Sunday, April 30, 2017

"The Editor" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 30

written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/30/2017

In Maryland, Robin Woods was no Robin Hood
robbing goods prolifically from warehouses
or whatever whereabouts,
but how else are you to make a living
with no catered education, given
the ruler at school your future is dimming
a decade later, breaking and entering villain
thieving phones and computer equipment..
stole a car, and 20k worth of gear, he's 26 tops,
next night he's playing pool in comes 6 cops,
a friend turned rat went behind his turned back,
Robin doesn't blame the guy, its every man for himself,
which often means its every man v.s. Everyone else.

Non-violent felony, but had prior convictions too,
given 16 years at Maryland Correctional Institute,
Absolutely overkill, perhaps Draconian,
certainly the worst place they'd ever thrown him in.
Guards beat the inmates with nearly no provoking,
so the next night, revenge was reaped in a riot's stoking
Robert helped incite it, beaten and given a label
“One of the most dangerous men in Maryland” as if he was unstable,
Stuck him in a cell he found a way to escape though,
someone came by with a library cart,
didn't have a need for books or library card,
Robin never even read a children's book, profoundly dense,
He grabbed The Sicilian and autobio of Malcom X
Buried his nose in the books, there was so much to learn,
understood little, but hope rose with each page he turned
He borrowed a dictionary for alienating words,
and gradually grew his vocabulary amassing many terms,
Became a book worm, mental appetite voracious,
but really could you blame him, is it really that outrageous?
It became an escape from the prison's cold grayness
The pages were like portals full of spells and incantations,
spell bound mining between the binding tales unwinding
learning to spell, mind bounded away from the cell's bindings.
He could travel space and time, through countries, cultures, disciplines,
read books by the dozens... then the hundreds that they'd give to him
He bought an encyclopedia, decided to fully read it,
millions of words, morning, afternoon and evening,
One day located a mistake, and hardly could believe it,
in a letter, corrected the editor, Mark Stevens
To his surprise a month later, he got a letter it so pleased him
he opened it so gingerly, he'd practically steamed it,
Mark thanked him, Robin was crazily pleased with it
so developed an epistolary rapport after the meeting,
Friends through many letters, Mark didn't know Robin's crimes,
They moved Robin to a new prison, and said “no books this time”
devastated, Robin immediately went on a hunger strike,
Dropped nearly 80 pounds and Mark decided to write.

Robin explained his pseudo editor job to the commissioner,
That he was obsessed with learning, a great reader and listener,
Impressed with the dedication of this autodidact,
he said, we'll let you off early and you can have your life back
Released after 16 years, at 44 years of age,
no life skills, or decent wage, the bills couldn't be paid,
Robin kept in touch with Mark, his only common social factor
Mark started electing to be Robin's benefactor.
Sent countless dollars over the course of many years,
Finally Robin met with Mark, hugged him and burst out in tears,

They hiked, talked books, saw a play and the Dickinson house,
When Robin drove home he noticed the glass of his window was out,
Robin was robbed in poetic justice and Karmic punishment

And ironically no longer reads to escape the world, he's a part of it.


"Gil From London" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 29

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/30/2017

Karen, I know you're dreaming as I type this,
Funny, you're a dream yourself, you really are terrific
these last there weeks have been exquisite and exciting
Honey, I've been dreaming too of detours while on business...

I'm alighting right now, (to India, I'm flying)
Distracted, second guessing getting a second ticket,
Since my child and wife passed, I've also felt lifeless
Disagreeably you're grieving, but our symmetry so assisted
Unprecedented since the loss, I've found myself smiling,
You're the cause of course, could I repay with paying a visit?

In just a few days I could be in Los Angeles,
You've uniquely understood the pain's heaviness
your tenderness and empathy's innate readiness,
have healed my heart aches and strangely steadied it

and yet you've jump-started its invigorated pace
Sorry we can't easily speak on the phone
work has been hectic,
and yes, the pesky time zones

Don't hold it against me, so long we've longed for embrace,
I'll hold you against me, no longer alone
relish in our presence
before I fly home

Here's a number to contact me through Skype at your will
Honey, let me know your thoughts, I'm sure it'll be magic
Karen, I'm looking forward to it, warmly yours, Gil

p.s. I hope I can reach you in the event that anything happens.




Friday, April 28, 2017

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

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/28/2017

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 so with an hint of exhausted desperation.

I lo---THIS CALL IS FROM A FEDERAL PRISON
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
4/27/2017

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.
Ouch'er 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.
Ain't no question.
Cure yer 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 you...you'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 and labor
YOUR Pappy made it chair with!
Pairs real good with a cigar,
I know, I know,
You'd think it's a holy grail
I'd drink out the holy grail,
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 choruses
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 on me hm?

Savor it.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/26/2017

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?
16!
Yes pretty Miss,
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.
Haha!
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
4/25/2017

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...

Welcome-To-The-Monkey-Paw-House”
by Kurt Vonnegut and W.W. Jacobs
  
Tender-Is-The-Midsummer-Nights-Dream-Catcher”
By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shakespeare and Stephen King

Uncle-Tom-Sawyer's-Cabin”
by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain

War-And-Peace-Of-The-Brave-New-Worlds”
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

Five-Patients-In-A-Balloon”
by Michael Crichton and Jules Verne

Into-The-Call-Of-The-Wild”
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
4/24/2017
Adam went to Philly to play soccer as a pro,
on off-time he'd wander, by overpasses he'd roam
Oft times he'd chat with folks who hadn't had a home
He'd make sandwiches he'd dole out 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
Someone 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, determination impressive,
rarely took a break, looked for breaks in the case connecting

Evidence collecting as 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 an 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 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 once imprisoned for what he'd done
Adam retired his gumshoes and the cleats he carried,

Now he runs Philly food pantries, an homage to fallen Angie.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

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

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/23/2017

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.
Unafraid.

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
4/23/2017

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.


Friday, April 21, 2017

"It Looked Like Fire" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 21

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/21/2017

Ed respectfully attended the Ferguson protest out of curiosity
Appropriate...
everyone was outraged over “what killed the cat”
Things were getting curioser and curioser.
He was immediately enveloped in the waves of sadness.
Drowned in the undertow of the overtones of
anger, pain, mourning at the injustice.
He'd experienced nothing like it and wished he hadn't had to.
More cops showed up.
Robotic riot gear, clockwork synchronization.
Almost inhuman in their actions.
But that's why we were protesting wasn't it?
Inhumanity in cops actions?
Go home”
the riot police chanted.
This is our home”
the protesters reminded them.
Then as if forgetting that this demonstration
was responsible for enough tears shed.
The police start tossing their smoke-billowing
alligator-tear-gas canisters
unforgiving and unforgivable
into the crowd...
Into the family of families.

Robert makes a cameo with his camera,
He's got to get shots for the Dispatch,
There are headlines and deadlines to make!
As he's observing the scene from the sidelines;
the impassioned droves, the cold insectile rows of police,
with shields and helmets that rendered them anthropomorphic beetles.
Robert applies his lens' focuses and struggles with his own focus.

Both Ed and Robert's ears quake
in the wake of a deafening grenade-bang
as yet another gas canister is launched.
A blazing asterisk like a coke- can containing a star
that arches into the crowd with a contrail tail of smog.
It lands with a hiss and a clank at Ed's feet.
Ed jumped back from the shower of sparks.
(it looked like fire)

[Robert's aperture winks]
Ed's adrenaline-twitch grip grabs the canister
[Robert's camera blinks]
Ed dreads the mist, dreads flying, he arcs his arm
[Robert's aperture winks]
Ed tosses the blazing billowing can blindly
[Robert's camera blinks]
Ed is immortalized vaulting the tear gas away from him,
obscenely lit in majestic defiance
his American flag shirt highlighted
by the hot spark of what was meant to disarm him.
He become an immortal visual while wielding
the smokey weapon that was meant to blind him.
Rob misses his deadline,
but hit the perfect moment.
Ed tries to escape,
the window to his rocking car
bashed in by one of the maddened police,
he is handled roughly and arrested eagerly
with sickly vindictive macho excitement.
Robert and Ed,
unwitting collaborators are both dejected
and unbeknownst to them, remarkably successful.
They become a Pulitzer-winning heralded symbol,
replicated as tattoos, murals, t-shirts, art renderings..
more importantly..

replicated as pride, defiance, justice, hope, strength. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Final Exit" (National Poetry Month Poem-A-Day) Day 20

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/20/2017

Are your beloved keepsakes blurring?
Is memory an old friend whose name eludes you,
bungee jumping from a broken neural pathway
unwritten, unrecognized,
unspoken from your drying tongue?

Are the integral characters of your past censored
like a yearbook whose faces are perforated
with wavering, obscuring uncertainty
emphasizing the “no”and “lost” in “nostalgia”?

Is agony colonizing your withering frame,
crippling you coldly, rattling your hollowing bones,
gnarling your spine into a question mark
as if to punctuate “why are we still here?” ?
Is your pain rendering you bedridden
and then festering maliciously in your bedsores?

Are you in an unthinkable state of thoughtlessness?
Is your dignity digging a ditch to decrepitude
with your will-to-live becoming a will-not-live?

Is your self worth attenuating as you balance precariously
on the tight rope of your thinning mortal coil?

Fran will be your exit guide.
She is a midwife of mortality.
No assistance,
just a soothing presence
as you smoothly transition
out of your present state of “living”
with some ounce of dignity intact.

Don your morbid hood,
like a falcon making its last dive
with exhilarating power and grace
(as opposed to the wavering
pathetic flight pattern topography
of your EKG machines'
stale stenographer's
topographical mortal journalism.)

Spread your wings
like so many grim and gaudy
grave-stone gargoyles.

Fran will be your exit guide.
She is not the reaper's secretary.
She won't hold the exit door for you,
or push the elevator button,
but she will be there to watch you leave.
She will wish you well.
She will accept your journey.
She may sing with you
from her own frail crackling
70 year old vocal cords:
River Styx and Headstones may break my bones
but nursing homes may never hurt me”

She's seen thirty or more folks
unmoored to never-more
and has never harbored resentments.

If you wish to terminate
on your own terms.
Fran will be your exit guide.
You can don your hood,
if you wish to meet one who is garbed the same,
with a scythe like a harelip road sign.
Fran will drive with you to the exit ramp.
This is where you get off.
Where out get out.
Get gone.
Get lost.
Belong.
Be loss.
Where you go on if you wish not to go on.

Fran will be your exit guide.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"American Dream" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 19

written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/19/2017

Even in his teen years Clay felt thieving could be fun.
Bonnie//Clyde, John Dillinger, perhaps he could be one,
Mentioned to friends and family he's sure it could be done,
Mom became a victim of her would-be vigilante son,
No Robin hood just a hooded robber,
Clay researched hard in a search bar
to avoid gumshoes like cobblers
and an agenda to give parents agita
A well paid turbine mechanic,
uncanny that he'd catch this bug
to be a pest and hopefully
not candidly caught on camera.
When he stole from Mom she noticed him,
but Moms know their sons and scolded him,
no mask, no gun, no showboating,
Non-violent, he'd take notes with him,
walked in nonchalant wrote on envelopes he'd give
in hopes to keep tellers at ease
only hundreds and fifties please”
Walking out exhilarated,
The American Dream for the adrenaline fiend!
Made a couple grand and fled the scene
with an exceptional scream!
Feeling couldn't be beat, each robbery a lottery win,
ended he spree then ended up confessing to three,
Opting to drop it then drop in to the law to turn himself in,
Clay's got a kid now and wants jail time to begin,
Now that he's over it, just wanting to get it over with
But honestly, solely three heists is hard to believe!
But press him hard and he'll just smile
a lot of people guessed a lot of things.”
He's not gonna give anymore...

and he's not going to take anymore either.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Dear Sheila" (National Poetry Writing Month poem-a-day) Day 18

written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/18/2017

Dear Kevin,
So kind of you to write to me 'round Christmas,
You're a darling of a man, see it's lonely here in prison.
I'm hot-headed, I admit it, if I'm at my wit's end
Get me a wick and my fiery intentions can be wicked.
I've got thick skin...I'd show it to you when you visit.
When the cops came around, they all wanted to bare witness.
I really don't belong here Ken,
I've been longing to hear from you again.
I'm warming up to you, it's nice to have a friend.
I promise I'd never treat you like Michael and Ken.
He was sweet, but frustrating, he was an idiot,
not like you sweetheart, my! Your writing is so brilliant!
See..Ken was a bumbling burden, the bottom of the barrel,
I wrote you a poem enclosed in this note, suppose it is a carol.
I'll be out before long, I'm strong, I'm resilient,
Sooner or later they're going to get over all this silliness,
They treat me like a criminal when all need is support.
I know these prison walls all in all outta be padded I'm sure.
With a little help, this firecracker could snuff her short fuse!
It lights me up and delights me just to know I'm your muse!
I'm amused by your charms Enthused to be on your arm
I'm confused about my barn, I could use you on my farm,
Could you check on my animals I'm alarmed?
I really feel you're helping peel layers from my heart,
Until next time honey,
always warmly,

Sheila Labarre


Monday, April 17, 2017

"One Eyed Joe" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 17

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/17/2017
Mid 1800's, John Frankford from Lancaster,
When it comes to equine crimes, John was a grand master,

Once had words with a warden, awarding, adulating
himself: “I stole all the missing horses in the state” he stated
The Pennsylvanian famous for another reputation,
indicted 25 times, but was too great at escaping,

feasibly the region's Houdini, imprisonment was a joke,
Escape routes easy, routinely he did it alone,
But the Buzzard Boys once busted him out with other folks
The brother's bird-cage trick unchained this jailbird who'd flown.

The county jail finally fed up with Frankford's freedom,
Forged a tough cell for him, opining “that'd surely keep him,”
A tough sell for him, John cut open the bars to leave it
headed to the stuffy cellar, dug through the wall's concrete then-

He Claus-crawled up the jail's chimney seemingly sweeping,
he ascended the flue, the keeper waited with a shooter to greet him
Finally John rises to the top, then Keeper Wise shot him to teach this
misguided guy to stop, his guise a macabre cyclops, in pieces

His eye popped, now he's One Eyed Joe when you meet him
His eyelid dropped (not his crimes in equine law) but they beat him,
This time he's caught, indicted, called max 19 years in Eastern.
Confining lodging, iron bars, a skylight “Eye to God” to see him.

The headlines proposed in this prison Joe met his match,
There's no way he'd slip out, and he didn't that's a fact
When his Daughter Maggie'd visit, he never complained to his credit,
though “ here Life's not your own” is quoted in tones of Joe's depression

Joe there for a decade he's allotted some jobs, one guarding the dogs
Notorious with horses he'd magically manage menageries? not at all
Splitting up a dogfight, they chomped his arm, nearly gnawed it off,
inflicted infected, “get Bacon” they called the Doc, to salve and solve

late one night, Joe's greatest escapist flight: when taken by infection
Maggie, they decide to take the ride to Eastern State to try to get him,
Make the drive to Lancaster to have a proper grave site to respect him..
Strange replies evasive lies when they came by to collect him,

Wait in line, this takes some time” Doctor Bacon cried,
finally when they arrived Doc was on some “pay no mind”
Joe is disemboweled, lacerated vacant chest with a blatant Y
stitches around his crown no brain inside, resembled Frankenstein!

The bruises confusing, the doctor lied to the family,
Then one day Alexander Lipsner, an inmate called Maggie,
Said a sneak to visit Frankford suddenly went badly,
Navigated snow to see Dr. Bacon working madly

On a table was a naked casualty clearly his friend Joe,
Dr. Bacon is casually pulling organs from bodily holes
Brain, heart, entrails, filling a bucket or chilled in the snow,
Lipsner testified: “this could be any inmate you know...”

But Bacon took it in stride like it's behavior we'd all clone,
he's one of many body-snatchers like so many sawbones
Criminal cadaver trash we need practice this solves both!”
When at Uni, you need a corpse..”
(of course prompting throngs of mob droves...)

The case was controversial, more than you might think,
Joe's brain was never recovered so he's elusive as ever,
Picture the famed man whose heavy lid seems a slight wink,

As if the story proves some part of him is free forever...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Dropping Like Flies" (National Poetry Month Poem-a-Day) Day 16

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/16/2017
Hey man,
I got a job I could use you for,
lil breakin' 'n' ennering,
a “heist” if yer feelin' romantic,
think yer might want to consider it...
Yeah,
like a real big opportunity.
Definitely illegal,
but we stand to make at least a couple grand.
Yeah, thousands!
Bring some bags, wear a mask.
It's kinder shady,
people will likely come after us.
I don't see why...
They makin' medicine out it now.
Plants!
Yeah plants.
They say it cures cancer,
have you heard that too?
Mhmm. Controversial stuff.
What? Weed?

No you idiot, Venus Fly Traps!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

"Triassic Park" (National Poetry Month poem-a-day) Day 15

Written by Bruce A. Pandolfo
4/15/2017
Dear superintendent, I hope this package reaches you
I know this may seem crazy but it's something that I need to do
My wife and I eyed the signs “don't take pieces of the trees with you”
Saw others' superstitious letter rolled my eyes “how unbelievable”

Years ago, my wife and I toured the Triassic Park
We were only courting then, it was a unique chance to bond
Scientists, we hiked a bit, chatted, charmed, cast a spark
pocketed “petrified wood” grabbed the rocks, I had her heart

I crafted a ring from the stones to show our timeless bond
proposed shortly afterwards, teary smile and nod, tied the knot
It's vile and odd, ten years we're vexed fearing it mightn't stop,
doesn't sound like science talk, I send this hoping that I'm absolved!

The flight we got for our honeymoon crashed but we survived,
Lucky to be alive, but next? we conceived a surprised,
See my wife and I never wanted kids, our tubes were tied,
inexplicably, conflicted, she contemplated taking juniors' life

The second we saw the sonogram, our second thoughts were snuffed,
Soon as we started saving, our lab closed times were tough,
money was tight, sold the house, late thirties living with parents,
embarrassed we'd soon be parents too... until the miscarriage

The horror of those nights, the weeping and the madness
the brutal sense of guilt, the mourning and the fasting,

Nearly through my Masters when my university went bankrupt
Great..stuck with loans and no degree what a universal hate fuck
with lady luck, luckless, my lady loves being a daily drunk
looked at her finger, wondering “are we part of Karma's pay stub?!”

ever since we took the stones, we never broke so many bones
never stubbed so many toes, never hit so many lows
Never been to so many wakes, never felt so vexed, afraid
incensed, we sense a hex is placed,
our penance paid near every day
we've never caved to bet on faith but just in case
maybe those thieved stones are placebos but anyway..
our conscience bears such heavy weight,
what's sent is encased to set it straight,

we know pilfering the petrified wood is a heinous act,

we paid for that, we're petrified, would you please take and place it back?