Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It was where I lived for my first 16 years, the upstairs flat in a two family house in an Italian neighborhood. I can still hear my grandfather shouting from the first floor as I went up the back stairs.

“Chiuda la porta.”

“Chiuda la luce”

A noisy street and smelly with a Goodyear rubber plant on one corner and a cheese processing plant directly across from our house. Yet, a lively and cheerful street with small front gardens and friendly neighbors.

Today, the factories are long closed and empty, along with several of the houses, including ours. The porch roof is gone, the rails sagging. Windows boarded up, concrete where once were hydrangeas, the paint peeling down to bare wood.

It is mid-summer. The air heavy and quiet in this semi-abandoned neighborhood. I return to the car.

sudden shouts–
a man and a woman
their words unclear;
the sidewalk empty
but for shifting litter

Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose, Issue 2, Winter 2009

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010


In memory of Hector Combattente
April 17, 1989 - October 27, 1995

why am I still here?
the old man asks again;
for us, we answer,
to know that the world revolves
and that spring has come again

Monday, April 5, 2010


Heron's Nest, June 2008
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