Illustrated poems by John Di Girolamo
It’s a yes.
The best of the best.
The future looks bright.
Looking forward to Good Morning with a Good Night.
Anything can happen and it will.
It can only go right, Jack and Jill.
There’s a hundred reasons why.
A change for the better is nigh.
Is there anything against you can argue with?
Love will win
and if it doesn’t, it’s a porky pie sin.
Birds clamouring outside all treed.
Trees outside full of birds tweeting ’bout something you need.
Obsessive compulsive birds on play-back
playing back their dawn chorus on repeat track.
Only thing for sure is unlikely to happen.
Drum rolls roll to a dead standstill.
Peace of mind is a mind-piece snappin’
with Hitchcock birds gatherin’ over the hill.
Can’t say I want to sleep
though my eye lids are drooping
common sense goes out of the window
when the mad moon is stooping.
I want to see you again and again
avoid you again and again
look for you again and again
ignore you again and again.
If there’s time, let’s waste it.
If there’s a cop out, let’s go for it
If there’s a day to grab, let’s skip it
if there’s an afterlife, let’s do it before.
Orange marmalade buses
in a traffic jam along the portside street
with Vespas and Fiats
and pedestrians on rush-hour feet.
Local fishmongers, displaying crab, carp
and swordfish, set up stall,
while nearby, waterway mermaids
wait outside bladderwrackety doors.
Columbus’ city of cats
cobbled together like cobblestones
curled up on car bonnets
or licking on leftover fishbones.
While in Centrostorico
in a riotous rundown taverna,
a haul of seafarers sink pasta and pesto
vino bianco and Grappa.
Having had a breakfast brioche
and Caffe Americano on Via Garibaldi,
I find myself down by the dock
looking out over the Ligurian Sea;
A compass spinning out of control
and seagulls circling the crow’s nest.
My Aquarian heart, waterladen
with what to do next.
Gevova revisited (or Cagliari)
I live here
in a dinky Genova.
Dinky buses and dinky boats
and dinky matchbox cars.
A destiny turning on a compass
getting dinkier by the minute,
I look over a dinky sea
with little fish trying to swim it.
Don’t get sea-weedy on me
the bladderwrackety blabbermouth says
much to the cormorants glee
and the seagulls who seagully gaze.
Thinking big makes thoughts
brain cell squeeze.
Get a dinky breakfast
down a via Garabaldi street.
I was talking to a friend tonight
about Columbus’ city of cats
and got to thinking about how 30 years is a long time
but went a bit, or dinkily, like that.
Shuffling school shoes through soggy autumn leaves
being told off cos you might get dog shit on them
you wallow in unpunishable sin
cos the hits keep on coming.
Playing kiss chase and British bulldogs
and turning into charging frogs
you go as traffic lights to the fancy dress party feeling embarrassing
in a mum-painted white sheet with circles in red amber and green.
But there’s no going round in circles here
just square roots of how to get out
smudging your squared maths exercise book pages with snot
you dance in the rain with your flowerpot
as heads spin round on a merry go round
and grow up to be supply teachers on a roundabout.
Unfortunately, a lighthouse blackout tomorrow
with ruddy comic hang-ups of yesterday
will shed light on polls today
that old fogeys push upon child prodigies to say:
“It’s a wing and a prayer
now we’re at the top of the stair
with our world ruled by yours
as we walk like our pets on all fours.”
Think don’t think.
Blink don’t blink.
Stay don’t stay.
Leave our dusty hang-ups of yesterday
to get handled and picked up with kid gloves from this ruddy in-tray.
Every moment makes me think of a minute
when any one of them might have changed in sixty seconds.
If I was never good enough, that’s too bad.
If happiness never made it, that’s sad.
Evenings that went pear shaped in a moment.
Days that could have been saved if nights hadn’t left them for dead.
I never said anything I meant
but what I said was from the gut and I meant everything I said.
you earn what you get
and throwing away
your throw away lines
won’t save you
like some self-proclaimed saviour
already in print
in a fish ‘n’ chips newspaper
spouting off, drowning
in free-flowing words
going to towning
they say: ‘serves you right!’
cos you couldn’t
keep your mouth water-tight
facts get fictionalised
in your eyes
and you say ‘really?’
that’s not what I meant
Where is she? Look for her!
Why aren’t you looking for her?
Her bedroom is how she left it
though a crime scene, every millimetre.
Someone knows something.
People don’t just vanish into thin air.
Runaways might. But homebods don’t.
Everybody’s going spare.
Let’s look at it this way.
Her face is on every street.
It only takes a second to recognise her.
Have you seen her? Can we meet?
Showers splatter unfinished sentences
down from hot air word clouds
to a thunderous monotonous boom.
Nothing gets better or worse
as people float
hanging from stringless balloons.
City ring roads go round in vicious circles
and mayhem motorists get nowhere.
Ring a ring a roses school children sing incessantly on repeat
and no one ages beyond the moment the traffic jam stuck them there.
Job applications get sent back automatically
as last in any queue are in front of the first.
Forever ranting rebels and frozen screen visionaries
pin their hopes on a monstrous effigy
that promises change until it inevitably bursts.
Everything to want is at the top of a spiral staircase.
The railings go on and on
and walls have the same font graffiti ‘You’ll get there!’
A metronome clicks out the race to the top
but there’s no winners or losers, to be fair