After growing up under the shadow of Heppenstall Steel Mill in Pittsburgh, Pa., I have spent much of my life near the sea, including 10 years in the Caribbean, which serves as the setting for my three published mystery novels, Full Body Rub, Looking for Lisa, and Looking for Lauren. On occasion, I've gone back "home," trying to fit into my old neighborhood. It has been alleged that I've had many aliases, none of which I have acknowledged. I am no one else. I now tutor writing at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in Richmond, VA.
Author's Note: STASHU is an amalgam of voices from the Pittsburgh neighborhood where I grew up--unemployed steel workers, disenfranchised immigrants, chronic drunks, the lost. Three previous STASHU chapbooks and one full length collection have been published. These two poems are from the unpublished full length collection, Stashu Kapinski in a Family Way.
CODA: Stashu at the Funeral Parlor
Facing the Door
Noise is everywhere
In walls, in steps,
In doors that never squeak.
I’m at the front
Waitin’ for hours
To pass, the door to open
So I can see wid my own eyes
What everybody’s sayin’—
My brother is layin’ in a small room.
I sit on steps an’ wait some more,
Push down the bag, unscrew
The top an’ take a swig,
The noise is stutterin’, gettin’ louder.
I promise myself not
To drink it all, in case
My brother wants to make a toast.
This ghoul, skin like typin’ paper, fingers
Like winter twigs, cracks the door an’ peeks,
“Got another hour,” he says,
“for the showing.”
What the hell!
This ain’t no movie theater.
I ain’t come to be entertained.
“Is he here?” I ask.
He closes the door on my words.
I hear the lock turn, then click.
©2016 Joseph Lisowski
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