July 9, 2022



You would think this is a safe place

A refuge with beer and extra-cheese pizza

A place to forget about the question 

‘Am I dead inside?’

But after the tray is empty 

And the glass partly wet 

But mostly dry

In comes the old veterinarian

I recognize him, seen him here 

In the Town Pub before;

His office up the street.

I remember Butch, the first dog 

I as an adult had to put to sleep

And, Libby, of course, the same thing

And my still not knowing how to halt the tears

And Stormi who died before she got to his office

And I see the dogs – like on a TV in my head

And I wonder who they play with

On the other side of the light?

From AMERICAN BOY: Pushing Sixty

Copyright © 2010-2022 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

July 11, 2018

PRETZELS (Jersey City style)

Everybody’s got three names
and I can’t even remember one of yours.
Hey, kid, get away from that water,
 you don’t know where it’s been!

I’ve seen the hard-hats pass off
the rest of a half-eaten sandwich
to a homeless man on a bench.

I bought a pretzel once from a vendor here.
It was hard and stale
and seemed to have been cooked over damp cigarette butts.

I walked along breaking rock hard crusts
into crumbs of sorts that dripped to the ground
for pigeons and gulls to eat and follow me home.
If not homing pigeons – homeless pigeons?

After that pretzel, I wouldn’t buy a hard-boiled egg
from the afternoon vendor.
I think my personal papers should stoke the fire
under those pretzels – couldn’t be worse
and all you’ll have are the published works,
 no more, no less, no muss, no fuss,
no birds following you home
wondering what’s for supper?

 - By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010-2018 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. J. Owen Grundy Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.


Queue, people,
Queue to the right!
If you stand still
Queue to the right to go along for the ride
Queue people
TOURISTS (I say this with disdain)
TOURISTS (You cause me pain where the sun don’t shine!)
Queue to the right get out of my way!

Smarty Marty went to the party!
Me and little Billie have to go to work today.
Bye bye, Nicky, Bill, Christine, Will, Nick,
Jen Michelle, Hollister, Eric, Barnini,
can’t blame you for going
things might be better somewhere else
but I say bye-bye Jacquie, Gaston, A.J.,
Cynthia, Kathy, Deb, Kara.
I admit I shall miss seeing you
on my way from day to day.

The new people, I stopped learning their names
Don’t matter anymore, Jeeze,
 it seems like they leave
just as I start figuring who’s who.

- By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010-2018 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. J. Owen Grundy Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.

January 31, 2016


Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

I’m wondering did she say meet her at Saks?
Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

I can’t spot her at all in the dresses or slacks
Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

She would look good in the reds, blues and blacks
Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

She gets so mad I don’t listen, then she attacks
Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

She would never go camping, rain or shine, in plastic macs
Roaming the aisles of TJ Maxx

It’s been a while since she said to wait here, or was it Saks?

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

January 24, 2015

Fingernails ... scratch ... the ... paper

Fingernails scratch the paper,
They point at a blank page.
A voice says, "Write something!"
So, he writes: "Fingernails
scratch the paper,
They point to a blank page."


© 1974-2018 by Anthony Buccino.
First published in DAYS YOU KNEW ME.
Written overlooking the baseball fields in Brookdale Park, Montclair/Bloomfield, N.J.

July 22, 2012


They are meant to be longed for
A shining light ahead,
a tall tale with no truth
A simple wish for things that were

They are meant to spark feelings
Simmer emotions, and sympathies,
or stored in a box
Inside a lonely mind

Left to rattle precariously
In less than copacetic
syncopation or sickie
Tiki tave sound alikes

-- Copyright © 2010-2012 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

February 8, 2012

Bug Juice

Cowboys, Indians, horses, sailors, blue marines
and soldiers from almost every war
packed my toy box tins and cardboard boxes
in the bedroom I shared and living room too.
Courtesy IPFinance blog

On the open Singer was the ranch, high in the mountain
where I’d set up all the horses and block them in,
using rows of spools of Mom’s colorful thread.
I’d post a lookout or two at the top of the round disk spinner
and another lookout atop the spout where the needle jigged
its thread through the hole to the hidden spool.

My favorite cowboys sat nearby in a circle telling tales
around a fire by the chuck wagon and oh, so slowly,
I brought on either the Indians or rustlers
over the drawer handles to sneak up and swipe stallions.

A snapped twig would set the stage for the big fight,
a free-for-all where the rustlers would fall,
my favorite cowboys winged
and afterward, as the last of the bad guys ran off
or were stacked in a pile of dead-for-now,
my guys, the heroes, returned to the campfire
for black coffee, hard tack and tall tales.

When I first went camping
with the Boy Scouts
out in the far reaches
of Wildcat Lake in Blairstown
where mosquitos drowned in our drinks,
I half expected bad guys of some sort
to rush down from the mountain top
and we’d use our kerchiefs
and scout knives to fend them off
and save our bug juice.

- By Anthony Buccino
First published in Poetry Quarterly Winter 2010
Included in AMERICAN BOY: Pushing Sixty
This version varies from earlier editions

Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

November 11, 2011


Where does she get those names
the names she reads every Sunday
when we are in church
you know, right after we pray for the sick
and we pray for those church members who have died
and for those in the room having tough times
and for the families we know
and their soldiers off at war.

Where does he get those names
the names of the week’s fallen
on two fronts of the war
their ages from the teens to fifties or so
and those names, some so hard to pronounce
where does she get those names
and when will the list stop?

-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
Honor the Fallen
Faces of the Fallen