Nothing Rhymes with Orange: A Poem

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

 

The Corn Hill streets are

Orange with leaves as

Orange sirens whizz by, the sound of

O R A N G E

Ringing in my ears, cigarette smoke rolls from the

Dark porch next door, an

Orange ember barking in October’s northern

Orange wind. Nothing rhymes with

Orange in the fall.

 

But it’s all around anyhow.

Watching Instead: A Poem

Watching Instead

Every day on my way to work I drive by the same house near the corner of Culver and Main

There’s always a woman there with her three kids, loading them onto the bus.

Sometimes she’s drinking coffee or smoking

But she always looks like the weight of the world has been placed on her shoulders

And her sole job in life is to figure out a way to get it off.

I look at her every time and now she’s become familiar and I expect her.

She’s a birthday card from a long distant aunt.

Recently I drove by, and she was out there, in the same way

Except she had been beaten very badly about her face.

Her kids were there, getting on the bus, and her face was there too, swollen in different colors.

I was instantly incensed and I went to work that day and discussed Employee Assistance Programs.

The director of the program showed a statistic about how many people have been helped

It was broken down by category or the reason they called

Financial Trouble – 13

Employee Relationship – 29

Student Loan – 7

Professional Advice – 5

I stared at all the categories and their numbers until I saw

Domestic Violence – 0

Everyone needs to do more than help women and men who suffer from domestic violence and

Everyone in the room agreed, and later, because of my advocacy, I got a raise.

Imagine that: I got a raise for someone else taking the brunt of their loved one’s fists.

I’ll drive by with my extra $25 a week and stare at the black, blue, red, yellow, and purple

Bruises of this city

And just keep driving

With my eyes focused just in front of the hood of my truck

Intent on helping but

Joining the rest of the crowd

And watching instead.

Real Life Romeo and Juliet

Years ago, around the same time that Anna Nicole Smith passed away, there was an incredible finding not too far from where Romeo and Juliet takes place in the famous Shakespeare play. It didn’t receive much media attention but I thought it was the most fantastic story I had ever heard.

It should serve as a beacon for the love we have for our wife, husband, children, mother, father, brothers, sisters, and family. But instead it was buried among the rubbish of American TV.

Here’s the story according to Time Magazine.

I’m putting together a chapbook of poetry for future publication and was going through some poetry I had written and found this.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day, I guess.

 

Six Thousand Year Old Love

 Six thousand year old love, four thousand four hundred and one years previous to Romeo and Juliet, and twenty-five miles south.  Mantua has become the new Verona.  What would England’s finest and most famous writer think now?

What would he say?

Absent of literary geniuses that Monday, Menotti was the only one there, pawing daintily through rich soil.  She did her best to illuminate love doomed to death, uncovering from raw brown earth, these lovers of Mantua.

Three days later Anna died.

She passed over through orgies of demons to join Romeo and Juliet, Billy, her son, and

American Tragedy.

Six thousand year old news is surely not news. Just ask CNN and MSNBC.  The story of love buried under tabloids and tabloids of stone, dirt, and volcanic dust is not new.

It is ancient.

They are the new, ancient, star-crossed lovers, and not Lindsay Lohan.  They are not Anna.  So they are not news.  They are Shakespeare’s fleshless reincarnations of tragedy,

the world’s oldest and greatest love story.  But old lovers are old news.  Besides, what would America want with a six thousand year old love?  That is not news.  And it is not American Tragedy.

So this beatific Neolithic love will be dug, shipped, and encased.  And new star-crossed lovers of Verona, will drive down

the Autostrada del Brennero,

past Dossobuono,

through Alpo,

past Isolalta, Salette, and Ghisiolo,

and take the Legnago to Mantua.

They’ll go into a sterile museum, and marvel at the longest love in recorded history, emulating the bony proof that love is eternal.

Some will mourn Anna.  Some will buy chocolate flavored roses with white gold and diamond stems for Valentine’s Day.  And some will forget love exists, as chocolates turns to fat, roses wither and die, and diamonds turn to blood.

That is American Tragedy;

The Real American Tragedy.

 

Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.

He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband

Or on Facebook, of course.

Old Man Woods

I found some old poems a few days ago in a folder I haven’t opened in years. Admittedly some of it was pretty cruddy, mostly just the frantic scrawls of a young man enamored with Jack Kerouac. But one poem grabbed my attention in particular and I remembered that it had been published, although now I can’t remember where. It’s a poem about an old man I used to bring soup to as a boy. He had a wonderful house on Lake Ontario and a little puppy and I could fish there off his docks and catch great big perch and rock bass. My grandmother owned a restaurant about a mile away in Henderson Harbor and she and my mother would ask me to deliver some soup for him on occasion. I grew fond of him as he seemed like a lonely dote.

He was a quiet, white haired old man that could reach petulant peaks in an instant and remain unfettered for a time after, a time that I usually retired to the front yard with the puppy to play a while or walk down to the shore into the eerie old boathouse and look around, hoping to find a lost archaic treasure.

I have no clue what happened to him, how long ago he died, or if he moved long before that. But sometime in college I remembered him, remembered his loneliness, remembered his house, and remembered, for right or wrong, a tiny scene that leaked out onto paper.

Old Man Woods

Crazy

Old man

Woody-

Kept

His

Dirty

Magazines

In the same

Cabinet

As his

Whiskey

So

He never

Had to

Go far

For

Pleasure.

 

“That

Gaddam

Vietnam War

Had me

Hooked

On opium

For

Years.

Now

I

Can’t think

For

Nothing.”

 

Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.

He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband

Or on Facebook, of course.