John L. Stanizzi
Three more poems from Hallelujah Time -- Volume II. As I looked at the poems I sent to Firestone this time, it dawned on me that they read rather like "the making of an adolescent knucklehead!" My guess is -- my hope is -- that more than one of my fellow poets here in the Verse-Virtual community will be able to relate to this kind dopey behavior. Boy, those ages between 12 and 17 can be more than a little tricky. Steal a brand new shipment of hooded sweatshirts and then sell them at school??? Doh!!
East Hartford, Connecticut
I threw bricks at the windows of the school,
and I stole a plastic skeleton from
the Prospect Drug just before Halloween.
I started smoking Kents when I was 12,
and when the Scout leaders had trusted me
to sort the uniforms in the basement
I thought it would be a good idea to
dress up like a Girl Scout and make Greg laugh.
Of course I got caught in my skirt and blouse
by Father Shanley, who called me a snake.
They finally tossed me out in the eighth grade.
The vibrations of the Beach Boys were good,
but years would pass before I really knew
what the positive ones were all about.
Roots, Rock, Reggae
Four story walk-up made of painted wood,
drippy brown wood without any gutters,
no back door; just a cut out opening.
I’d make it to that opening each time,
a little muzzy, panting heavily,
deciding on the run which way to go —
downstairs to the oily, fusty cellar,
where cells of the private junk of tenants
lined one wall, and the chuffing furnace-beast
sat heavily on the other, its heart
a flaming square of hotter than hot fire,
or upstairs, where my aunt would be on guard
with a pot of boiling water to toss,
raining on the tough boys who chased me home.
for Hank Giardi
East Hartford High School
We were just leaving football practice when
the delivery truck pulled up to the gym.
The driver casually said I got
some boxes. I’ll leave ‘em in the office.
They were cartons full of hooded sweatshirts,
Hornets logo emblazoned on the front.
Billy pulled up his dad’s station wagon,
a big Chevy, and we loaded the shirts,
thinking of how much we’d make selling them.
The next day just before Period 1,
Coach announced he wanted to see us Now!
He sat us down near his gray metal desk
and said, Sell the sweatshirts?! You idiots!
Get them back here right now and get to class,
the vague shine of a twinkle in his eyes.
©2016 John L. Stanizzi
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