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April 21, 2017

JOLENE

JOLENE

The year Jolene hit the airwaves
Gene was living high on the hog of love,
laughing into his two palms,
convinced he was no fool, but a clever
thief who stole Fran away from her husband.

In their clandestine car rides,
they sang along with Dolly’s, “Jolene, Jolene,”
all the while singing in parody:
“Oh Gene, Oh Gene, I’m begging
of you please don’t take my Fran.
Don’t take her just because you can.”

Sometimes treasures are empty chests
and what appears a triumph in 1973
down-slides to defeat in '88.
Fran played the game again with someone else.


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April 20, 2017

YOUR ALCHEMIST LOVER

YOUR ALCHEMIST LOVER


blind-sided by the chase,
you took bitter wormwood
on the tongue, swallowed down
bits of iron your lover
vowed he transformed into gold.

now when heart songs should burgeon
like fields of baby’s sweet breath,
no adagios lullaby you to sleep.

tinker man says he’ll mend it all.
an expert of spells,
he’ll nuzzle at your ear,
charm love back into
a ready epilogue.

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HUNGRY MOON


 HUNGRY MOON

Tonight, Saturn runs circles behind the moon. An occultation. That’s what astronomers call it: a planet, in this case, Saturn, hidden behind Earth’s Moon. Planetary fadeout. 
Markitt and I sit gazing from the top window of Boss Whalen’s ziggurat, smack dab in the center of Aldrich City. Being miners, we blink at dusk’s light. Without retino-plates, we’d hardly hold onto vision. We’d stare blind at the night sky. No surprise. We mine the golden quasitell stone on Mars, so many miles underground. Not a glimmer of light anywhere. When we ascend each night from the pits of our labor, we don the plates or burn out our eyes.

This night is special. The second time we’ve witnessed the ringed planet vanish to the dark side of Earth’s Moon. In February 2002, we were still children, long before we joined United Intergalactic Forces, U.I.F., we sat high at the summit of Crowback Hill, oohing and aahing like two lunatics on the loose.

“Ever miss home?” Markitt asks.

“Do quasitell stones come in a variety of colors?” I tell him. We laugh.

Without taking my eyes off the sky, I say how sometimes Earth seems to me a previous lifetime, years I vaguely remember living, how sometimes in dreams I can hear victims screaming, see them writhing in fire.

We got out just in time, Markitt and I, two country cousins, working our earthly bottoms off like moles in the deep dirt. Still, I can’t help but wonder how grand it would be to witness Earth again passing in the sky, doing the Saturn trick of hide-and-seek behind a hungry moon, then looking blue and green again like it did when we were young!

“Look!” says Markitt. “Saturn’s disappeared!” And I think to myself, I hope Mars hangs around for a long long time.

April 19, 2017

A MEMORY POEM on 04/19/2017

REMEMBERING

In youth, I said in my superiority,
“I have forgotten more than you will ever know.”
Pompously I stood so tall on the pedestal
of my own making, arrogant know-it-all
at the ready to make claims beyond the unseen
territory of my life. I stomped through the years,
teeth bared, fist clenched, convinced I would live forever,
the face reflected in the mirror set in stone.
I laughed when Papa said, “We’re machines. We break down.”

Now in my declining years, I beg apologies.
The sure step of younger days is gone. I stumble.
The pedestal was swept away in the torrents
of my life. The mirror is a friend of mine no more.
And the highlight of this old man’s confession?
I have forgotten more than you or I have known.

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(C) 2017 by Salvatore Buttaci

A HAIKU for April 19, 2017

Lonely moon,
Is your reflection
On the lake enough?

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