poetics unleashed: john pinamonti



He stands, then walks in a circle and lies down
His sad eyes filled with the boredom of work

He is no ordinary pooch

No coon hound
Barking at a possum up a tree

No frou frou poodle
Prancing down the sidewalk on a rhinestone lease

No suburban mutt
Contently chewing on a stolen sneaker

No inner city pit bull
Snarling at the world

No, this one is a short-haired, highly-skilled commando
Who can save your life with a sniff
And when you look into his pessimistic eyes
You see that he knows it


Loyal Subject

Riding the 4 train
From Brooklyn to Bowling Green
I read signs
Advertising winter vacations
In the US Virgin Islands

“Get away from the crowd”

“Come in with the tide”

“Stretch a New York minute”

Alexander Hamilton grew up in St. Croix
And just wanted to get the hell out of there

I climb the station stairs
turn and wind
Through the holiday merchants
Find my way to the fence
That encirlces the park

With an ungloved hand
I touch one of the rough posts
Where crowned finials once sat
Before they were lopped off
By a Patriot mob
In defiance of the Empire

Hungry from the cold
I dig into a pocket
Pull out a bill –
It’s a 10 and so I
Cross the street
Glance up Broadway towards Trinity
Then head down Beaver
to feast at Burger King


Originally published:
Issue Thirty-Six
April 2005

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