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We're pleased to bring you some new poems by Tom Pennacchini from New York and a new video poem from Joanna Lilley's collection 'Endlings'


Tom describes himself as "a flaneur from NYC, an actor and a scribbler of words". He has sent us the following poems. Go to our 'Reviews' page for a review of his poetry and where to access it.

Tom continues to flaneur his way around the avenues of steel and neon in the city that never sleeps, to bring us more poems that are gentle, insightful and humane. He's tapping into some memories because the pandemic has made us all think back, reflect and reconsider. 8 fabulous poems recently published by The Fictional Cafe (check them out at and 6 more we are proud to premier for you. 


It's all a bit sketchy don't you know what with the RMS and all. 

Formal education and I didn't work out but I was on my way across the country to fulfill my own peculiar


particular manifest destiny which at the time (at the time)? was a semi - conscious state of befuddled uncertainty laced with a lack of pragmatics that was nothing short of utter ineptitude. 

(Oh essential humor I laugh to myself now at the notion of then going clear across the country to maintain my standards and my continuous quest for success in failure).

We arrived at the train station and said our goodbyes. 

After you left there was a welling and a filling and at the same time a depletion of air. 

I rushed outside after a constricted couple of minutes to tell you something but you were gone.

I was consistently lacking in effort

and all done and said

pretty consistent in afraid.

I do at times wish that I had more of more

than all this less though

but the wish won't make it so

At a certain point, I guess, we got

uncomfortable around each other. 

I'm glad, though, that I said what I said before you went. 

I will add now that I am sorry I made you nervous.

As I think back right at the now of this


I was at a loss


and still am

so I'll leave it

at that. 

it can sometimes does

I am looking out the window with my classical on as I ponder the rigmaroles of existence discussing such with the most fascinating person I know.  

Every time I feel I've made a valid point or observation during my ongoing convo I like to whip off my glasses to add further emphasis while highlighting a point that's been made salient and to add further punctuating resonance landing on a note redolent of conversational flair.  For example as I gaze out I reflect to myself on the virtues of eschewing the virtual for the sake and embracement of tactility and doing the sharp clean whip on eschew.  

When I revelate that the only thing remaining is to become a saint there is a slow whipping on become. Like that.

Happenstance can work well and good sometimes.

Oh sweet exquisiteness, as I lovingly prepare an afternoon aperitif and just now at the ready of the first gentle sip (lord how I love my ceremonies!) the radio crows out "heroes" - Ah yes, aglow and a flow, I duly proceed to an illuminated bask.

The heart of the matter resides in the entire lonesomeness of the venture, and so dream, a much needed break from the prosaic, makes fantasy a much vaunted ally.

So it goes, the garden of eden and myself with menagerie of profound friendships and equipped with a fleet of canines are baying in unison at the rising moon each eve over the waters. 

I think of a bovine at dusk by the side of a country road, looming and ruminating.  Life can be so wonderful!  And indeed the cat never ceases to contribute the phenomenal and to provide blessed insight into all things seriously absurd, a well rounded tutorial in surrealist burlesque,

It welcomes and relieves one from the strangulating  confinements of love and isolation, providing a delightfully futile longing for unencumbered innocence and a bit of air.

So it goes, the gallivanting ambition is to string two good days in a row together.

But for now, synchronicity dovetails to a tee and a thickening

of well and good in the here/now of slow nothing. 



Trees (solidity presenting)

Fluttering leaves

The light kissed plants merry with the wind free and clean

The rain stream glimmering to

a speckled burst of sun

Gentle easy rolling chuckle of

The sighing creek

Uncluttered sea green

Ah read the ripple (and if you hanker success that day, smell the dirt)


The people prevarications (attendant chicanery) digitally respirating goofed on technology / hope's dilution on endless extension


The blank vista

Cloud proclamations and

Twilights gold riddled clarification

That shall permit languishing

Books and songs have been my

Life's blood

But then it is just schmo/mooks mouthing off


The perfect view point

To watch the world go

Tits up

Soak up your/ time / space /

Up to

This eventual farewell / for now /



He would come to the door ever so slow

Deep into dotage and well past prime time

I waited amid discomforts shade

Eager to collect and be on...

I liked the design of my route

All customers were conveniently located next to each except

for one lone house down the street a ways which was a drag on Sunday morning because that was the day I had to stuff all the papers and stack them in a grocery cart instead of the rest of the week's thin editions which were easily fitted into my portable sack and slung over my shoulder for an easy afternoon delivery stroll around the block (Saturday mornings I trucked out my bike and then I would treat myself to breakfast)-

Sweet Bitch Memory

/man oh man...

the frowzy chippy who blurted on

about the doings and going ons of the scotland yard

(what she meant specifically I could never ascertain)

the one who insisted I give change to the tune of a dime

on her 90 cent weekly tab

(my young self indignant at this outlandish chintz)

I henceforth always made an elaborate spectacle of fishing and searching all about myself for her "dime" whenever I collected from her (but always coughing it up eventually - I was a good kid) -

it was the year 1977 (we were there)

I had heard thru the neighborhood vine about her demise and

went up to the white house to collect

He trudged to the door and we made our transaction

both of us looking down until the close of business then

He said to me looking up "my wife died"  and I responded "I know"

He slowly lowers his head backing away just as slowly shutting the door

I do my own slow lower into the realization (vague) that happens (if you're lucky?) that a goodly bit of life consists of pain and fear -- 

so much goddam sadness ...

I stood a moment - left and was

glad to go on and get away

Lo here in the current deep up to the neck of the boo radley years

paid up in full

my bridge burner dues

losing bits piecemeal

/ it's not so vague

I have often sensed the imperative of getting away ... kinda sorta before the reality boom lowers -


and now

I didn't make it

Another Day in Armageddon

The potential is there (here)

To be Infected by

all of it

But Hey!  I'm not sick (the world is)

Yes it's so

(torture and hell resides on two legs)

Realization dawns full on and tardy

Cutting clarity sharp

Works torpor

and necessities grind slapped still 

(its bigger'n money!)

Mine is to


I never could drive proper

due to an excess in shy

Beyond me (way over)

it is

the modernage train 


Goodbye and likewise riddance 


Seize the day (your sick after all)

Books can matter deep

Computers stunt likewise

Good luck dink

My own

I will relish

The ring of brass repose

The opportunity


To call in sick to life

as you've prescribed it

Your relish of standing in line

Uniforms conforming 

I would prefer not to don the mask

(while we're at it why'd you gobble up all the cans of tuna?)

Ashes of surrender

You is yours mine's mine

Fiduciary sanctuary

Good luck in prison

The hard work of hope reaps dirt well you know (why don't you care?) everyone trying to inhale and exhale

and I can't help rubbing my eyes they hurt when I look at you

(But It's tuneful when the brook babbles)

and so


This lofty status

and this gift of repose

Splendiferous indifference

the exhilaration of chopping air

Beautiful futility


A permanent


Saturday’s Child

Given the modern malaise’s dictum that to exist is to be stuffed stuff it is reasonable to desire retreats’ entreaties

Aside  from the more obvious artificial means there can be perhaps a more elevated or at least organic avenue to meander down .  I’m hungry.

Thus I crack open some pages..

oh hell.  It’s been said  that he wasn't steeped in culture and yet his stuff is upper case all the way, encoded in delicate mists of shroud. 

This technical mumbo minutiae numbo stagnates - give me the meat that fills. 

I gasp along hoping against hope for a gut issuance.  Oh my babies cmon, crap the pome that needs the exorcise and that

resonates the empty room... Forget it.   Ah well, ‘The Joker’ comes on the airwaves and sometimes classic rock steps up.  Cat splayed royally recumbent in the corner always giving out

sound concision melodiously relates that effort is a drain/drag but shoot some days I’m a gamer so I per sue:

Fuck it fuck life fuck death fuck school fuck parents fuck families fuck friends and enemies fuck jobs (god knows) and fuck god (the people’s not the mystery - Ahh the catholic ingrained  -  I hope god’s gotta sense of humor) but Hey!  Fuck hope!

Fuck art fuck professional expertise (self-evident in this presentation) fuck fuck but not nature and not animals hey ya gotta have sentiment no? Fuck expectations fuck demands fuck pressures life goes on death goes on longer

Right fucker?


Stuffs got us by the stuff and all this speed has left life in the lurch taking it (any of it) serious is seriously discouraged

Pardon my distraction

My immersion in desolation

Tit-fer-Tat - happiness for holiness

At the current there is not much else known

Diligence comes due

The strive to surrender 

A Good Clean Break

realities routine's are a stone crusher

all of it

the jobs

the relationships

the striving

the failing

the achievements (I'm guessing)

and more begets more

all the do's of you hafeta do

you can get tired beyond exhaustion

tired of your self

your thoughts (if you are inclined to that sort of thing)

and relief is much needed

some quiet 

a long walk 


the middle of


some surcease

the compassion of a dog's eyes 

It’s the best

he was pouring at the happening and usually there is a fair amount of disdain for the enthusiasts 

who like to sidle up to sample the snacks, libations and what have you goodies.

he was a wisp of fair blond - a hippy kid.

he asked me if I would like him to crack my can of brew

I told him that this was not necessary

I looked at some stuff and listened to some other stuff

trying to maintain a bit of elbow room 

while the crowds swirled and yammered

 biding some time before refill and then I went back for another and he 

cracked this one for me and said "cheers"

I drank it down and went for a walk down the street

I did not want to appear to be too gluttonous so I gave it some minutes

when I resurfaced in the crowded room and foraged thru the groups back to my man

he smiled and said "I grabbed this one at the bottom so that its chilled and now it needs to be shotgunned".

I laughed and retorted with double thumbs up

Impressed that this cat accurately assessed my quench and provided a 

responsive and congenial atmosphere in one that can be rather unpleasant and clannish

my man had it

and I salute him for it

the damn hippy dippy 

had it


Overcoming the Unbecoming Reality

no way out

the mirror does not lie and the facts presented

are a sad drag

in my mind's eye I am a nineteen year old roustabout

a roving jack the lad

what... the .. ...

keep on delusory

aspirations an absurdity

maintain the illusory

here's to hoping that the

enveloping sunset (oh hope but you are a cur)

is a gentle one

A Celebration of the Can

I like life

(when it's AutumnWhiskeyHamburgers)

Another cancellation

(a temporary job and

temporary is no lie)

I suspect it is actually a termination

The authorities and administrators

(muckety mucks and shilly shallies)

Are not forthright

About this fact

On my end I feel

A certain... resignation

Well a fair amount of

time has passed

And so .. what?

I have a tendency to say things that the corporate wags don't seem to like

Although when this sort of

thing happens

( as it always does come down to it)

The Wag Muck Shills tend to smile at me and outright

(at this point they DO come forth with it)

Tell me they enjoy my jest and my funny..

(I surmise though that it is not

enuff to keep me on payroll)

I like my free easy leisure time the best though


And so today I have already listened to

the fugs in the morning

And later I shall go to the library and

watch the Greenwich Village story

(maybe i'll even make a pit stop in the home depot

to make pretend that I am a practical and useful sort)

((one finds one's amusements wherever/however))

(((I'll do this while

alla sucka's r at woik)))

Computers make all these diversionary

Escapades so easy ...

Even though they have utterly co-opted

our tin souls and

Reduced our lives

To mechanized rubble robotics


What to do?

If ya can't beat'em

Just walk away - grow your own weeds, forge yer own shards

Beckett said "can't go on I'll go on"

I'll just say fuck it..

Who Are You When You Listen To The Music

Snapping snare and thumping bass

Doomed specimen roiled in a yowl of sound

The Roll of the piano

In the space of in between

About as right as it gets

Just this

Just now

Organ and choral lending themselves to a

Contemplation of the verities

Resonate silence

Secret sounds

Rivers reveries

Slow and easy

Permeated and fine

Turning a phrase to pith

Mishaps advantageous


Childish or deranged

It's all in the gray mix

Played blue felt yellow

If only but then again

The siren of the whistling train

The unforeseen that breaks the cycle

The melodious twittering tweet (bird life not the technological abomination)

It's watchable It's listenable

at times digestible schlock

The chronicler say git to steppin' off your facebook and face a book

May it be a settlement

Perhaps a point of departure

A note sustained that assists you


Bearability in a routine

Comprised of a catalogue of disappointments

The remainder will be regardless it will


on our own

Outside my window

A lone leaf flutters

I tried to call my time mine what was yours like?


how bout knowing naught

A not so gentle kick in the patooty and sent on

I would prefer to need no recourse to your legal so called expertise and that goes for your medical too I repeat

I'd prefer to do without

Perhaps if you had an inkling of Nietzsche or enjoyed a repast with Schopenhauer but no

It's always no

Perhaps if you had spent some time listening to Debussy or the Saints but again nay

For you it's this monotonous focus on that one area that you have ever so diligently given all your time

and effort schooling on so that you can have the privilege and pleasure

of telling others what's what.

What about doing some leisure spending time among the hills the rocks by and by while a glittering river rolls by

What about it sir? What about it madam?

Have you lingered much? Splayed? Let the time envelope you? Before it's inevitable dispatch?

Sir? Madam?

And your listening resolutely lacks unless a colleague of yours speaks

Howsa bout perchance a listen to Lord Buckley? A languor by a Monticelli bouquet?

Remember laughter Remember humor before all this jive irony?

No sir. No madam.

Your arrogance is preposterous

I shall go to get my fill where the going is going in a matter manner befitting of ease and flow

Where the dream arrives at a (for now) full still...