Friday, April 28, 2017

"The Agreement" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 28

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

Danny's mother prays every day.
She prays daily that she will stay healthy.
Danny's mother takes care of herself.
She hopes Danny will have a great
big family party when he turns 50.
Danny talks to his mother on the phone every day.
Between phone calls and prayers,
Danny's mother speaks with
Danny and God equally often
about the same things.
Mothers are the great creators
and they worship their sons.
Despite this,
if you meet Danny's mother,
she will not tell you about him.
She does this to protect herself.

I love you baby”
she says to her son with a hint of exhausted desperation.

That familiar automated response interrupts Danny
with its rigid robotic reminder.
and 15 minutes into their conversation,
the phone clicks off.
Danny can't use the phone for another hour.

But after 10 years you know the drill.
Danny won't be out for a while.
3 hots and a cot, the whole 9.

Danny's in for a crime he didn't commit,
for conspiring with an informant who set him up
in a reverse sting to steal hypothetical drugs
that never existed.
Reverse Sting” they call it.
Who are the real conspirators though?
And thinking of Danny's Mom,
waiting with fleeting hope just to live
another decade to see her son,
who is really getting stung here?
Will they soon be able to sentence you
just for watching a crime show,
On conspiratorial research charges?
Danny's mother thinks only God can judge her son.
In the mean time,
she asks God to help her live long enough
to see her son again.
To let her introduce him proudly,
without fear of instilling hopeless longing

at the very mention of his name.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Pappy" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 27

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

You want to get yer hands on a bottle o' Pappy huh?
More of a statement really i'n't it?
You want to get yer hands on a bottle o' Pappy.
Your lips mor'n likely too.
Out yer mind if ya don't!
Pappy the best bourbon money can buy.
And hell, money can't even buy it most times.
Like a myth or a legend, that stuff.
Comes around only e'ry so offen
like a comet or surprise sex in your married life
pardon me for sayin' so...
More than common firewater..
Put hair on your chest
and a fire in it though
again, ain't no question.
Cure your ailments,
keep ya warm,
put ya to sleep,
douse your problems...
'tho' shit, these days,
Bottle o' Pappy?
Clean out your bank
just as much as your woes
(if you got em.)
And if you're on a huntin' f'Pappy,
lemme tell're in for some heartache pal.
I tell ya..
Hard like a porch chair
with just as much heart n' legacy
as that ol' wood YOUR Pappy made it with.
pairs real good with a cigar,
I know, I know, m'wife always yammerin'
its just some glorified gut-rot”
ain't much for poetry m'self
but somethin' I don't know...
magic about it guess you c'd say
cuts the chill uva cool night breeze
teasing goose-pimples ouch yer skin.
That smell tingles in your nose like
while your pipe blowin' clouds
like my Pappy used to
sit me on his knee
with crickets chirping away
and I traced the stains on his patchy dungarees.
Seems to me there's snapshots
in them shots.
So yeah...
go'wan find yerself a shot at least.
Heard some nut downtown
is sellin' em real cheap
there's a line out the door.
Better go take advantage of the ol' fool
before he wise up about his rebellious streak.
Have one for me hm?
Savor it.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Tiger" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 26

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

Come see Tony the Tiger!
Yes, son just like the one on the cereal box...
Now imagine that 550 pounds!
Incredible isn't he?
Tigers are fierce predators!
Don't get too close ma'am,
he may spray you!
How old is he?
Yes ma'am.
16 Years he's lived in this here
Louisiana gas station.
Putting the pet in petrol.
Go and get your
animal rights activists
taste like chicken”
T-shirts when you're through pumping your gas.
Oh don't cry lil lady!
Oh he's happy as can be.
He gets the best food money can buy
and doe'n't even work for it
like he was built to.
Oh no son,
he's happy here with his poppa Mike.
Ignorance is bliss.
Wild ain't he?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Ex Libris" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 25

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

who could disappear like David Copperfield,
Finders Keepers” seemed to be his Anthem.
The social Sphere of book collectors and dealers'
patience wore Thinner, they were sick of being Prey
and decided it couldn't Carrie on.
So, like SherlockHolmes, they set about to solve It.
Through emails, teamwork and Persuasion
they caught Gilke, something of a Kite Runner,
fishy work kiting checks, they found many of
But this Jailbird experienced no Metamorphosis
from his Crime andPunishment when he was briefly Walden.
It turns out he's a dishonorable
of books he swam miserly in.
With such a collection and obsessive head,
its a wonder he doesn't scramble them all up!
Thinking crazily, taking inventive inventory of his
fabled storage container looking fused liked...

by Kurt Vonnegut and W.W. Jacobs
By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shakespeare and Stephen King

by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain

By Tolstoy, H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley

Doctor-Zhivago-and Mr. Hyde”
by Boris Pasternak and Robert Lewis Stevenson

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea-Wolf”
By Jules Verne and Jack London

The Witches Of PickWick Papers”
by John Updike and Charles Dickens

For Whom The Bell-Jar Tolls”
by Earnest Hemingway and Sylvia Plath

The Time-Line-Machine”
by Michael Crichton and H.G. Wells

Sailing Alone Around The World In 80 Days”
by Joshua Slocum and Jules Verne

To The Lighthouse-Of-Leaves-Of-Grass”
by Virginia Woolf, Mark Z. Danielewski and Walt Whitman

by Michael Crichton and Jules Verne

by Jon Krakauer and Jack London

Monday or Tuesdays with Maurie”
by Virginia Woolf and Mitch Albom

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Angie" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 24

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

Adam went to Philly to play soccer as a pro,
on off-time he'd wander, by the overpasses he'd roam
Oft times he'd chat with folks who hadn't had a home
He'd make sandwiches he'd dole to those he'd get to know

Met a guy Red Colt, professorial, eloquent,
shopping cart of bags, silver tongue of etiquette
Red Colt's girl Angie started up with the expletives
then to Adam's shock, Red Colt up and defended him!

Adam frequented the benches and the bridges,
He'd come to love Red Colt and his ornery missus,
He wished he could help the folks others dismissed
then in March both the vagrants vacated...went missing!

Around July 4th, Homicide Detective Mangold
Discovers a body by the river horrifically mangled
Some one dismantled it to pieces and bagged those,
Hung them from branches an immobile-mobile dangled.

The swamped department couldn't identify the body,
Mangold solves everything, but probably not this homi'
On his desk there's Adam's name and number written,
Adam claims some Angie character may just be the victim.

Detective questions the homeless, disperses cards for business,
but they're defensive 'round the shield, clam up, tacit, timid
Desperate, decidedly relying on Adam's altruism
the rep' he must've mustered to drum up info 'round the bridges

Adam hit the ground running in gumshoes, obsessive,
He called the precinct daily, cops called him Junior Detective
Angie meant a lot to him, his determination impressive,
rarely took a break, looked for breaks in the case connecting

Evidence collecting, he spoke to Angies' exes
Seems she had an place to live, it appeared she never left it
At this point, Adam wasn't about to break into an apartment
So he let the Mangold know and they went to get a warrant.

The city key smashed the door, anticipated horrors,
More bizarre than brutality, Angie was hoarder,
A lawnmower, postage and papers forty years or more
And and odd supplement odor reminiscent of drug stores.
The cops didn't have time to root through the trash,
They left that all to Adam to pursue the truth of Ang
He supposed the corpses' clothes implied she was killed indoors
But the team shrugged it off, said it'd look different of course

Adam felt like he'd made no progress at all,
then a neighbor piped up said she heard a fight through the wall,
Choking and screaming, a domestic, wild, crazy
consistent with the right date on Good Friday,

Adam's suspicion was roused but now Red Colt was suspect,
Caused him ache and unrest, especially cause he loved him.
He found a note among the apartment's unkempt junk mess
confirming Red Colt was the red handed the culprit

They caught Red Colt with his shopping cart full of cash,
Seems a family member died and passed it down to Ang'
Adam can't believe the stark good and evil in man,
Mangold says it'd be unsolved if not for the soccer champ.

Mangold is retired, Angie's cash went to her son,
Red Colt died of cancer after imprisoned for what he'd done
Adam retired his gumshoes and the cleats he carried,
Now he runs Philly food pantries like an homage to fallen Angie.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Pen & Paper" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 23

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

Andy Austin was a regular in court
for over four decades.
She harassed a judge until she could get in there.
Hardly left since.
She's routinely looked mobsters and murderers
right in the eye unflinching.

She's traded smiles casually with
John Wayne Gayce.

She once drew on a woman
and made her look real bad
simply because the lady wouldn't
give an inch for Andy to sit.

Like most people, 
Andy doesn't enjoy being present for murder trials 
(because they're boring.)
Not enough passion, she says.
She's framed dozens of killers, cleptos, and convicts.
Her walls are adorned with pictures
of folks who would make you shudder.

Bit of a sketchy character really.
But then...that's her job,

Chicago Courtroom sketch artist. 

"Finding Sarah and Phillip" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 22

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo

Sarah and Phillip
went for an extended visit with Dad for Fourth of July.
The fireworks weren't all celebratory.
Dad shot off two himself.
Sarah and Phillip's stay was permanent.
They had new rooms, roadside.
Fair amount of acreage.
A tree, a pile of wood
some loose concrete
like incidental headstones.

He couldn't recall what he'd done.
Couldn't recall where he'd done it.
Where he buried he and Terry's babies,
two babes with bullet holes where sweet faces used to be.
He scribbled the police a crude map,
(painfully reminiscent of a child's drawing.)
Careless, crude cartographer of rustic crypts.
He sent himself off on an extended visit of his own
before he could be of much help.
In someways he had done enough.
In others he hadn't.
Terry pleaded with the police, pleaded and pleaded.
But not a one could find her children.
She desperately called upon the public to help her gain some closure.
To bury them with some honor.
To set them somewhere sweet.
To settle her somehow.

In Akron Ohio the call was heard.
Stephanie Dietrich grabbed her
trusty tank of a dog Ricco and started immediately.
After all, she wasn't SHE a citizen? She thought.
She knew the area...she could help, she figured.
It's what any person would do” she knew.

Excavator. Investigator.
Got a little obsessed, Stephanie did.
She researched websites and news stories.
She drove up and down highways for miles.
She dug holes for hours, stippling acres of land fruitlessly.
Took off work (in favor of more pertinent labors).
Referenced maps in some perversion of treasure hunting.
People started to think she owned the properties she scoured.
She and Ricco looked out for one another.
Morbid adventurers. Citizen heroes.

Months and months go by.
Stephanie's attention wavers.
She's never finished anything she started.
Now that she started helping finished people,
she can't let them down.
That's happened enough already.

One day, intuitive Ricco
unleashed as always.
Lays 'neath a tree.
A strangely familiar tree.
Could it be...
So smart,
Stephanie's dog.
Stephanie digs.
One last time.
A small cross.
A plastic bag.
A gasp.
A phone call.
The FBI arrive to unearth
Small siblings bagged like garbage.

Ricco was awarded a bone for finding bones.
Stephanie was given an award that she shrugs off modestly.
Some people are wired that way.
She went back to work.
Terry begins to find closure two years after losing her children.
She calls Stephanie,
The amazing spirit of what we hope people are”
Rightly so.