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josephy trombatore

New Poetry

12:01 a.m.

by Joseph Trombatore

Problem getting to sleep
the last few nights no
thing special on my mind
no final exams dust from
the most recent batch of
layoffs has settled no de
mands from distant rela
tives radio interviews &
readings before a mic are
all but nil void of that fact
let me tell you what is on
my mind Artie was the first
to incorporate a harpsichord
into his swing band he was
comfortable around a stage
back drop certainly enjoyed
beautiful actresses probably
stepped onto a set one day a
period piece with Tyrone &
Loretta or maybe Myrna
before she picked up Asta
from the kennel ready to
growl at clues flashlight
stop watch intrigued with
powdered wigs the tinkling
sound of empty stemware
the way gowns covered
every thing except breasts
lifted up like buds in a rose
garden even if he didn’t think
much about In The Mood or
String of Pearls when the
songs were originally offered
up to him he was the first
on the other hand Glenn
not only snatched up both
songs he carted off the com
poser of the latter as well
cut & print that’s a wrap


Imagine this ad
diction a need
for that first line
just to get started
like a jet rocket
propulsion that
would finally get
The Robinson’s
back to Earth
a brand new
form of poetry
that would shake
the world of
all fire & music

Another Pushcart
nomination while
others still-born
struggling each
expelled line
together from
odd dialogues
with friends
scribbled down
short hand
needle & pin
the first round
ordered & wipe
the lip tip time
threads pulled
into a stitched
crazy quilt
not a normal
conversation not a
sestina or even
that first egg
in the morning
so cool & de
licately cracked
onto the edge
of the skillet
splitting open the
brilliance of yet
another well or
chestrated omelet

2:17 a.m.

Her vocals with Gene
Krupa are classics a
hipster with jive & boo
gie she grabbed the kids
& pulled them by the
be bop nose dive whether
by smoke or needle
she hummed like a fine
tuned instrument Stanley
steam engine sharpened
staccato phrasing labels
large & small she laid
down on turntables &
did every thing but sleep

or The Case of the Half-Eaten Dough-Nut

It was Valen
tine’s Day
Lupita had
brought a box
of doughnuts
into the office

Bit by bit, the
workers hovered
like helicopters
looking for a place
to land
dove skilled bow
& arrow artisans
the prized bulls-eye
claimed & dunked

Late-comers fell
short of the glory
of a 5 a.m. sugar
rush as the box
had been concealed
from those prone to
more than one
sticky finger

I dunked & drank
a beauty down
went about my day
usual working with
screaming feral cats
honky horns
honking marketing
managers with
open windows
in their heads
slicing boxes
counting pencils
telling them all
just how smart
they all wished
they really were

6:11 a.m.

It was in Egypt between
palm tree & desert they
would shave their heads
under moonlight the sounds
of camels sleeping their
slaves scraping away hair
to keep the lice away to
strip their masters from
bad dreams at night the
snapping bones of infants
in the jaws of crocodiles
in the reeds cattails wading
ibises the golden light of
morning where they prayed
to their idols would offer
up incense with blood-stained
hands & dance like demons
as their precious river would
rise above its silken banks

Joseph R. Trombatore is an artist and poet whose work has appeared in: Travois: An Anthology of Texas Poetry, Right Hand Pointing (online), Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, and elsewhere. His poetry collection, Screaming at Adam, was awarded the Wings Press Chapbook Prize in 2007, and one of his poems received the 2011 Larry D. Thomas Poetry Prize (REAL, Regarding Arts & Letters). Other honors include two Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net Anthology nomination. Former Poetry Editor of: The Houston Literary Review (online) and Founder/Publisher of the defunct online journal, Radiant Turnstile, he now resides in San Antonio.

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