September 30, 2010

HAPPY POEMS

Does anyone write happy poems
poems that make you burst
out loud with laughter
until your side and face hurt?
Maybe we need more
poems about clowns
and skirted dogs
and talking fish
that say funny things
or quote the confused words
of the man of failing health
so we can see how cute he is
as we laugh him off the page

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 29, 2010

LOST LOVER

One too many bottles of wine
were opened
For I drank out of that last
final one
Hoping to see you in the sun
I saw only night
Hoping to make you happy
we both misunderstood
One too many late nights
I wrote too many poems
Said too many wrong words
used too much ink
I dropped the last straw
but that had to be
Hoping to see you again
I never will

- By Anthony Buccino
From DAYS YOU KNEW ME

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. .

September 28, 2010

AWFUL TREE POEM

I think that you shall never see
me write a poem about a tree
as long ago in grade school class
I needed to read a poem aloud to pass
when I took that famous Kilmer poem
and memorized the thing like my own
it came down to the day I read it aloud
the clamoring students gathered as a crowd
and I stumbled through mixing up the best
and they laughed me humbly back to my desk
scurrying angrily I grumbled back to my place
this poetry stuff is for the birds off in space

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 27, 2010

AFTER THE FRUIT

Midrash

For this juice
I have traded eternity
Alone with him
Forever here
Pleasant, but oh
There must be
Something more
What are children?
What is music?
What is beyond these gates?
Now, I must know.

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 26, 2010

BRING YOUR OWN AUDIENCE

With a nod to Ray Brown

If I had my own audience,
why would I travel to Clinton?
I'd just have them
line up on my front lawn.
They could sit there
from night time to dawn
or until I think of something
that rhymes with Clinton!

Relatives say, oh, yeah,
you're the one who writes the books
Tell me, am I in any of them
that I should buy to see what you say
I've never been in a book I read,
that would make my day
What's with that crimp in your jaw,
what's with the looks?

Don't worry, I say,
if I had anything to write about you
I'm sure no one would believe
about that time you did what to whom
And, anyway, who would believe it
now outside this room
That story couldn't be true
about someone as outstanding as you

If I had my own audience
I would think that way
of people who are related
yet after all these years
know absolutely nothing
about me, my writing and
would never be in my audience

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 25, 2010

DRIVES

Drives a Suburban
in the city
A Chevy
near the levee
in Jersey City
Drives an Escalade
near the esplanade

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.


September 24, 2010

RED BENCHES

Grundy Pier, Jersey City, NJ

You’ll have red benches
to sit on
if this construction
ever gets done.
We’ve been going
on two years
and although
we’re closer,
it’s not done.
See the painters
coating the railings?
Why do painters
wear white hats
and white overalls?
They can’t paint
too many things white
and all the other colors
show up with a splash
of pea green paint

- By Anthony Buccino
Adapted from ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
J. Owen Grundy Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.

September 23, 2010

BURNING LEAVES



Mesmerized by the roaring flames
from the pit and pile of sparking arcs
as black walnut tree leaves caught fire
and withered to smoke and ash
while the breeze cast a sooty fog
over my clothes and our large yard.
A private and small fireworks show:
Embers burst in midair singeing
my eyebrows and dirty blond hair
burning holes in my sweatshirt
as rotten logs smoldered into charcoal.
A neighbor girl's voice called out
from an open window some where
"Why don't you jump in!"
And there I was, welcomed,
to our new neighborhood,
the long lot and black walnut trees
towering over the patches of grass
and the oversized brick garage
and the ruinous chicken coop blocks
In the distance beyond the sound of the fire
Dad paced off placement of Soho Loft
His pigeon coop and sanctuary.

- By Anthony Buccino
adapted from SIXTEEN INCHES ON CENTER

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

September 22, 2010

YOUR PHOTO

When I think of the way I would photograph you
Of course I see the light and the shades
and the bounce in your pony tail
when you turn your head

This photo would capture your youthful vibrance
that still makes me feel younger from this far away
Yes, this photo will expose your cute crinkles
near your eyes when you share your contagious smile
that melts people into wanting to be near you.

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 21, 2010

CRISP

Everything looks crisp
in the sunlight of the new day,
even the shadows are smiling at me.

I’m back where the cast off stairs
go down into the water
when the tide is just right
you might think of stepping in to a dream.

On this day forgo Buffett’s cheeseburger
in Paradise for a cheese chili dog
on the Jersey City waterfront.

As long as little girls stop
to pick pretty yellow flowers
blooming in the short grass
the dandelion weeds
will forever find favor.

The pool deck chairs stacked like spoons
huddle against winter, against brackish spray
the onslaught of birds, weak against the wind.

Soon the pool on the river will shed its tough green tarp
and the ugly winter will be shocked to oblivion
and the Avalon tower people will come down and sun
in the chairs on the deck of the pool on the river.

The hollow silver steel longshoreman
eternally facing the long gone pier
through all kinds of weather
he shines on and at night reflects
passing headlights and fading tail-lights
and stands in the shadows of moon beams
and reflects reflected light
from the sun’s reflection on the moon.
The iron man’s burden is heavy
but his yoke is light

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 20, 2010

NO ACCIDENT

The way things work
The way they fit together
To become these things
A blade of grass
so erect and green
Seagull feathers
Hollow bricks
Light bulbs
Tall buildings
Hemangioma
A stem cell
Or a DNA molecule
I know this all
Is no accident

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
******************

September 19, 2010

RIDING BACKWARDS

while traveling on the lightrail or train
or the street car to St. Charles
unsettles some hapless commuters.
Things moving away evoke the rush
of falling off a cliff
and not landing until the next stop.

It’s odd to see the sun set in the east
reflected in the opposite window.
But we’re so grateful to be
on the lightrail heading home.
Many of us scurried en masse
down three flights of stairs to get on this car.

Facing backwards, looking out the window.
Seeing the brown leaves, the dying weeds,
the buzz cut on tree limbs dogging catenary lines.
This subway car is full of people with tales to tell.
They chatter away with different accents,
speaking in pairs about who knows what.

Preacher man speaks to all the lost souls.
All these years and not one convert.
The closer this streetcar gets
to our bus departure time,
the slower it percolates
on these rusty rails.
Today’s the day I would
sit next to the bow-legged
middle linebacker
who spent the day riding a horse.

At Branch Brook Station,
we see the tall building
a half block north. A huge chunk
of the brick siding has fallen away
this very day. Our bus driver, #31600
on the ninety-three Hoover,
points out the building,
so we don’t miss it,
so we’ll have something
to talk about when we
get back to our families.

- By Anthony Buccino
From VOICES ON THE BUS
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 18, 2010

DEAR BOSS

It’s been twenty-five years since we worked together.
You remember, after twelve years you traded me
to another location for someone with the same job title as mine
They want to get rid of him and you thought I would be better off there,
I could learn more as a small fish in a big pond.
Well, you know how it all went down.
The trying times I had, the angst and all the ire
and you and your guy butted heads, too, I heard.
But me, I moved on,
left that huge company with those great benefits
and the seniority and a stable paycheck
And, yeah, like Dennis said at my farewell,
“Andy, you shouldn’t be my boss, you should be out there
writing stuff, writing books, that’s what you should do.”

I took those writing jobs, it’s what I was supposed to do all along
some jobs lasted only two months, some eight months,
two I had for five years, and the one I’m in now, for more than ten.
It was during those no-work times when I wondered
where I would be if I had stayed in that sucky job with you.
And I realize, no matter how close to nothing I have in my wallet
and no matter how rough the seas in my marriage
these twenty-five years since I left your job have been the best...

- By Anthony Buccino
Adapted from CANNED - Booted, bumped, down-sized, fired, forced out, hated, hired, jobless, laid off, let go, out of work, out-sourced, pink-slipped, terminated, sacked, unemployed
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
******************

September 17, 2010

THE BOOTCH

Maybe some day they’ll name a ferry after me? The Bootch.
And everyone can ride The Bootch
to play Tourist in the Big City or go home to
the rest of America after a day of wonders.

I shall do a poetry reading. You can join me.
We’ll have others, strangers get on and off
and I’ll keep talking, reading my poetry,
pretending I still have feeling in my fingers,
that if I wanted to, I could write a poem
about this very box that rises and closes
and carries people up and down
like the ferry across the Mersey from Jersey
to the white tent building on Manhattan’s shore

I shall conspicuously spew these words on the ferry
named after me and anyone who
pays can come along to listen – I promise
I won’t read the old stuff and you won’t be
afraid of the water. Leave that to me.

- By Anthony Buccino
From VOICES ON THE BUS
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
******************

September 16, 2010

SURPRISE

I still surprise you sometimes
by doing things
neither of us thought I would.
You, in particular,
you thought you know
that something I do
without ever thinking
caught you pleasantly
off guard
and
you smiled.
After all these years

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
A love poem.
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 15, 2010

OLD MAN UP THE BLOCK

The old man up the street
died – but I don't know
how long ago or why

In fact, I never shook his hand
or learned his name - or about his
family except that he was alone

The last time I spoke with him
was about a year or so ago
about aluminum siding his house

After the summer and siding
I barely spied him around his home
or back at the Dunkin Donuts

He told me he liked dogs but frowned
- when he mentioned the neighbors -
to say he'd never have one here

The kids in their own way remembered
Him as the man who looked like
Good old President Reagan

The kids, they said he looked
Like Ronald Reagan – like the
President lived up the block

The old man up the street died
he lived in a house just like mine
but with aluminum siding now

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
From Retrieving Labrador Days - Dog tales in prose and verse
******************

September 14, 2010

SHOESTORE WRITER

When I left the shoe store job
after a few months
I got my Saturdays back
And left with a line for the ladies I'd meet
I like your pumps, your stacks, your high heels
It would have been a sure thing
if only I could remember which was which
Because ladies in 1972 never expected
a guy to know the difference in a women’s shoes.

I spent a lot of my shoe store pay
On hot dogs from the cart outside
And bought new record albums and played them
when I dreamed of dancing with hot ladies
in their sparkling shoes and sparking spike heels
And I spied on shoes in the Thom McAn up the block
There on Broadway in Newark
you never knew what you'd find
I never thought I saw too much of interest
Except for the big bum who asked me for change
and figured I had some since I wore a stupid tie
Then the ladies came in, some beauties, really,
in both ways you say that.
Like the Gypsy woman wearing
different color shoes on her feet,
And her gorgeous daughter who took our breath away.

Our shoe stretcher in the back was,
really, you know, a broom handle
No shoe numbers on our shoes
in the window, only on the boxes inside.
You want shoe numbers, go to Thom McAn.

I left my shoe store job to push myself to become a writer
I'd do the Famous Writers class
and support myself with freelance writing
Writing about the wild times I never had before
and become a famous writer myself.
Wandering aimlessly, writing down what comes to mind
I'd hone myself, I'd whet my pen,
I'd learn to write and then
Watch out, world. This mild-mannered writer
is seeking a wild-mannered time
Who knows, maybe some day I'll live in tony Greenwich,
or bohemian Greenwich would be more like it...

- By Anthony Buccino
Adapted from  CANNED - Booted, bumped, down-sized, fired, forced out, hated, hired, jobless, laid off, let go, out of work, out-sourced, pink-slipped, terminated, sacked, unemployed
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
******************

September 13, 2010

QUANTUM LOOP

Can I leap now?
Al, why haven’t I leaped?
Isn’t my work here done?
What does Ziggy say? Al?
Al? Can you hear me, Al?
Why haven’t I leaped?
Didn’t I do what Ziggy
says I should? Al?
I came years ago
and wrote down what I saw,
what I saw before it changed.
And now I scripted aftermath.
Wasn’t all that why I was here, Al?
Can you ask Ziggy for me?

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
A post-Sept. 11 poem.
Quantum Leap
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 12, 2010

SOMETIMES ON THE TRAIN

Sometimes on the train
or wherever,
when you’re reading something,
well, sometimes you don’t
want the ride to end.
Sometimes you want to hear
the chatter of strangers.
Sometimes you just want
to keep on reading
and stay in that magical
world of ink stains
that dried upon some page,
just stay there
on the train.

- By Anthony Buccino
From VOICES ON THE BUS
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 11, 2010

NEW HERE


Those young men joked
in our evacuation drill
about how they’d tear
down the stairs.
They must be new here.
They thought it was funny.
We queued & stepped
carefully down eight flights
& met at our spot
behind the fence
in the parking lot
while behind us
others checked
the closets & the stalls
& these two guys said if
it were a real emergency
they’d be like
that Seinfield
guy and knock the old
& infirm out of the way
‘til they were safely outside.

But these new guys don’t know
when the towers were twice as high
as the skyline & and then they weren’t.
On this side of the river,
we all got out okay that morning

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

September 10, 2010

PEOPLE AT THE RAILING


Seems to be more people
than usual
standing at the railing
staring across the river

Can’t blame them you know
not only a beautiful view
but I know
many of the strangers
who visit here
like me
are looking at the shadow
of things that used to be.

Four years doesn’t make
the sadness go away
or the memory disappear.
We all still see
what used to be,
there, across the river.

As sure as Christmas
comes in December
And Easter in the spring
Every sunny September
we’ll remember that day.

Some might think
it sacrilegious
to carry on, and others
say it’s sacrilege not to.
For all who stare
across the sea, I see
the tall shadows
wash over you

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
Forget-Me-Not
An Unordinary Day
******************

September 9, 2010

A FOLLOWING BLUE BEAM

In my back yard a blue beam
streaks to the sky
and ends at a glowing star

The light starts below the tree line
somewhere distant and fades away
swallowed by the summer night sky

We walk on into the evening
watching uneven sidewalks
and curbs hidden in the dark
eyes on the ground ahead
forgetting completely the beam
for the moment at hand
and then a breeze or something
stirs us to look up again
between the neighbors’ trees
and we see again that light
twelve miles away
lighting someone else’s way
from here to eternity
forever etched in someone’s mind
the heart wound never healed
the motherless child, the childless mother
and others whose heart song
is carried by a following blue
beam streaking into the sky

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
An Unordinary Day
******************

September 8, 2010

RUMOURS OF WAR

RUMOURS OF WAR

Curled on the floor
under my desk
I’m waiting
for the end of the world.

The bell keeps ringing
and we kids lie silent
with dust bunnies
and scraps of paper.

Philomena always whimpers
when we find ourselves
like this.
She’s learned to
whimper softly or fear being
thrown out on the street.
And we all know the street
is no place to be
at the end of the world.

Curling up with eyes
and ears covered
we hear the sounds
of silence wash across
the classroom: A belly rolls
a sniffle sniffs, and our nun
stands bravely at the door.

If Jesus were here would he be
in the doorway with her talking up
Religion grades or snuggled
under the desks with us?


- By Anthony Buccino
From AMERICAN BOY: Pushing Sixty

Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
******************

September 7, 2010

FIXING THE ROOF

Carpenter Street, Belleville, N.J.

Squirrels ate a hole in our roof.
They came and went
in our attic as they pleased.
At night you could hear them
doing the things squirrels do at night.
At first, Dad put a metal plate
over the hole to keep them out.
It didn’t work.
They scampered at will
across the sharp sloped roof
from high branches in the black walnut
and they had all day and night
to chew their way back in.

Now, I had seen Dad repair other people’s roofs
and I figured he’d do ours on a Saturday
wearing a blindfold.
But the reality I didn’t understand
was that the slope was too steep for him
and that now, unnoticed,
he had grown too old for the job,
deciding to leave the ladder
and the shingle bundles
to younger men who reminded him
of himself a long, long time ago,
before I knew him.

- By Anthony Buccino
from SIXTEEN INCHES ON CENTER
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 6, 2010

THE OLD GUYS HATED ME

My gal said
it was because
of my youth
of my health,
of my long life ahead.
I could tell
they hated me
because of my long hair
and their crew cuts,
my carefree hippie ways
and them buried by bills.

Most of them had seen service
in World War II or Korea
and they cheered at world unrest
that might reach my high draft number.

Those old guys hated me more,
if that was even possible, with all
their angst and venom boiling over,
when I was crowned their boss.

- By Anthony Buccino
From CANNED - Booted, bumped, down-sized, fired, forced out, hated, hired, jobless, laid off, let go, out of work, out-sourced, pink-slipped, terminated, sacked, unemployed
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 5, 2010

CURSE OF THE BUTTONS

After David Tucker

I’m going to be late.
I can’t help it you see,
but this shirt I planned to wear
isn’t doing anything good for me.
The sleeves are laughing,
the left and right.
I try to feed each hard round button
through invisible slits
but the front buttons
are fighting hidden holes
as fingers with no feeling
try to press a quarter through a dime slot.

I’m going to be late
And I know it.
There’s no short cut set for me
I’m hoping the next time
I return weary from work
when I toss this shirt
into the laundry bin
that I’ve remembered
not to unbutton
and the buttons stay buttoned
through the wash and rinse
or the next time I head out
these numb fingers
again will delay me.
Curse these shirt buttons
I’m going to be late.

- By Anthony Buccino
From AMERICAN BOY: Pushing Sixty
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
******************

September 4, 2010

INEFFABLE

Meanwhile poets sit in a room
each seeking the ineffable
in the words in their mind
in the images and notions
surrounding them.
Meanwhile your thoughts run up hill
and her thoughts stop at the crossing
and my words are stalled on the railroad track
So without a word or a casual glance
the pens take to paper, the words flowing through,
ink staining in scribbles as thoughts transform
from nothingness to newness

In a room full of women

The business man, oh, a dentist, working on Saturday
in the office across the street, above the Church Street Café
across this one way street
Here in a room full of women
the air is filled with words
words about words and words
that show nothing hidden
behind everything
Listening. Eager. Alert.
Waiting for the magic word
that ah-ha word that
flushes the scalding water
full force with words that
burn and shear away pretense
that holy grail of words
So, do you hear it now, out from
the shadows of nothing
escaping from someplace inside
to that piece of paper.

- By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
******************

September 3, 2010

OUT THE WINDOW

Sitting on this stupid train
in the middle of nowhere
in New Jersey’s steaming swamp
we ask each other
What’s going on?
And everyone’s clueless.

When the speaker crackles
with the conductor’s voice
you’d swear someone started
an engine that’s already running.
Who knows what he said?

If you got a seat, you hunker down
pretend there’s no one else here
to hear you when you snore.

Standing, you gaze at the nape
of someone standing inches from your face.
You see this guy needs a haircut.
or that guy wears cheap cologne.

Look out the grimy window
if you got one with any kind of view.
Ask why is the sky blue?
How high is up?
How much does the earth weigh?
Did they name it Viagra
to rhyme with Niagara?
Why does one snap always break
on a two-snap leather briefcase?
Will this train ever start moving?

When I get to work
I’m going to look for a new job
where I don’t have to take a train
to get stuck in the mucky meadowlands
to look out the window
at those free-flying birds.
I can hear them laughing at me
and I wish I was anywhere else but here.

- By Anthony Buccino
From VOICES ON THE BUS
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

September 2, 2010

PIGEONS

On this walkway, the pigeons are raggedy,
disheveled, dirty and their feathers ruffled.
They are tough,
though.
They need some loving,
I guess.
With all the lunchers
on their power walks,
or sharing looks at my view,
you might
think it’s hard to be alone.
But it’s usually just me
and my thoughts,
and the water and the birds
for most of the hour.
It would be dangerous
for me to live so close to the sea.
I’d spend
all day and all night
watching waves ripple
and crash on the shore.

Can pigeons swim?
You would think
I should know that
having grown up with homers.
But I’ve only seen them
in bird baths.
It’s not the same.

- By Anthony Buccino
From ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
******************

September 1, 2010

MY EYES

I gave you my eyes
So that I might
Have a place to
Lay my weary heart

And this is
How you treat me
As a worthless lowlife

When I go postal
You get the first stamp

- By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

- Variant of WHEN I GO POSTAL; first published in Medusa's Kitchen
in CANNED - Booted, bumped, down-sized, fired, forced out, hated, hired, jobless, laid off, let go, out of work, out-sourced, pink-slipped, terminated, sacked, unemployed
*****************