within. Then the entire orchestra joined in for a musical night that for the entire audience that they would never forget. Loud applause and standing ovations rang out. This was a night Judy Smith and Joseph Minichiello will always remember. They played musical notes of their own, but not for the audience. They kissed behind the curtain, and it was music of the skies that brought them together, and the intermittent Hound bus for bringing people together.
Johnny Overseas Nov 2013
I've noticed that my mustache grows in thicker on one side,
made to wonder if this blunder's due to my brother, how he died,
Never will my reddened beard grow in and lay with grace
because my brothers lifeless body layed a pressure on my face
Most men primp and think of happiness in mirrors and in breath
However, whenever I clean my face I'm forced to think of death,
(with the face of a brother I've never met)
So I celebrate life and do my best to think it limitless
Go out and do, create for you, make proud the worlds dead triplets

I am the living ghost of Joseph,
All the worlds dead triplets.

I've noticed that my beard grows thicker in just this tiny spot,
'Cause the way they lay, I cannot help but think a rather morbid thought,
The way you are is picked afar from waned or waxed moon,
but what happens there when you're prepared a rather taxed womb?
The newest of 8 darkened waters with no help to navigate,
You'll admit having dead brothers makes it harder to relate.
But they never were alive so I can't say I have regrets,
I must make with my life, for all the worlds dead triplets

I am the living ghost of Joseph,
All the worlds dead triplets.

My mother calls me her surprise and I think "jeezez kryst."
In honesty I'm accident, but the way you said it's nice.
I feel and see it differently inside my orange head,
But, that's just the way **** happens when you're born beside the dead.
You see, I was touched by death before I even knew of life,
I cuddled it and swam beside it up until the knife.
So death, with mercy, stays away and out of sight it gets,
for it knows I held it close, I live, a ghost, of my dead triplet.

I am the living ghost of Joseph,
All the worlds dead triplets.

But it can't last forever,
I've already lived too long,
So immortal I'm on paper
and in the wind in song.

I said it cannot last forever,
I should already be dead,
The world it has a shortage
of another orange head

I am the living ghost of Joseph,
My dead triplet.

So with all of that in mind, defined,
my chances should be none,
I never should have had a first,
so I make all my seconds battles won.

I am the living ghost of my brother Joseph,
and all the worlds dead triplets.
It is very hard to hit the save poem button....... there's that sinking feeling in my gut....... is this too personal? You tell me.

This may be the most important poem I've ever written. I didn't even know I felt half of this stuff until they were all in a notebook together.

See the thing is, if you're bearing multiple children and one of them is miscarried, the chances that the rest of the babies surviving is, well, not favorable.

And I didn't even show up on any ultrasounds.

Gives me a new outlook and even though it's a morbid poem, it makes me feel more gifted than anything else in the world. Makes me wanna hug my twin because I cannot hold my triplet. We don't even get along.

RIP Joseph.
His hair was ruffled as the wind picked up

"next time, I'll wear a hat"

He kept on painting, not deterred

And to him..well, that was that.

As the weather worsened and rain moved in

He packed up and moved on

By the time the storm had taken hold

And the rains came, he'd be gone

He headed home on up the road

Past the little village shoppes

He counted, silent, to himself

Of every time he'd stopped

He knew each curb and crossing

From the river on his route

It was 5 blocks, 1/2 mile

Just time for one cheroot.

He'd smoked them now for 60 years

But now, he just smoked one

It relaxed him as he walked on home

He knew his day was done

He painted by the river

On an easel, nice and light

He would go there in the morning

And would stay there until night

He painted what he saw each time

The pictures he created

Were images from in his head

Some were finished, some belated

He didn't always get them done

So, he'd put them to the side

And he'd finish them another time

For now, these he would hide

As others looked upon his works

As they passed by him by the shore

A few would ask him what they were

And they didn't say much more

The paintings that John Joseph

Were for him, and him alone

He didn't care if others

Stood and stared, and sometimes groaned

He lost his sight a lifetime back

He'd splashed some acid in his face

He may have lost his eyesight

But his blindness taught him grace

For people looked upon his art

Seeing only paint and lines

Until he told them of the images

He was painting from his mind

He'd been around the world a bit

And the things that he had seen

Were all captured in his memories

And he would now paint every scene

One day he'd paint the Taj Mahal

As only he did know

But to someone passing by that day

It may look as only snow

The Eiffel Tower, black and tall

With the blue sky there behind

Made people wonder endlessly

What went on in John J's mind

His canvases were covered in

His palettes tints and hues

But, the shapes folks saw upon the board

Were not crisp, they were askew

But John Joseph saw his artwork

As a postcard of his life

He'd mix paint with his brushes

And sometimes use his knife

He'd change his strokes to fit his mood

Some short and sometimes long

But, because he couldn't see them

Nothing ever would be wrong

His grass was blue and sometimes black

The water might be red

But John Joseph never cared at all

His art was in his head

No one ever saw the thngs

that Old John Joseph did

They would always look, politely

And then farewell to him they'd bid

But one day while describing things

In a painting that he'd done

To a family here from out of town

Two parents and their son

The father said, "I'd like to see"

"More places from your mind"

"Can you bring some down tomorrow"

"If you would please, be so kind"

John Joseph said, he'd bring some down

But he laughed, and said "You'll see"

"that the pictures aren't what you'd expect"

"I just painted them for me"

The next day when they met again

They had brought their son called Paul

He just stood off in the background

While John Joseph told them all

Of what was on each canvas

Of the paintings in his mind

He said "no one else sees them"

"To me, most folks are blind"

But the father told John Jospeh

You have opened up the world

For as you describe each picture

Your images unfurled

A world of unkown wonder

That can't be measured by a mile

But, Paul you see can see them

We can see it in his smile

Paul is blind as well you see

Lost his sight a few years back

But, your descriptions of your painting

In his mind, you've brought it back

Paul then asked John Joseph

To paint more pictures, from the start

And this young lad and his parents

Had touched John Joseph's heart

John Joseph gave his painting

To the people and their son

And he said when they returned again

He'd have another one

True blindness is within us

It's not just in what you see

It's also in the way you think

It helped this blind man be free

He painted pictures in his head

For him and him alone

Now, he shared his muddled painting

With a family known as Stone.
.
Delta Swingline Apr 2017
Joseph is a gifted mind, given a coat by his father, and visions by God.

After getting out of prison, Joseph is brought before the Pharaoh , as the Pharaoh believes that Joseph is a "dream interpreter".

Joseph explains that he does not interpret dreams, he just tells what he sees in his visions, and that the visions are from God.

Pharaoh continues on to tell the 2 dreams he's had constantly:

One of 7 good ears of corn eaten up by 7 bad ears. And the next of 7 healthy cows being swallowed up by 7 sickly cows.

Pharaoh has had so many of his royal interpreters try to decipher his dreams and none of them could do it. So when he heard about Joseph, he found himself all out of options.

And Joseph delivers with this interpretation.

The 7 good ears of corn and healthy cows represent 7 years of feast, 7 years of plenty. And the 7 bad ears and sickly cows represent the 7 years of famine that will follow after. And Egypt may not survive if nothing is done.

So what can be done?

Joseph comes up with this plan:

During the years of plenty, take all the grain that Egypt has and store 1/5 of it underground. And then during the years of famine, give the 1/5 back to the people.

The plan saved Egypt from starvation and Joseph was made second in command to Pharaoh, and he continued to lead Egypt to great success.

This concept of "storing the fifth" can be applied to happiness as well.

When things go wrong, or the world is completely against you, find something you know makes you happy...

And store it somewhere you can find it later.

A good movie, your favourite comfort food, a conversation with an old friend. Something that calms you down and brings you back home.

And right now, I may not be in the middle of a 7 year famine, but I am working through a starvation of my own. So I am picking up the nearest shovel and I am digging for my stored fifth.

Problem is...

I still have no idea where it is.
I'll keep digging. But the ground is absolutely full of holes.
Sean Kassab Jul 2012
It was in the earlier part of November, 2005 when I was called to the garrison HQ to receive an emergency Red Cross message informing me that my grandfather had passed away. I was in my third year of service as a direct contractor to the Army and my duty station was in Iraq. More specifically, I was at Tallil AFB near the city of An Nasiriyah. I was granted an emergency leave so that I could go back to the US to be with my family so I stowed my gear, packed my duffel and made the long trip home. This was the first time I would make this trip, but I’m getting ahead of myself so let me back up a bit. You see, my grandfather had served in the Second World War, actually both of them had. They were brothers. PFC Eddie Kassab, the one I’m speaking about here, had survived WWII through some pretty tough odds, including being on the third wave of the Normandy invasion at D-Day where thousands had died during the beach head assault. His brother, SFC Joseph Kassab, who married my grandmother, was killed in that war, He was a bombardier and his plane was shot down during the Guadalcanal campaign. It wasn’t until 27 years later that the wreckage of the aircraft and remains were found and recovered. When Joseph died leaving behind his young wife and new born son, Eddie began looking after her, sending home money for her and the boy, my father. They wrote back and forth to eachother after the dissappearance of Joseph and when he returned to the US after the war they courted and were eventually married. Joseph was laid to rest with the rest of his flight crew in Arlington with full military honors. Eddie, who died much later in life, was also afforded a military service there. That was my first time being in Arlington National Cemetery, a place reserved for men and women who had served their country in a military capacity. It is difficult to describe just how immense and powerful that place is, the impact you have on your life just from standing on those grounds is indescribable. If I had to try I would say it’s a mixed feeling of Honor, pride, sorrow, and a profound sense of loneliness. There are row upon row of white marble markers spanning miles of emerald green grass and broad shade trees. The markers themselves are simple, nothing fancy, but the respect they command is beyond contestation. There are also wall vaults for those who were cremated, one of these would become Eddie’s final resting place. The US Army's honor guard performed his service, while a trumpeter played “Taps” and his flag was folded and presented on behalf of a grateful nation to my father who Eddie raised as his own son. In the distance a 21 gun salute was given by seven riflemen firing three shots each. It would be the only time in my life that I saw my father cry. We took the time after Eddie’s service to walk to Joseph’s grave marker as well, passing thousands of other markers and I found myself wondering how many of these people were forgotten by the years. How many of them left behind young children. Were they killed in combat? How many of them were laid to rest with a grave full of unfulfilled dreams? The sacrifices they made weighed heavily upon me. It was a feeling I would carry with me long after I had left that place.
Years had passed and I found myself still working in Iraq for the US Army, I was stationed at Camp Taji this time, on the edge of Sadr City, a real dust bowl. I was in my eighth year of service when I was again called to Garrison HQ, another emergency Red Cross message had come through informing me that my Father had passed away. It was December 29th 2010. For hours afterward it felt as if I had been punched in the gut. I called my Mom as soon as I could to make sure she was ok and to see if there was anything she needed before making arrangements for yet another emergency leave. I again stowed my gear, packed my duffel and headed out. Now, it’s only fair to give you an idea of whom I’m talking about here, my Father, Jan, had been a Navy man and had been stationed on submarines as well as destroyer class ships during the Vietnam War. He signed up for service when he was just 18 years old and when he left the Navy he went directly into the Maitland Fire Department in central Florida and stayed there for many years. Eventually he expanded his training becoming the 80th paramedic in the state as well as a certified rescue diver and instructor. More importantly, he was a great father who raised two boys as a father should and later in life, he was a pretty good drinking buddy. His teachings and advice have helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. It was because of his prior military service that he was also awarded full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. There was a waiting list of about 8 weeks at the time because of the high volume of casualties from the wars in the Middle East so it wasn’t until February of 2011 that he was finally laid to rest. This time it was the US Navy’s honor guard who performed his service. I remember it well; they stood in their dress whites throughout the ceremony in the biting cold as the wind whipped by mercilessly.  The honor and discipline in these men was no less than awe inspiring and through my sadness I couldn’t help but feel an amazing sense of pride for who my father was during his life. We all stood as a trumpeter again played “Taps” to the folding of my Father’s flag which was presented to my Mom on behalf of a grateful nation after a 21 gun salute was ordered in the distance. My Father’s remains were also placed in a wall vault that became his final resting place; his marker being only about 20 feet from Eddie’s marker in the adjacent wall and even though it was freezing that day, we took a little extra time to visit Eddie and Joseph again. Walking the grounds of that place again awakened all the feelings I had felt the first time, probably even more so. Again, I have to tell you that words couldn’t accurately describe how that place makes you feel. The grass had turned brown by now but was still immaculately manicured, and the precision placement of the grave markers was flawless. There were thousands of names that dated all the way back to the American Civil War. I went also with my brother to pay my respects at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was an impressive mausoleum that is guarded twenty four hours a day by the US Army’s horror guard.  After it was all said and done and we had left Arlington and met as a family, my Mom, my Brother and his family, myself and my family and some close friends to remember him for a while over some food and drinks, and though nobody seemed to really have any appetite we still stayed there for hours. That was the first time in eight years that I had seen my Brother and would be the last time I saw him alive, but that part comes later. Eventually we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, each having a very long way to travel back home and I had to get ready to go back to Iraq, heavy hearted or not.
I had only been back in theater (that means deployment) for a few months when I was reassigned to Al Asad AB as my permanent duty station. It was a place in the middle of nowhere and was originally a Marine base but transferred to Army and Air Force some time in 2010. I had made some good friends there, settled in and finally started coming back to myself when I received a message from my brother’s wife asking me to call her, said it was important. Thinking back on it now, I remember feeling a little angry that she wouldn’t tell me on email. Internet I had in my room, but a phone…well I’m no general and I had already settled in for the night. It was about 21:30 hrs. (9:30 p.m.) on a night in late July so I got dressed and made the quarter mile walk to my office where I could use the phone, cursing under my breath the whole time. It took me about 20 minutes just to find my phone card in my cluttered desk drawer, but when  I finally did amongst more unsavory mutterings I made the call. She answered quickly enough but her voice sounded strained so I calmed down and asked her what was going on, I figured something wasn’t right so she didn’t need me jumping her case on top of it. It was then that she told me my Brother’s body had been found in his home in Whiteville NC. He had been having a hard time with depression since our Father passed as well as marital problems and he had made the decision to take his own life at the age of 36 leaving behind his Wife, Stepson and Daughter who was only 5 at the time. I was blindsided to say the least, no one saw this coming, and he left no real reason as to why so there still is no closure, no understanding. I was angry… no, I was furious! But I’m getting ahead of myself again. She had called me not only to inform me of what had happened, but also to ask if I had Mom’s phone number because she didn’t have it and didn’t know how to get in touch with her to tell her. I told her not to worry about it and that I’d take that on my shoulders and get back to her. It had only been five months since we laid our Father to rest and to say I dreaded making that phone call was a ridiculous understatement. It was easily one of the toughest things I ever had to do, but it had to be done all the same so I dug Mom’s number out of my wallet…and stared at it…I don’t know how long but it felt like a long time. What else could I do? What could I say? It’s not like I had an instruction booklet for delivering bad news and this was as bad as it gets. After a few deep breaths I dialed her number and decided to take the direct approach. She answered the phone and we exchanged hellos, and I asked her what she was doing. She was out shopping with Robbie at the Tractor Supply Co. He was a longtime family friend and all around good guy. I told her that I had some pretty bad news and asked if she could find a place to sit down there, but she told me it was ok to just tell her what happened so I did exactly that. I gave her all the information I had at the time, I didn’t know how to sugar coat it so I didn’t. She took it pretty well up front, not breaking down until later that evening. My Brother, SPC Troy Kassab, had enlisted in the US Army with our Father’s permission when he was only 17 years old. He was a combat medic assigned to Ft. Carson in Colorado before transferring to the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft Brag NC. He deployed to Cuba among other deployments overseas before being attached to a Ranger Unit as their medic and doing other deployments that he never would talk about much. After the army he lived in NC where he worked in restaurants while attending school on the G.I bill and volunteering on the Hickory Rescue Squad as an EMT. He eventually completed school in Winston Salem NC where he got his PA degree in general practice. Troy was a self-educated, brilliant man who wasn’t perfect but who is? He saved lives in the Army, and then continued to do so in the civilian world until his death in July of 2011. He was a husband and a father, a brother and a friend. He was important to us. It was because of his past in the Army that he also was awarded full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. This time the wait was much longer and his funeral wasn’t held until November 15th of 2011. I remember that day and the days leading up to it like it was yesterday. I had ended my deployment in Iraq on November 3rd, making it back to the US on November 6th. From the time of his death I had stayed in contact with Mom and his wife Andi to make sure they were ok and help in any way I could with the affairs and expenses. When I finally did get home I pulled my truck out of storage had it inspected, fueled and ready to go. It was unfortunate, but my wife was in college and had work at the time so she couldn’t come with us so my daughter and I made the long trip from Houston TX to Hickory NC to see Troy’s wife and kids. While I was there I also picked up a close family friend of ours who needed a ride and made the long drive to Arlington VA...again. The US Army’s honor guard met us there to perform his service and again the attention to detail, the respect given to the deceased, and the discipline shown was flawless. There were more friends this time than family in attendance but I was there with Mom, Robbie, my daughter, and some very close family friends, some going all the way back to our childhood. The ceremony was the same, every time the same. I remember thinking I hated the way “Taps” sounded as they folded the flag and I was angry and hurt when I stepped forward to claim my Brother’s remains and walk them to the wall vault that would become his final resting place. I have to say though, that through my grief and anger, I was a little bit pleased to see that he was placed so close to my Father and Grandfather. I left a pair of my own dog tags in his vault, it made me feel better that he wouldn’t be alone in there. I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense now but at the time it did.  I stood over his marker and said a silent prayer before heading out to see Dad, Eddie and Joe’s markers and pay some respects. The grass was that brilliant emerald green again, and the sense that I stood in a place of honor reserved for our nations fallen still struck me through the heart.  After that we just kind of faded away from that place making our way home. Troy’s wife Andi had decided not to come, she was angry, she felt betrayed and abandoned, so on my way home I stopped back in Hickory NC, dropped off Michelle and made the drive to Andi’s house to present her with Troy’s flag as it had been presented to me. I remember hoping that her decision wouldn’t leave her with later regrets, but it was too late to change it now. The drive home was a long one, one that rekindled so many unanswered questions. Three generations of my family laid to rest leaving me as the only surviving male member of my family; something that still weighs upon my heart today.
But this is their story, and though it seems a sad one, that is not its intent. This story was written so that you the reader could understand that there is a place where over a hundred thousand Josephs and Eddies, and Jans and Troys are resting.  Each one of those stone crosses and stars have a face, a name, a history, and they made a sacrifice for you and for me. They were people who gave up their futures so that we could have one. They were people who had dreams, families, and who put all of that aside for what they believed in. They weren’t perfect people, but they deserve to be remembered. If you do nothing else after reading this, at least take the time to think about the freedoms that you have, freedoms that have cost us so much…
There are those who came before us, who paved the way for the lives we now live, their voices whisper to us through our freedoms and we are a greatful nation. Listen and remember...
Zach Gomes Feb 2010
Joseph sits on skinny chairs, reads the funnies
she would be tall, pretty hair, she don’t see
see he won’t be reading one bit, he looks dumb
just staring, looking fat, broken, glum
she cleans up all the plates

—Put those dishes down, now is a time for love-making
I’ll take you now, and wonder if I’ve taken
steps enough to excuse my idleness; in time
you’ll leave, and supine, I’ll take a coat of lyme
and let the lines loose

We will communicate through touch and kiss
and enjoy the full of it, pull in the harvest;
light and movies romance the **** out of me
at last, we are at the end of all things irony
Christ that **** impersonal.

—This music don’t be coming from them
that is right, that is absolutely the end of them
they just end, I don’t care, I let it be
how come you so foolish, Joseph? I don’t see
why are you so foolish?

—You play the guitar by ear and plucking
at this moment they are dinosaur hunting
time is absurd and disgusting
I don’t understand it, I’m simply saying
you played some songs I knew at the time

But how different are your songs from mine
attach your seatbelts to your right hand buckles, fine
away with it, away with them all, please
I am telling, telling, understand, please
different in a few ways, love

—Joseph, you play the drums too loud
you are a big, dumb, idiot head
they end, it certainly has to be
it’s apocalyptic, something like this, said she
such a dummy you Joseph

the movie drums its so vicious loud
the end a dumb idiot head
that’s a thing she might have said at the time
and you are given a full witness to the violence of our time
Joseph plays bad harmonica.
Lawrence Hall Mar 2017
Saint Joseph the Just

for every man

Saint Joseph in a dreary winter night
Took to himself a Newborn not his own
Yet who is always his, the Child of Light
Whose crib Saint Joseph knew to be a throne

Saint Joseph shows men truth: each child is ours
Adopted by each good man upon birth
True fatherhood ordained in starlit hours
And ratified in Heaven and on earth

Saint Joseph is the man who looked into
The eyes of Mary in her happy youth
This strong man looked into her eyes and knew
She bore within her all eternal Truth

Our witness is Saint Joseph, ever just:
God calls each man to take each child in trust
"escátame la sepa" roy joseph gally decía
y una calandria o perro o gran trasluz le levantaba el buey tranquilo
le metía la boca en la carona
le daba dura escarrabeca

por eso
cuando la realidá a manera de alquiler
o dueño o claridad en los ojos dél daba
"escátame la sepa" roy joseph gally decía
sabiendo su canción

"no los pedazos que me quisiera devorar" roy joseph gally cantaba
"no la madera el jeme la bichoca parientes míos
amadísimos en esto de acabar" cantaba
"hermosa es mi llama" cantaba "veloz y como seda
y buena y de cuello erguido altivo" cantaba

"y reverbera como estrella polar" cantaba roy joseph gally
"y nada de lo que va a matar
ninguna piedra o luna que pasa o flor que muere
puede dañar sus cabellos de oro" cantaba

"o rebajarla a frío a sombra" roy joseph gally cantaba
besó a la llama o reina contra el sol dejándolo rompido
"ah vida oscura" dijo "a rescatar"
dijo "pronto" tocándola

por eso
cuando roy joseph gally murió
disimulaba el mucho rato en soledad
peste del pecho es la tristeza

"o la calandria o perro de irse" roy joseph gally cantaba
disperso íntimo reseco
"salud llama veloz"
cantaba quedado quieto ya
Alexander  K  Opicho
Eldoret,Kenya;aopicho@yaho.com


he was borne by a woman
the one Mary from the Jewish royal blood line
he was conceived and carried in the womb for nine months
shamefully conceived in the immoral razzmatazz before marriage
conceived out side the wedlock in a fornicatory  stretch
which the Jewish casuistry has circumlocuted around
only to call immaculate conception; what a puzzle ?
Joseph the cuckold from a poor wood working Jewry
was pinned down by spiritual powers that be
through ****** angelicality of the airy Gabriel
to accept pregnant Mary with her pregnancy
for she was royal only doing him a favour
to extend her olive leave of marriage
for the Jewish royal don't marry paupers
lest they commit the sin of miscegenation
catholically annoted the sinful misselliance,

he was born and grew up in full testimony of calls of nature;
pissiful micturation,open defecation, breathing,
and yawning in response  to pangs of hunger
physically deformed in the left leg
as his slender and tall body walked with  a  pronounced limb
crossing the deserts and sand tunes of Palestine
as he went to India in the University of Taxixashila
to read the epical poems of Ramayana and Mahabharata
as well as the sayings of Buddha Gautama
that had been extant for six centuries before Christ was born,
it is by reading Gautama that he got the blessed poems
of humility and mental powerfulness whose famous line
is blessed are  they who are poor for them shall inherit the earth.

He walked back on his deformed leg in a pronounced limb
to Nazareth a colony of Rome and buried himself in the deep read
reading the Mosaic thespic work of Job in the fictitious land of Uz
and the psalteric poems of the Machiavellian King
often known as David of Jesse who owned all the Jewish womenfolk of his time,
he read the poems of David with heart and head in his Jewish vernacular
this is where he got the poem of agony on the Roman cross
Which he sang; o lord o lord why have you forsaken me ?

he read the Greeks and their diverse stuff in his youth hood anxiety
untill  he clocked twenty-six then his father Joseph the carpenter
succumbed to death caused by typhus others say due to stress of poverty
this is when Mary the widowed was declared a woman of the devil
in the full  observation of the Jewish Bombazine
for her was no option but to stay in the bush for three years
Then the family buck stopped at Christ's s table
in his full capacity as the elder son
in the family of Joseph the late and Mary the widow,
the buck which he goofed to manage
then  his two brothers James and John
chose to scavenge for the means of family survival
through which they became chariot drivers
for the local bourgeoisie Joseph of Aramathea
they left the most young of them Yude son of Joseph
to keep and pamper their bereaved home
which he did but in the  full flare of  his temper
as why Jesus the elder brother roamed around in gadabout bliss
when the home was to be managed by him whatsoever
As the evening came James and John came back home
they found Yude lonely and sombre in the pangs of hunger
they hurriedly set on the table some food for him
the food they had carried from their employer
Joseph of Aramathea; what a fortune so scanty ?
From the blues Jesus surfaced with nothing in his hands
his eyes sunken the salient features of a hungry lazy man
he tried to get a share from the portion of Yude
But whoopsy ! Yude removed the plate and Jesus goofed the psaw !
Yude slapped Jesus with the cyclopic Mighty
as he warned him not to roam around lazily
only to roost  a hungry stomach at  home in the evening
Jesus staggered in a dint of ire and he cursed
to go to Jerusalem for ever not to come back
to which Yude retorted in a riposte;
'You carry way your laziness to Jerusalem
and you will never come back
for the lazy people will never survive in Jerusalem'

Jesus went away after the food based squabble with his brother
he met the twelve friends that he called disciples and one girl friend
Mary his mother's namesake otherwise known as Magdalene
with whom Jesus fell in love with all compassion of a man
in confirmation of the African pearl that ;even the wise and the king
also bend under the pressure of love,
Jesus had no silver nor coins to lavish Magdalene with
in the usual stampede of love among the young ones
But his magics were his  sole resource , he exorcised her free
the seven deadly demons and confirmed to her his protege
of resurrection of which he did free of charge to rise Lazarus
from the grave, Lazarus the brother of Mary Magdalene
as a magnanimous persuasion for  love
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, "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."


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."



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

"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.
RAJ NANDY Nov 2015
GREAT ARTISTS & THEIR IMMORTAL WORKS :
CONCLUDING ITALIAN RENAISSANCE IN
VERSE.  -  By Raj Nandy, New Delhi.

Dear Readers, continuing my Story of Western Art in Verse chronologically, I had covered an Introduction to the Italian Renaissance previously. That background story was necessary to appreciate Renaissance Art fully. Now, I cover the Art of that period in a summarized form, mentioning mainly the salient features to curb the length. The cream here lies in the 'Art of the High Renaissance Period'! Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.

                          INTRODUCTION
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, &
  Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
                                                        – Leonardo Da Vinci
In the domain of Renaissance Art, we notice the
enduring influence of the Classical touch!
Ancient Greek statues and Roman architectures,
Inspired the Renaissance artists in their innovative
ventures!
The pervasive spirit of Humanism influenced
creation of life-like human forms;
Adding ****** expressions and depth, deviating
from the earlier stiff Medieval norms.
While religious subjects continued to get depicted
in three-dimensional Renaissance Art;
Portraits, **** figures, and secular subjects, also
began to appear during this great ‘Re-birth’!
The artists of the Early and High Renaissance Era
are many who deserve our adoration and artistic
due.
Yet for the sake of brevity, I mention only the
Great Masters, who are handful and few.

EARLY RENAISSANCE ARTISTS & THEIR ART

GITTO THE PIONEER:
During early 13th Century we find, Dante’s
contemporary Gitto di Bondone the Florentine,
Painting human figures in all its beauty and form
for the first time!
His masterwork being the 40 fresco cycle in the
Arena Chapel in Padua, depicting the life of the
****** and Christ, completed in 1305.
Giotto made the symbolic Medieval spiritual art
appear more natural and realistic,
By depicting human emotion, depth with an
artistic perspective!
Art Scholars consider him to be the trailblazer
inspiring the later painters of the Renaissance;
They also refer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives Of
The Eminent Artists,” - as their main source.
Giotto had dared to break the shackles of earlier
Medieval two-dimensional art style,
By drawing lines which head towards a certain
focal point behind;
Like an illusionary vanishing point in space,
- opening up a 3-D ‘window into space’!
This ‘window technique’ got adopted by the
later artists with grace.
(
Giorgio Vasari, a 16th Century painter, architect & Art
historian, was born in 1511 in Arezzy, a city under the
Florentine Republic, and painted during the High
Renaissance Period.)

VASARI’s book published in 1550 in Florence
was dedicated to Cosimo de Medici.
Forms an important document of Italian Art
History.
This valuable book covers a 250 year’s span.
Commencing with Cimabue the tutor of Giotto,
right up to Tizian, - better known as Titan!
Vasari also mentions four lesser known Female
Renaissance Artists; Sister Plantilla, Madonna
Lucrezia, Sofonista Anguissola, and Properzia
de Rossi;
And Rossi’s painting “Joseph and Potiphar’s
Wife”,
An impressive panel art which parallels the
unrequited love Rossi experienced in her own
life !
(
Joseph the elder son of Jacob, taken captive by Potiphar
the Captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was desired by Potiphar’s
wife, whose advances Joseph repulsed. Rossi’s painting
of 1520s inspired later artists to paint their own versions
of this same Old Testament Story.)

Next I briefly mention architects Brunelleschi
and Ghiberti, and the sculptor Donatello;
Not forgetting the painters like Masaccio,
Verrocchio and Botticelli;
Those Early Renaissance Artists are known to
us today thanks to the Art historian Giorgio
Vasari .

BRUNELLESCHI has been mentioned in Section
One of my Renaissance Story.
His 114 meter high dome of Florence Cathedral
created artistic history!
This dome was constructed without supporting
buttresses with a double egg shaped structure;
Stands out as an unique feat of Florentine
Architecture!
The dome is larger than St Paul’s in London,
the Capitol Building of Washington DC, and
also the St Peters in the Vatican City!

GILBERTI is remembered for his massive
15 feet high gilded bronze doors for the
Baptistery of Florence,
Containing twenty carved panels with themes
from the Old Testament.
Which took a quarter century to complete,
working at his own convenience.
His exquisite naturalistic carved figures in the
true spirit of the Renaissance won him a prize;
And his gilded doors were renamed by Michel
Angelo as ‘The Gates of Paradise’!
(
At the age of 23 yrs Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the
competition beating other Architects for craving the
doors of the Baptistery of Florence!)

DONATELLO’S full size bronze David was
commissioned by its patron Cosimo de’ Medici.
With its sensual contrapposto stance in the
classical Greek style with its torso bent slightly.
Is known as the first free standing **** statue
since the days of Classical Art history!
The Old Testament relates the story of David
the shepherd boy, who killed the giant Goliath
with a single sling shot;
Cutting off his head with Goliath’s own sword!
Thus saving the Israelites from Philistine’s wrath.
This unique statue inspired all later sculptors to
strive for similar artistic excellence;
Culminating in Michael Angelo’s **** statue of
David, known for its sculptured brilliance!

MASSACCIO (1401- 1428) joined Florentine
Artist’s Guild at the age of 21 years.
A talented artist who abandoned the old Gothic
Style, experimenting without fears!
Influenced by Giotto, he mastered the use of
perspective in art.
Introduced the vanishing point and the horizon
line, - while planning his artistic works.
In his paintings ‘The Expulsion from Eden’
and ‘The Temptation’,
He introduced the initial **** figures in Italian
Art without any inhibition!
Though up North in Flanders, Van Eyck the
painter had already made an artistic innovation,
By painting ‘Adam and Eve’ displaying their
****** in his artistic creation;
Thereby creating the first **** painting in Art
History!
But such figures greatly annoyed the Church,
Since nudes formed a part of pagan art!
So these Northern artists to pacify the Church
and pass its censorship,
Cleverly under a fig leaf cover made their art to
appear moralistic!
Van Eyck was also the innovator of oil-based paints,
Which later replaced the Medieval tempera, used to
paint angles and saints.

Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Tribute Money’ requires
here a special mention,
For his use of perspective with light and shade,
Where the blithe figure of the Roman tax collector
is artistically made.
Christ is painted with stern nobility, Peter in angry
majesty;
And every Apostle with individualized features,
attire, and pose;
With light coming from a single identifiable source!
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and unto God things that are God’s”, said Christ;
Narrated in Mathew chapter 22 verse 21, which
cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, Masaccio died at an early age of
27 years.
Said to have been killed by a jealous rival artist,
who had shed no tears!

BOTTICELLI the Florentine was born half a
century after the Dutch Van Eyck;
Remembered even to this day for his painting
the ‘Birth of Venus’, an icon of Art History
making him famous.
This painting depicts goddess Venus rising out
of the sea on a conch shell,
And the glorious path of female **** painting
commenced in Italy, - casting a spell!
His full scale **** Venus shattered the Medieval
taboo on ******.
With a subject shift from religious art to Classical
Mythology;
Removing the ‘fig-leaf cover’ over Art permanently!

I end this Early Period with VERROCCHIO, born
in Florence in fourteen hundred and thirty five.
A trained goldsmith proficient in the skills of both
painting and sculpture;
Who under the patronage of the Medici family
had thrived.
He had set up his workshop in Florence were he
trained Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and other
famous Renaissance artists alike!

FOUR CANONICAL PAINTING MODES OF
THE RENAISSANCE:
During the Renaissance the four canonical painting
modes we get to see;
Are Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante and Unione.
‘Chiaroscuro’ comes from an Italian word meaning
‘light and dark’, a painting technique of Leonardo,
Creating a three dimensional dramatic effect to
steal the show.
Later also used with great excellence by Rubens
and the Dutch Rembrandt as we know.
‘Sfumato’ from Italian ‘sfumare’, meaning to tone
down or evaporate like a smoke;
As seen in Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’ where the
colors blend seamlessly like smoke!
‘Cangiante’ means to ‘change’, where a painter
changed to a lighter or a darker hue, when the
original hue could not be made light enough;
As seen in the transformation from green to
yellow in Prophet Daniel’s robe,
On the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome.
‘Unione’ followed the ‘sfumato’ quality, but
maintained vibrant colors as we get to see;
In Raphael’s ‘Alba Madonna’ in Washington’s
National Gallery.

ART OF HIGH RENAISSANCE ERA - THE
GOLDEN AGE.

“Where the spirit does not work with the
hand there is no art.”- Leonardo

With Giotto during the Trecento period of the
14th century,
Painting dominated sculpture in the artistic
endeavor of Italy.
During the 15th century the Quattrocento, with
Donetello and Giberti,
Sculpture certainly dominated painting as we get to
see!
But during the 16th century or the Cinquecento,
Painting again took the lead commencing with
the great Leonardo!
This Era was cut short by the death of Lorenzo the
Magnificent to less than half a century; (Died in 1493)
But gifted great masterpieces to the world enriching
the world of Art tremendously!
The Medieval ‘halo’ was now replaced by a fresh
naturalness;
And both Madonna and Christ acquired a more
human likeness!
Portrait paintings began to be commissioned by
many rich patrons.
While artists acquired both recognition and a status
of their own.
But the artistic focus during this Era had shifted from
Florence,  - to Venice and Rome!
In the Vatican City, Pope Julius-II was followed by
Pope Leo the Tenth,
He commissioned many works of art which are
still cherished and maintained!
Now cutting short my story let me mention the
famous Italian Renaissance Superstar Trio;
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo.

LEONARDO DA VINCI was born in 1452 in
the village of Vinci near the City of Florence,
Was deprived of a formal education being born
illegitimate!
He was left-handed, and wrote from right to left!
He soon excelled his teacher Varrocchio, by
introduced oil based paints into Italy;
Whose translucent colors with his innovative
techniques, enhanced his painting artistically.
Sigmund Freud had said, “Leonardo was like a
man who awoke too early in the darkness while
others were all still asleep,” - he was awake!
Leonardo’s  historic ‘Note Book’ has sketches of a
battle tank, a flying machine, a parachute, and many
other anatomical and technical sketches and designs;
Reflecting the ever probing mind of this versatile
genius who was far ahead of his time!
His ‘Vituvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’, and ‘Mona Lisa’,
Remain as his enduring works of art and more popular
than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Pen and ink sketch of the ‘Vitruvian Man’ with arms
and leg apart inside a square and a circle, also known
as the ‘Proportion of Man’;
Where his height correspondence to the length
of his outstretched hands;
Became symbolic of the true Renaissance spirit
of Man.
‘The Last Supper’ a 15ft by 29ft fresco work on
the refectory wall of Santa Maria, commissioned
by Duke of Milan Ludovic,
Is the most reproduced religious painting which
took three years to complete!
Leonardo searched the streets of Milan before
painting Judas’ face;
And individualized each figure with competence!
‘Mona Lisa’ with her enigmatic smile continues
to inspire artists, poets, and her viewers alike,
since its creation;
Which Leonardo took four years to complete
with utmost devotion.
Leonardo used oil on poplar wood panel, unique
during those days,
With ‘sfumato’ blending of translucent colors with
light and shade;
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance!
Art Historian George Varasi says that it is the face
of one Lisa Gherardini,
Wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant of Italy.
Insurance Companies failed to make any estimation
of this portrait, declaring its value as priceless!
Today it remains housed inside an air-conditioned,
de-humidified chamber, within a triple bullet-proof
glass, in Louvre France.
“It is the ultimate symbol of human civilization”,
- exclaimed President Kennedy;
And with this I pay my humble tribute to our
Leonardo da Vinci!

MICHEL ANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564):
This Tuscan born sculptor, painter, architect, and
poet, was a versatile man,
Worthy to be called the archetype of the true
‘Renaissance Man’!
At the age of twelve was placed under the famous
painter Ghirlandio,
Where his inclination for sculpting began to show.
Under the liberal patronage of Lorenzo de Medici,
He developed his talent as a sculptor as we get
to see.
In the Medici Palace, he was struck by his rival
Torregiano on the nose with a mallet;
Disfiguring permanently his handsome face!
His statue of ‘Bacchus’ of 1497 and the very
beauty of the figure,
Earned him the commission for the ‘PIETA’ in
St Peter’s Basilica;
Where from a single piece of Carrara marble he
carved out the figure of ****** Mary grieving
over the dead body of Christ;
This iconic piece of sculpture which along with
his ‘David’ earned him the ‘Superstar rights’!

Michel Angelo’s **** ‘DAVID’ weighed 6.4 tons
and stood 17 feet in height;
Unlike the bronze David of Donatello, which
shows him victorious after the fight!
Michel’s David an epitome of strength and
youthful vigour with a Classical Greek touch;
Displayed an uncircumcised ***** which had
shocked the viewers very much!
But it was consistent with the Mannerism in Art,
in keeping with the Renaissance spirit as such!
David displays an attitude of placid calm with
his knitted eyebrows and sidelong glance;
With his left hand over the left shoulder
holding a sling,
Coolly surveys the giant Goliath before his
single sling shot fatally stings!
This iconic sculpture has a timeless appeal even
after 500 years, depicting the ‘Renaissance Man’
at his best;
Vigorous, healthy, beautiful, rational and fully
competent!
Finally we come to the Ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel of Rome,
Where Pope Julius-II’s persistence resulted in the
creation of world’s greatest single fresco that was
ever known!
Covering some 5000 square feet, took five years
to complete.
Special scaffoldings had to be erected for painting
scenes from ‘The Creation’ till the ‘Day of Judgment’
on a 20 meter’s high ceiling;
Where the Central portion had nine scenes from
the ‘Book of Genesis’,
With ‘Creation of Adam’ having an iconic significance!
Like Leonardo, Michel Angelo was left-handed and died
a bachelor - pursuing his art with devotion;
A man with caustic wit, proud reserve, and sublimity
of imagination!

RAFFAELLO SANZIO (1483-1520):
This last of the famous High Renaissance trio was
born in 1483 in Urbino,
Some eight years after Michel Angelo.
His Madonna series and decorative frescos
glorified the Library of Pope Julius the Second;
Who was impressed by his fresco ‘The School
of Athens’;
And commissioned Raphael to decorate his
Study in the Vatican.
Raphael painted this large fresco between 1510
and 1511, initially named as the ‘Knowledge of
Causes’,
But the 17th century guide books referred to it
as ‘The School of Athens’.
Here Plato and Aristotle are the central figures
surrounded by a host of ancient Greek scholars
and philosophers.
The bare footed Plato is seen pointing skywards,
In his left hand holds his book ‘Timaeus’;
His upward hand gesture indicating his ‘World
of Forms’ and transcendental ideas!
Aristotle is seen pointing downwards, his left
hand holds his famous book the ‘Ethics’;
His blue dress symbolizes water and earth
with an earthly fix.
The painting illustrates the historic continuance
of Platonic thoughts,
In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance!
Raphael’s last masterpiece ‘Transfiguration’
depicts the resurrected Christ,
Flanked by prophets
Turkey hunting with his pappy
The dogs let loose into the marsh
Birds flew out, and guns went off
The end result was rather harsh
Willie Joe jumped first at nothing
Shot at turkeys in the air
First shot missed, but hit a target
He'd shot Jim Joseph in the ear

Time to call the Country Preacher
A service needed to be done
The end result was up to Jesus
At the wrong end of a country gun

Jolene was all set for college
Had a baby on the way
One quick fling in the hay with Joseph
There was nothing left for her to say
Joseph stood and did deny it
Said that Jolene told a lie
Jolene's daddy got his shotgun
And with no wedding, Joseph'd die

Time to call the Country Preacher
A service needed to be done
The end result was up to Jesus
At the wrong end of a country gun

The wedding went off without trouble
Both families were there in force
Jolene's dad had brought his shotgun
The best man was old Joseph's horse
The moonshine flowed like holy water
There was no jar that wasn't filled
And through it all, poor pregnant Jolene
Wondered who would end up killed

Time to call the Country Preacher
A service needed to be done
The end result was up to Jesus
At the wrong end of a country gun

The preacher preached and people listened
Amened here and there throughout
A few well placed hallelujahs
Praise the lord was heard no doubt
All dressed in black with eyes just shining
He couldn't have done smiled more
For who in town knew that the preacher
Owned the gun and ammo store?

Time to call the Country Preacher
A service needed to be done
The end result was up to Jesus
And the preacher would refill the gun.
M Oct 2015
Just because you love someone doesn't mean you can have them and sometimes it means you shouldn't and sometimes it's no one's fault. Just because Joseph loved Mary doesn't mean he could have children with her, because he loved God's plan and Mary's welfare more than the idea of being with her. And for me this kind of heartbreaking selflessness is something I relate to a lot, because sometimes even though the feeling of love is there, it's not meant to happen in the way we expect, and sometimes the way we are called to love people is different from the way we feel we want to, and sometimes the way to love people through your actions is exactly the opposite of what you think your heart is telling you.

But at its core, that love is what drives you. That love of God (and of whoever it is that you love) can be and IS heartbreaking and sometimes we have to make a choice that seems impossible, for the sake of the other person and the sake of God. And the very feeling that makes it impossible- love- is the very feeling that makes it possible. If Joseph loved Mary any less he would have acted on his feelings and just had *** with her- or if he loved her even less than that he would have left her to die, just to save his own image. But he didn't. He proved that he loved her more than those things. He loved her more than himself and he loved her more than anything else in the world. He created a seemingly inexplicable paradox- he loved her so much that he was willing to give up expressing it, for her sake. And by not expressing it, he did.

Isn't that incredible? That he reached a level of love that absolutely divided his own interests from hers and made him willing to sacrifice the usual expression of that love and maybe, just maybe, the sacrifice of the usual expression of love was the ultimate and perfect expression of love. Because it wasn't a usual love. Joseph didn't love Mary with a usual love.

He loved her in a way that didn't for a second stop to think about himself, his own wishes. He loved her enough to not love her, even though everyone else told him he should and even though the plan for everyone else seemed to follow an ordinary path- marriage, then ***, then children. Joseph proved that the ultimate expression of love isn't just following this path- it's being brave enough to do whatever is best for the other person and God regardless of what the world tells you and what your own passions tell you.

Joseph loved Mary enough to give up all hope of loving her the way his heart told him he ought to. He gave up the entireity of his own heart to her, keeping nothing for himself. He loved her the way God did. And that is love.
And for that, he will live in perfect communion with the woman he loves forever.

Joseph is my confirmation saint and I figured I'd do a little thinking about him.
Torin Apr 2016
Joseph K
Who had done nothing
nothing he was aware of
Nothing really anything at all
His only crime
That of being human


Poor Joseph K
Unable to defend his position
His lot in life
Now stands on trial

Joseph K
Who was innocent
as innocent as a man can be
In a world where drudgery makes a man go mad
He was only trying to live his life
The only way he could


Poor Joseph K
Has been found guilty
By a judge with unknown authority
And his sentence ends his life

Poor Joseph K
Poor you and me
My take on Kafkas, the trial.
dith Baker, was born in Athens ancient greece the middle of Spring and her parents
were Tom and Elizabeth Baker and they had 2 naughty brothers
named Ned and Jonithan who teased, and they looked like 2
big tough boys with heaps of muscle in their legs, and they told Edith she was a puny little girl, and a big wimp, and the boys said
they have more power than you loser girls, So Edith let us boys win
young edith let us boys win, and Edith ran to her parents crying and
they said, don’t worry about those boys, they can be tamed, and
Edith went to her room and said, i will find a way to tame those
naughty boys, yeah i will chop them up, from their juicy legs, and
have them for dinner, you can’t catch us ya girl, and the boys went
out , and the keep it secret who they actually were.
then the boys were attacked by a nasty witch and they were kept
in the witch’s back garden shed, with the fire on high, and the boys
yell out HELP HELP, PLEASE SAVE US FROM THIS MEAN LADY
we are only young we aren’t ready to die, please let us go, you see
Athena, put her power into Edith to defeat these boys, Athena made edtih grow into an adult to scare these boys out her, cause
she is the more powerful, than anyone on earth, and Edtih was
really suffering, and then Edith/Athena brought Ned and Jonithan
down to her dungeon, where she will keep these naughty boys till
they learn that teasing Edith baker was the worst mistake of their
lives, Edith was having a great time with Athena’s power giving these boys complete hell, and Jonithan said to Edith we are just
having fun with you, ok, i don’t want to change the world this way,
and Athena said to Edith, start with fattening up Jonithan, you see
he is expressing himself, he must be Cronus, cause he is the only
one that knows how to express himself, and jonithan said, Edith
don’t **** me, you are not going to pass go if you **** me, heh, and
Athena, fed Jonithan delicious treats, and after 3 weeks, he became a nice juicy fatty boy, and Edith with Athena’s help, cooked
Jonithan up and his bones were the only thing left, and Cronus was
discovered, as a religious god of Ancient greece, and Athena let Ned go home,and got out of Edith’s head and they lived happily ever after missing Jonithan but still lived happily ever after,

and on the following christmas two twins, Hansel who is Cronus, and his twin sister Gretel came into the world and lived  on a very rundown farm, which way back somewhere used to be the city of eternity, but Wanda Gray, who is the wicked witch, who used witch craft to destroy eternity and force the whole of mother earth to be destroyed and
humans will die, and Hansel and Gretel”s parents who lived a normal life in eternity by just normal family duties, and Hansel was
a great Rugby Union player, and he was a pick of all his friends,
and he was also a bit of a joker, making fun of Gretel every day,
making their parents very stressed out, mainly because Gretel was
a lazy girl ya know, never did anything constructive, and when Gretel said leave me alone, Hansel refused to listen to her, saying he was too tough for this mamby pamby girl, she just wants to play
with dolls and do all whimsy girlie things, and when Wanda Gray’s
plan to destroy eternity worked, every human was destroyed except for Hansel and Gretels family, and the father sent Hansel and Gretel off to find peace, and they walked in the destroyed debree of what was eternity, they came up to this old house,and Hansel recognised this place as the Rugby Union football club that Hansel
was a part of, so they came up to the front door,and hansel was
hoping to see his coach, cause he was too young to understand that they were the only civilised people on earth, and they knocked
on the door and then Wanda Gray who was the wicked witch, and
she put her mouth around Hansel and Gretel and brought them down to the dungeon, and Hansel and Gretel were screaming, saying HELP HELP LET US F..N GO WE ARE STUCK IN HERE FOREVER, after a few days, Gretel became very scared, as the only human she can see is her twin brother Hansel, they spent two
years down there, and Gretel was too shy to stay strong and was
getting weaker and Hansel was still trying even with out food, he
tried to keep the mascular part of the role of the male.
then Wanda Gray came back and said hi gretel, you are weak little girl aren’t you and then said, why aren’t you like that, you see Hansel had this plan, he just managed to weaken the chain, so
when the witch came he got free from the chain, and kicked Wanda Gray in the shins and it knocked her over, but Hansel couldn’t save
Gretel, so he just ran off, and then the witch got up and then stabbed Gretel in the stomach and after 2 hours she was dead, and
Hansel was nearly 12, and ran outside and then got a few old branches and push them against the door of the witch’s den, and then ran off into the fields, and then Hansel was puzzled, he was running in a direction, that his home was, and he couldn’t find it anywhere, so he ran back to the witch’s den, and he couldn’t find it either, and Hansel was scared, it looked like that Hansel was the only kid on earth, and started to run around the fields, and he was enjoying himself, and there was a big rainstorm that came into the
fields, and Hansel was picked up and went sliding down the hill and
fell asleep for 3 hours, and then Hansel woke up, and there was this giant Tyrannosaurus rex, and he looked mighty hungry, and then it started to chase Hansel through the woods, and Hansel was
sweating from the run and the fear that this dinosaur was going to eat him, and then Hansel slipped over and the tyrannosaurus rex
suddenly got out of the picture and then a deinanychus suddenly
came into site and fixed his eyes on Hansel, and Hansel found himself cornered by the tyrannosaurus rex and the deinanysaurus
and then a Megalosaurus came down and pushed Hansel down
into the ground and Hansel thought straight away he was going to
die, but he fell down on a patch of leaves laid down in a way like a
bed and this was the work of Athena saving Cronus, who was Hansel, and Hansel slept for 23 years, and woke up, and he looked like a new man, and he had Athena and Gretel, trying to rid evil out
of Wanda Gray, trying to send her to her next life, as Jesus Christ,
and Athena said to Hansel, that for eternity to come back again, we
all must, have these new names, Gretel you will be Mary, and now
with the power of Athena, i will send you to Joseph, after this reincarnation is completed and Hansel you are Cronus, as i told you and when i give you the warning you are going out there with a combination of mine and your power, to keep the dinosaurs away from Mary and Joseph, and Cronus did exactly that, and went out
to Bethlehem and got all the kings horses and all the kings men, all together to form a wall from one side of Isreal to the other, and
they find a home in Bethlehem, and the story they tell children is a
bit happy, don’t want to scare them off, but as donkey with pregnant
Mary on top, and Joseph walking , the tyrannosaurus rex and allosaurus and the stegosaurus were trying to get to the other side of Jereasulem and as they arrived the kings men got their guns out and said ready aim fire and every man fired at every dinosaur, and
the Anklylosaurus was the only the kings men couldn’t beat, so they chased him right around the country, and Cronus while that was going on was around making sure that Mary and Joseph can get to
the Inn in Bethlehem without any problems, and then this Anklylosaurus was nowhere to be found, and the kings men, decided to track down a source, to rid the dinosaurs forever and save this world from those terrible animals, so the source they found was killing the dinosaurs eggs from the tree they were carefully put,and the kings men fired their guns 5000 times into the
ground and after 4 days of doing this, they finally are achieving their
goal about making dinosaurs and then the kings men travelled through the fields and the Ankylosaurus, was running aroung having a wow of a time, and then they fired and fired and then just as they were losing bullets, the lizard was dead, and then Cronus
got Mary and Joseph to the inn, on August 23rd and she was nursed there till december 12 where Jesus was born officially, and
this was time to celebrate for everyone, they played, silent night
and when a child is born and away in a manger and jingle bells and
a very good version of It came upon a midnight clear, that as soon
as christmas eve was finished at midnight, the start of christmas day, Jesus was christened, the saviour of God,or buddha, or mohammed, anyway Cronus did a chant to start the ceremony, saying, ummmmm ummmmm um diddly dumb  dumb ummmm
welcome Jesus Christ to this land, every girl and boy and woman and man, um diddly dumb, umm diddly dum dum you see everyone is here to see, the kings men, killed each dinosaur to bring us peace, ummm diddly dum, and Cronus, then sat down and buddha
got up to also christen Cronus, for all his great work on bringing Jesus here, said you are now ST Nicholas, and then St Nicholas had to mend the feud between david and Goliath, and this was going to be hard, but St Nicholas, said, how about this Friday night,
New Years Eve, we will see the New Year in with a great fight, first
i will fight david and after that i will fight golliath, and then, david and gollath both had a duel to end the night and they still wanted to
**** each other, you see david beat St nicholas and gollath lost to St Nicholas, and then the last duel looked like david was doomed as
Gollath had him about to fall down a twenty storey medieveil building, and St Nicholas, went up there, and, used his powerful sword to bring david and gollath to safety, but then, well, they all went down to the party, and at midnight they screamed out 10, 9
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and then they sang auld
leng zine and also St Nicholas welcomed a tiger to be trained to
protect the village from stowaways and then St Nicholas was walking around and met up with John the Baptist, and they were both having a chinwag, and Moses and Jesus who are known to be
very wise, said, to John the baptist and St Nicholas, you know the best thing that you 2 must do, is have a debate about your visions
for the future, and we will ask everyone to vote for whose views are
greater, and then, we’ll tell you who wins, and John the baptist and
ST Nicholas went away thinking about what they will say, but Athena wasn’t at all amused, because she hates competitive games, and ST nicholas said, competition is a great way to bring peace to this land, and with competitions, we can have fun stuff all
through each generations, and Athena said, ok very well, and then
after 4 months of deciding what to say in their debates, the debate was just about to start, and here it is

ST NICHOLAS

heaps of fun for children
enjoying new generation music
inventing ways to have real fun
not wanting to ****
but would **** to prove a point
keep the death cycle fun with great
stories about reincarnation, from buddha
untill eternity is reached i want all my lives to
start from scratch
and to enjoy parties in any shape or form

John the baptist

inventing the holy bible to stop people suffering
start up a building for people to feel at ease about
losing loved ones
keeping generations safe from death, cause it can
create problems
killing Jesus at age 33, on the third day of the third month
for our sins
and attempt to stop war by inventing the word religion

and then each member of the town had their chance to vote and
after 4 months of counting the votes, Moses and Jesus, announced the winner was John the baptist, apparently St Nicholas’s views were a little unrealistic, and then St Nicholas got out his sword and threaten to **** an innocent bystander, cause John the baptist was
planning to **** one of the jesus christ, he said, he is going to **** you
Jesus Christ and Jesus said, the townsfolk thought John the baptist was more right in the money, and then St Nicholas killed this 23 year old man, and then said, live in your own town without me, i quit this crazy life, and then ST Nicholas went to the ocean near by, and
threw rocks into the ocean, trying to play skidding games to see how far he can throw, and a boat of 323 armed bandits, put a blanket over st nicholas’s head and locked him in the dungeon and
started to sail toward Antarctica, and then they threw St Nicholas
into the ocean, and St Nicholas was starting swim and arrived on
Antarctica, and then walked for 3 days and then noticed this little
village, and it was great, it had great little houses and candy cane
fountains and a great stream going from one side of the village to the other, and in August of that year, St Nicholas started to dress up the place a bit, with his backyard he had the largest work centre on the island, where he got into making toys for the kids of the island and handy things for the adults on the island, you see, St Nicholas
did this all himself, no there weren’t really magic elves, no that is to
make christmas fun again, st nick did all this himself, and also made his stage coach out of fence palings and chopped up a pumpkin into very thin slices, and made that the floor of the trailer and where he sat and used Butch the brumby from the local farm as his guider, and every year till he was 323 years old, delivered
presents to every house and he will even drop in to speak to the
kind folk as they offered them biscuits to go with his nice cold beer
and on Christmas eve on St Nicholas’s 323rd birthday, Athena used her powers to bring upon the people of Antarctica a very big blizzard, which wiped out the entire village, and when the blizzard was at it’s worst, St Nicholas was given a gold beer mug, with the
words St Nick forever and ever in our hearts, but as St Nick was leaving they were snowed under, and there was no way of getting out, and all the people parished, and St Nick, was no more, just an
image, to be captured in future lives, you see Cronus took over to
rule Ancient Greece, and Cronus lived with Athena in ancient greece for 100 years, as brother and sister, never to be stopped
and i am St Nick, Cronus, Hansel and Jonithan,

© 2014 writer joe

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writer joe
Canberra, ACT, Australia

About
you see i have a mental illness and i express myself through imaginary poems and stories and my stories are in depth, but art is like that, i would like my writing to be good enough for television.. more..

Writing
<noimaget.jpg> THE PARTY THAT ROCKED LA
A Story by writer joe
<noimaget.jpg> my concert on jupiter moo..
A Story by writer joe
<noimaget.jpg> chrmical in the brain
A Poem by writer joe
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© 2006 - 2014 Aresta Enterprise LLC.
B
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
ShowYouLove Dec 2014
The Third Joyful Mystery:
The Nativity: The ****** Mary gives birth to the Redeemer of the World

Mary is betrothed to Joseph when Caesar orders a census to take place. Joseph finds out that Mary is pregnant and he is thinking about quietly divorcing her when he has a dream. In this dream an angel appears to Joseph and tells him that the baby’s name is to be Jesus Emmanuel, meaning God with Us. Joseph, though scared and unsure, like Mary, also chooses to trust God that Mary was not pregnant by another man. Mary and Joseph travel all the way to Bethlehem where Joseph’s family lived. By the time they arrived in the little town, Mary was heavy with child. They could not find a place to stay for Mary to have her baby when finally they found a stable to spend the night at. The baby Jesus was born into poverty and humility. It was smelly and *****, uncomfortable and cold. Jesus was placed in a manger, a trough, where the animals ate and drank. His only guests were the farm animals there, a shepherd boy with his sheep, a poor drummer boy, and three wisemen who came from very far off to pay homage to him. The Christ Child was born into poverty and humility, yet there was also great happiness and peace that cold winter’s night (the first fruits of the church). We pray Thank you God for sending us your Son to be born of the ****** Mary and become a man like us. The Redeemer of the World was born in poverty and humility. Help us to remember that not everything is as it seems. It doesn’t matter how much we give as long as we give all that we can. For this, help us to remember the woman who gave all of what she had which was two copper coins. Savior of the World, help us receive you as the world once received you so long ago. We love you and thank you! Amen
SE Reimer Jan 2015
~

verse 1
in the town of Chateau Thierry,
along the banks of the Marne,
just up the road from Paris,
a’ fore it meets the Seine;
’twas here our soldiers fought
in nineteen-seventeen;
'twas here they took the Kaiser,
in the trenches, rain and mud.
the Great War, then they called it,
here the river ran with blood;
with bayonet and shovel,
here an Allied victory made;
to halt the enemy’s advancement,
here too many made their grave.

instrument of bow and strings,
in composition history sings.
if, one-day strings could talk like men,
if, we could sing like violin!
stories told will ne’er grow old,
tales of courage that build the soul,
of standing tall and shouldering on,
to play an orchestrated song.
all you archers raise your strings,
draw your bows despite the dark,
soldiers of a genteel king,
wield your power to strike the heart.

verse 2
near the town of Chateau Thierry
in a convent, St Joseph by name
a violin by Francois Barzoni,
a resident luthier by trade.
prized possession of the Sisters,
they tuned well it's strings.
their convent walls withstood the bombs,
though leaving here their mark;
defaced but not destroyed,
and so with grateful hearts,
the Sisters of St Joseph,
for brick and mortar trade,
gathered up their treasures
their convent to remake.

instrument of bow and strings,
with composure history sings.
if, only strings could talk like men,
if, we could sing like violin;
stories told will ne’er grow old,
tales of hope that build the soul,
of standing tall and shouldering on,
to play an orchestrated song.
all you archers raise your strings,
draw your bows to light the dark,
soldiers of a genteel king,
wield your power; rebuild the heart.

verse 3
from the town of Chateau Thierry,
they advertised their local gem,
“wanted: no strings attached;
no saint expected, no requiem.
just two hands to cherish,
and a patron of our instrument.”

this their prayer, “oh Lord, one wish,
may our search meet no resistance.
may we find a young apprentice,
please reward our long persistence.”

and so they found their debutant;
prayer answered in Saint Louis.
a boy who understood its voice,
with their strings again make music.

instrument of bow and strings,
of your journey history sings.
if, only strings could talk like men,
if, we could sing like violin;
stories told will ne’er grow old,
tales of old they build the soul,
of standing tall and shouldering on,
to play an orchestrated song.
all you archers raise your strings,
draw your bows and find your mark,
soldiers of a genteel king,
wield your power to soothe the heart.

verse 4
near the town of Chateau Thierry,
along the banks of the Marne;
ply this channel of the masters,
play us a river, Lowell Meyer;
once a boy, become grand-father,
then a treasure to receive;
heirloom placed within your trust,
your prize possession to bequeath
to yet another debutant,
its strings to pluck and bow to draw.
he a master of persistence,
who with practice met resistance;
yesterday’s grandson, beloved progeny;
tomorrow’s hope, an admired prodigy.

instrument of bow and strings,
with clarity your voice still sings.
if, only strings could talk like men,
if, we could sing like violin;
stories told will ne’er grow old,
for these are tales that build the soul,
of standing tall and shouldering on,
to play an orchestrated song.
all you archers raise your strings,
draw your bows and make your mark,
soldiers of a genteel king,
wield your power to touch the heart.

~

post script.

A violin…  an instrument of hollowed wooded frame, strung with five strings made of gut, played by the drawing of a bow of hair crosswise over strings tuned in perfect fifths; an instrument of song with uniquely, beautiful voice.  Whether played as a violin with symphonic overture in a seventy-piece orchestra in Carnegie Hall, or as a fiddle in a four-piece southern country band at a barn dance down in a Kentucky hollow, in the hands of a violinist… a master… a virtuoso… a fiddler, it becomes an hallowed instrument… of diplomacy… of peace.

When I heard the faint whisperings of story about a nephew’s instrument I pledged to learn the details of its journey.  Charlie obliged, allowing me to interview him one evening early this month.

The instrument came complete with an old typed letter from Lowell Meyer, Charlie’s maternal grandfather, whose family purchased the instrument on his behalf, from the Sisters of St. Joseph when he was yet in middle school in 1923.  An instrument in its own rite, the letter also acts as a legal document, sharing not only the violin’s European heritage and how it came to arrive in these United States, but also dictating its future journey, naming only three possibilities of conveyance.  First, while in the possession of his family, the violin is to be owned by all of Mr. Meyer’s children and their heirs rather than by any one single heir.  Second, it allows a method for its sale should an urgent financial need arise.  And third, it dictates the intent of Mr. Meyers for the violin’s return to its original owner into perpetuity, the Sisters of St. Joseph near Chateau Thierry.  Charlie scanned the letter and emailed it to me, giving me a greater sense of its history and helping to establish its authenticity.   Its making by well known French luthier Francois Barzoni, who unlike the Stradivari family made his hand-crafted instruments for the masses, its survival within the convent walls during the bombardment of the Battle of the Marne and its subsequent journey from Chateau Thierry, to Saint Louis, each detail carrying great significance. As an example of one detail among many, it did not escape the attention of this story lover, the significance of a journey from its setting on one river to a similar setting on another, from along  the banks of the Marne before it spills into the Seine, winding through the fertile rolling hills north of Paris, to the fertile banks of the Missouri at its confluence with the Mississippi in St Louis, two famous rivers, a half a world apart, each with their own folklore of simple people living a simple life, of battles fought by simple people with uncommon valor.

*This simple story of “the violin” is a story worth telling; just one facet of Charlie’s interesting heritage; one which has its own voice, and is a tale that begged to be written.
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

Toby Mantis is visiting New York City artist at Hartford art school he looks like huskier handsomer version of Ringo Starr and women dig him he builds stretchers and stretches canvases for Warhol lives in huge loft in Soho on Broadway and Bleeker invites Odysseus to come down on weekends hang out Toby takes him to Max’s Kansas City Warhol’s Electric Circus they wander all night into morning there are printing companies longshoremen gays in Chelsea Italians in West Village hippies playing guitars protesting the war in Washington Square all kinds of hollering crazies passing out fliers pins in Union Square Toby is hard drinker Odysseus has trouble keeping up  he pukes his guts out number of times Odysseus is *** head not drinker he explores 42nd Street stumbles across strange exotic place named Peep Show World upstairs is large with many **** cubicles creepy dudes hanging around downstairs is astonishing there are many clusters of booths with live **** girls inside girls shout out hey boys come on now pick me come on boys there are hundreds of girls from all over the world in every conceivable size shape race he enters dark stall  puts fifty cents in coin box window screen lifts inside each cluster are 6 to 10 girls either parading or glued to a window for $1 he is allowed to caress kiss their ******* for $2 he is permitted to probe their ****** or *** for $10 girl reaches hand into darkened stall jerks him off tall slender British girl thrills him the most she says let me have another go at your dickey Odysseus spends all his money ******* 5 times departing he notices men from every walk of life passing through wall street stockbrokers executives rednecks mobsters frat boys tourists fat old bald guys smoking thick smelly cigars Toby Mantis has good-looking girlfriend named Lorraine with long brown hair Toby Lorraine and Odysseus sit around kitchen table Odysseus doodles with pencil on paper Toby spreads open Lorraine’s thighs exposing her ****** to Odysseus Lorraine blushes yet permits Toby to finger her Odysseus thinks she has the most beautiful ****** he has ever seen bulging pelvic bone brown distinctive bush symmetric lips Toby and Lorraine watch in amusement as Odysseus gazes intently Tony mischievously remarks you like looking at that ***** don’t you? Odysseus stares silently begins pencil drawing Lorraine’s ****** his eyes darting back and forth following day Lorraine seduces Odysseus while Toby is away walks out **** from shower she is few years older her body lean with high ******* she directs his hands mouth while she talks with someone on telephone it is strange yet quite exciting Odysseus is in awe of New York City every culture in the world intermingling democracy functioning in an uncontrollable managed breath millions of people in motion stories unraveling on every street 24 hour spectacle with no limits every conceivable variety of humanity ******* in same air Odysseus is bedazzled yet intimidated

Odysseus spends summer of 1970 at art colony in Cummington Massachusetts it is magical time extraordinary place many talented eccentric characters all kinds of happenings stage plays poetry readings community meals volleyball after dinner volleyball games are hilarious fun he lives alone in isolated studio amidst wild raspberries in woods shares toilet with field mouse no shower he reads Jerzy Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” then “Being There” then “Steps” attractive long haired girl named Pam visits community for weekend meets Odysseus they talk realize they were in first grade together at Harper amazing coincidence automatic ground for “we need to have *** because neither of us has seen each other since first grade” she inquires where do you sleep? Todd hitches up from Hartford to satisfy curiosity everyone sleeps around good-looking blue-eyed poet named Shannon Banks from South Boston tells Odysseus his ******* is not big enough for kind of ******* she wants but she will **** him off that’s fine with him 32 year old poet named Ellen Morrissey from Massachusetts reassures him ******* is fine Ellen is beginning to find her way out from suffocating marriage she has little daughter named Nina Ellen admires Odysseus’s free spirit sees both his possibilities and naïveté she realizes he has crippling family baggage he has no idea he is carrying thing about trauma is as it is occurring victim shrugs laughs to repel shock yet years later pain horror sink in turned-on with new ideas he returns to Hartford art school classes are fun yet confusing he strives to be best drawer most innovative competition sidetracks him Odysseus uses power drill to carve pumpkin on Halloween teachers warn him to stick to fundamentals too much creativity is suspect Todd and he are invited to holiday party Odysseus shows up with Ellen Morrissey driving in her father’s station wagon 2 exceptionally pretty girls flirt with him he is live wire they sneak upstairs he fingers both at same time while they laugh to each other one of the girls Laura invites him outside to do more he follows they walk through falling snow until they find hidden area near some trees Laura lies down lifts her skirt she spreads her legs dense ***** mound he is about to explore her there when Laura looks up sees figure with flashlight following their tracks in snow she warns it’s Bill my husband run for your life! Odysseus runs around long way back inside party grabs a beer pretending he has been there next to Ellen all night few minutes later he sees Laura and Bill return through front door Bill has dark mustache angry eyes Odysseus tells Ellen it is late maybe they should leave soon suddenly Bill walks up to him with beer in hand cracks bottle over his head glass and beer splatter Odysseus jumps up runs out to station wagon Ellen hurriedly follows snow coming down hard car is wedged among many guest vehicles he starts engine locks doors maneuvers vehicle back and forth trying to inch way out of spot Bill appears from party walks to his van disappears from out of darkness swirling snow Bill comes at them wielding large crowbar smashes car’s headlights taillights side mirrors windshield covered in broken glass Ellen ducks on floor beneath glove compartment sobs cries he’s going to **** us! we’re going to die! Odysseus steers station wagon free floors gas pedal drives on back country roads through furious snowstorm in dark of night no lights Odysseus contorts crouches forward in order to see through hole in shattered windshield Ellen sees headlights behind them coming up fast it is Bill in van Bill banging their bumper follows them all the way back to Hartford to Odysseus’s place they run inside call police Bill sits parked van outside across street as police arrive half hour later Bill pulls away next day Odysseus and Ellen drive to Boston to explain to Ellen’s dad what has happened to his station wagon Odysseus stays with Ellen in Brookline for several nights another holiday party she wants to take him along to meet her friends her social circles are older he thinks to challenge their values be outrageous paints face Ellen is horrified cries you can’t possibly do this to me these are my close friends what will they think? he defiantly answers my face is a mask who cares what i look like? man woman creature what does it matter? if your friends really want to know me they’ll need to look beyond the make-up tonight i am your sluttish girlfriend! sometimes Odysseus can be a thoughtless fool

Laura Rousseau Shane files for divorce from Bill she is exceptionally lovely models at art school she is of French descent her figure possessing exotic traits she stands like ballerina with thick pointed ******* copious ***** hair Odysseus is infatuated she frequently dances pursues him Laura says i had the opportunity to meet Bob Dylan once amazed Odysseus questions what did you do? she replies what could i possibly have in common with Bob Dylan? Laura teases Odysseus about being a preppy then lustfully gropes him grabs holds his ***** they devote many hours to ****** intimacy during ******* she routinely reaches her hand from under her buns grasps his testicles squeezing as he pumps he likes that Laura is quite eccentric fetishes over Odysseus she even thrills to pick zits on his back he is not sure if it is truly a desire of hers proof of earthiness or simply expression of mothering Laura has two daughters by Bill Odysseus is in over his head Laura tells Odysseus myth of Medea smitten with love for Jason Jason needs Medea’s help to find Golden Fleece Medea agrees with promise of marriage murders her brother arranges ****** of king who has deprived Jason his inheritance couple is forced into exile Medea bears Jason 2 sons then Jason falls in love with King Creon’s daughter deserts Medea is furious she makes shawl for King Creon’s daughter to wear at her wedding to Jason  shawl turns to flames killing bride Medea murders her own sons by Jason Odysseus goes along with story for a while but Laura wants husband Odysseus is merely scruffy boy with roving eyes Laura becomes galled by Odysseus leaves him for one of his roommates whom she marries then several years later divorces there is scene when Laura tells Odysseus she is dropping him for his roommate he is standing in living room of her house space is painted deep renaissance burgundy there are framed photographs on walls in one photo he is hugging Laura and her daughters under big oak tree in room Laura’s friend Bettina other girl he fingered first night he met Laura at party is watching with arms crossed he drops to floor curls body sobs i miss you so much Laura turns to Bettina remarks look at him men are such big babies he’s pitiful Bettina nods

following summer he works installing displays at G. Fox Department Store besides one woman gay men staff display department for as long as he can remember homosexuals have always been attracted to him this misconception is probably how he got job his tenor voice suggesting not entirely mature man instead more like tentative young boy this ambiguous manifestation sometimes also evidences gestures thoroughly misleading after sidestepping several ****** advances one of his co-workers bewilderingly remarks you really are straight manager staff are fussy chirpy catty group consequently certain he is not gay they discriminate against him stick him with break down clean up slop jobs at outdoor weekend rock concert in Constitution Plaza he meets 2 younger blond girls who consent to go back to his place mess around both girls are quite dazzling yet one is somewhat physically undeveloped they undress and model for Odysseus radio plays Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” both girls move to rhythm sing along he thinks to orchestrate direct decides instead to let them lead lies on bed while curvaceous girl rides his ******* slender girl sits on his face they switch all 3 alternate giggle laughter each girl reaches ****** on his stiffness later both assist with hands mouths his ****** is so intense it leaves him paralyzed for a moment

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.



And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
www.youtube.com/
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.


Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.



Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
                                                        
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Humanoid.
Lawrence Hall Mar 2019
Saint Joseph in a dreary winter night
Took to himself a newborn not his own,
Who yet is always his, the Child of Light
Whose crib Saint Joseph knew to be a throne

Saint Joseph shows men truth: each child is ours,
Adopted by each good man upon birth;
True fatherhood ordained in starlit hours
And ratified in Heaven and on earth.

Saint Joseph is the man who looked into
The eyes of Mary in her happy youth;
This strong man looked into her eyes and knew
She bore within her all eternal Truth.

Our witness is Saint Joseph, ever just:
God calls each man to take each child in trust.
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Arreonna Frost May 2016
By: Arreonna Frost (me)

Prologue

“No, Please?” She sobs, “No!” Screams through the air.
I close my eyes and think of all the good times we had together, before he turned into a monster. My thoughts are interrupted when the front door slams and all of the knick knacks in my room begin to shake. I shudder. Glass shatters and falls to the floor as of if it were a waterfall, as my mother screams an ear piercing scream.

My eyes fly open and I realize that I have been crying. My yellow walls glow back at me as the star stickers in a starry night pattern hint off a neon yellow, as they glow in the dark. I hug my purple polka dot bear close to me and begin to cradle her.

My mother left my door open a crack again, like she does every night and a long stretch of light creeps across my floor, almost reaching for my slippers at the foot of my bed. On my night stand to the right of my bed, I turn off my green lava lamp and roll over so I face the window.

The glowing of the white moon that almost looks yellow reflects off of my cheeks, hinting to anyone nearby that I have been crying. As goosebumps slither up my arm from the chill of the window, I wrap the sparkly green butterfly quilt my mother made for my 6th birthday tighter around me. I then plug my ears, silencing the noise the best I can.
“No! No!  She screams louder. “Please! God please! Please save my baby!”
“Shut-up!” He screams back. “Nobody will hear you, no one at all!” Echoes his evil laugh against the old walls. “Were in the middle of nowhere you no for good ***** **!”
“Please! Please! Please!” She silently sobs to herself.

As I am eager to be down there and witness what is happening, I roll back over on my side, throw the blanket off of me, and to the side. My feet fall to the floor silently as I slip them into my slippers. Walking towards my door I look at the floor carefully, as of to not make a sound.

My door slowly creaked open as the light fills my room eagerly. I stop in my tracks as the front door slams shut. Holding my breath I begin to cry; feeling scared, sad, and lonely. A chill nips at my bare legs and I yank my yellow silk nightgown down my legs some more.

When I reach the top of the stairs and about to slowly go down, I examine my surroundings and see our family portrait to my right. The gold frame is what really made the picture stand out against our white walls. Mother looks younger and prettier, her eyes don’t have bags underneath like she does now. Her long brown curly hair flows down and off of her shoulders almost reaching her elbows. I notice her bright white smile and how happy she looks while she is hugging her 6 month pregnant belly. While holding me close her blue eyes sparkle back at me, so alive and adventurous.

Like the usual my father looks like he is staring right through the camera instead of at the camera. He has never once smiled or even shown a sign of happiness, not even in public. The blue flannel shirt has a tear by his elbow and the top two buttons are unbuttoned. My favorite blue dress brings out my big brown eyes as I also smile into the camera.

My brown hair wasn't quite as long as my mothers but my brown curls also flow onto my shoulders. My high cheek bones stick out from the glare of the flash. This picture was taken a few years ago. Taken before my little rugrat of a brother was born. He is now three years old and very annoying, especially when he gets his way every time he cries.

The door slams shut again as I jumped startled again and snap out of the memory. The wooden stairs are slippery beneath me as the fabric from my slippers does not give me traction. The railing is what gives me support as I slowly creep down the stairs trying not to make a sound down our ancient steps. Tears slowly fall down my cheeks again, leaving behind a damp trail, once I reach the bottom. Pulling my nightgown down some more, I reach their bedroom to my left. The door was already left slightly open as the light creeps into the hall. Pushing the door open more, just enough so I can see, mother is on the floor holding Joseph in his blue Spider man blanket.

Josephs blonde hair sticks out of the top blanket, all knotted together. Mother is weeping into my personal favorite nightgown of hers. The blue silk always made mother beautiful, especially against her skin and brown hair. I see that father is holding a Budweiser in his left hand and his rifle in the other.

In the far back left corner, fathers stained nook has several beer cans and bottles piled on top of each other, some even spilling onto the ground. As father raises the rifle off the floor I gasp and take a step back not cautious of the creaky floors. When the floor does let out a long creek all I can do is my hold my breath, and pray that he doesn't notice my presence as his dark heartless eyes beat right through me.

The muscles in his hairy arms tense up as the rifle lowers back down and rests on the floor. I notice mother looking at me as she slowly slides to the window. His focus is now away from the door but back solely on mother, as his attention goes away from this dark pit I slowly step closer to the door.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Rolls off of the tip of his tongue like he’s getting woozy. He then pulls Joseph out her tiny fragile hands. As he sets Joseph down in his handmade wooden crib, mother cries harder.

"N-nothing", stutters through the air, "I was just getting Joseph’s other blanket since he was cold", she bluffs.

I just now realize that the window is open and I was her hope of escaping. Now I wish he was still focused on me. I slowly fall to my knees and kick them to the side, so i’m sitting how  a princess would sit in a gown on the ground. The cold tile floor numbs my knees sending more chills up my body.

I scooch more to the right so I am in almost the same position as earlier when I saw fathers nook. Searching the area of the room I find Joseph near the corner nook under his blanket. I actually feel sorry and worried for Joseph for once. Father raises the black 22-Caliber pistol when mother stifles another cry. Worried to be noticed I crawl back into the dark.

"Please", she barely whispers as she lays down covering her face. "I love you, thought you loved me. Please."

The sound of the gunshot rings in my ears.
This is a sneak peak at my book. I would love any comments or suggestions. Honesty is the best. Thank you.
preservationman Feb 2016
Twist and turn Joseph did
At some point It was his pillow in hid
Joseph tried to count sheep
But that didn’t help to get any sleep
Even though Joseph eyes were closed
All he could think about was suppose
Apparently, there might have been something on his mind
This could have contributed to his sleeplessness combined
Perhaps a sip of wine will help me pass the time
However even that didn’t work
It was awoke, awoke and continued being awoke
But Joseph was thinking his getting sleep is at stake
Joseph has a meeting in the morning at 10:00 am
He must give the presentation
So sleepless goes on and on
Joseph was finally asleep, but it’s 9:00 am and he has over slept
Suddenly Joseph looks at the time and rushes
I am late
No time to hesitate
The sleepless night with a questionable woke
If I don’t get to work, I will certainly be broke.

— The End —