I found you again,
a single image, one among
thousands from that summer when
we could still crowd without a mask.
You stepped out into the August dusk,
a low sun shining through your dress,
the shape of your thighs a sudden intimacy.
I was walking downtown,
like my idol Garry Winogrand
when we fell into step
entering Washington Square.
I turned as if just observing,
glimpsed you in profile,
the breeze tugging back your hair,
the slightest upturn of the mouth,
eyes gleaming. With mirth?
Or was it just the setting sun?
Oh beautiful one,
you knew I was looking at you.
Social distancing has thrown millions of office professionals into the deep end of the working-from-home pool. Many feel like they’re drowning in productivity expectations and guilt. I’m also working from home these days. Unlike most, however, I’ve been doing it for long periods over four decades. Experience has helped me keep my head above water.
But when I started working from home back in the early 1980s — long before the internet, smartphones, social media, and Zoom — I found myself gasping for breath, too.
I had finished grad school in the middle of a nasty recession. Hiring freezes made…
“You are failing us!” How incensed, Greta’s stare down,
our emptiness profound against Greta’s stare down.
Earth and the markets got hot, we all made money.
Not a single cent recompensed Greta’s stare down.
In wanton consumption we beg for extinction.
Our repentant recyclers sensed Greta’s stare down.
Two mean scowlers, the Donald and that girl, except
science not gas pains influenced Greta’s stare down.
God’s human experiment faces the verdict.
Have “its exquisite sins”* silenced Greta’s stare down?
Free market fantasies or New Deal nostalgia,
there she stands, trolled and unconvinced, Greta’s stare down.
My own eyes witnessed the…
The table, la mesa, all geometry
contained within her plane,
she wobbles slightly,
one leg missing its glider
or perhaps it is just worn,
or cut slightly shorter than the others,
a charming albeit irritating flaw.
A grommet pierces her surface
tunneling from above to below,
two universes unaware of each other,
who does not know herself.
- Eugene A. Melino
First published in the catalogue for The Infinite: Arch and Line, the solo show by the artist Anna Carina Sinocchi, June 10, 2019, to January 15, 2020, at the Hamilton Club Gallery, Passaic County Community College in…
And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, 6:4
At seven I was small enough to ride standing up in the van,
Uncle Sonny and my father up front, me still in my party clothes:
white hat, white holsters, tin badge on my chest. One of the good guys.
Sonny drove. He and my father were best friends, wannabe wiseguys
who married a pair of Puerto Rican sisters. Still, they lived up to the wiseguy
style of the Bronx circa ’66: the diamond pinky rings, the high Pompadours
and Sinatra singing about the summer…
The United States has 270 million guns and had 90 mass shooters from 1966 to 2012. [During that same period], no other country has [had] more than 46 million guns or 18 mass shooters.
— The New York Times, Nov. 7, 2017
And they have built the high places of Tophet…to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire.
— Jeremiah 7:31 (KJV)
I carry… says the father interviewed
on the radio as I shave.
He’s come to see his daughter in Las Vegas,
the rifle round that slid up her thigh
and into her belly now snuggles her spine.
Adrift across your eyes’ rare green, my love,
we learned the ways adults diversify love.
Good Muslims should speak truth to their fanatics?
For this Christ got what? Peter left to deny love.
I don’t care why The Donald says I’m fired,
The Beatles tell me money can’t buy me love.
Second amendment gun, American idol.
Our Pilates wash their hands and crucify love.
Babies ourselves, your breasts — untouchable.
We were two teens asleep in a lullabye love.
Gay or straight, ignore the wedding bells.
Neither church nor state can verify love.
Keep your solemn protests. Forget the rich.
I was nursing another cold Peroni at a wobbly table at the Bowery Poetry Club when I first heard Lauren Marie Schmidt read “In Defense of Poetry,” the lead-off poem in her third collection, Filthy Labors. The turn on that free verse sonnet whipped me right out of my boozy stupor. Published this spring by Northwestern University Press, Filthy Labors brings news from the class war front, where Schmidt dared to teach poetry at the Haven House for Homeless Women and Children.
The Long Tail is like the land of misfit toys. And what’s more misfit in America than a poem?
The term was popularized by the book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine.
Anderson explains it in his introduction (Long Tail, 6–7). In 2004 he interviewed Robbie Vann-Adibé, the CEO of a “digital jukebox” company called Ecast. Unlike old-school vending machine companies, Ecast stocked its jukes with digitized music via broadband connections. No records. No CDs. Only bits. Each Ecast juke could carry thousands of songs…
A walk in the park, autumn colored paper leaves swirling
a hint of winter. Mr. owl sleeps away the day, dreaming
mice of summers gone by. The foxtails swing and sway,
the blue jay still sings, my feet are swift, my heart light,
I don’t even count. I am in love with my wife.
What miracle we found each other this late.
Like the last bald eagles, we soar.
Keep this one young, I pray.
She is so lovely. Don’t let time ruin her.
A walk in the park, our soles whispering young lovers,
each step a precious moment, singular as a snowflake,
as beautiful and ephemeral. This is growing old together.