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by Frank De Canio




Pining to Get Bussed     


New Jersey transit’s great for keeping down

blood pressure, if I don’t sit back and frown

at crowded buses that take time to come

so that they render sober senses numb.

As such I walk the 16 blocks to wait

where buses to New York originate

from different access regions to the mouth

of the Lincoln Tunnel for the ride out

of Union City into New York. There,

but 20 minutes later, I repair

my sensibilities for all the cost

of getting The Big Apple’s river crossed.

Intestinally, I still need ‘depends’!

For, as I’m chasing for one, there’re rear ends

of buses telling me to kiss their gas!

Still further, NJ Transit will harass

me when hence forthcoming buses take the fork

in roads to cities other than New York!

Already losing time, I start to cuss,

while waiting ten more minutes for a bus 

that seems preferring the suburban route

to cities where our working folk commute.

And even as my senses start to pall

for New York City streets that start with Wall

or Times Square where the yearly ending ball

drops, or Radio City Music Hall,

I see a bus enroute to Mill Creek Mall!




a line, (a short blue one)



Bedside Manner


It wasn’t just enough to lecture me

on the fluidity of gender roles,

while I lay bedbound in your custody.

You got me understanding the controls

society exerts on our lives,

as if I needed guidance to persuade 

me of your agency.  Forget the drives

endemic to us all. Your fusillade 

of mandates advocating woman’s right

to fluid gender styles was a prepared

confession I was ill-disposed to slight

before a young physician who had fared

so well in life. And seeing me assent

to your imposing ear, you waxed content. 




a line, (a short blue one)



Beseech God  


But when you pray don’t do as heathens do,

and wish harm comes to those who’ve done you ill.

Accept the fact they know what’s best for you,

and bear their scourge as if it were God’s will.

Nor selfishly deprive them of the same

beneficence that they deem fit and just.

But lest you be accused of pride, or claim

a place above your peers, bequeath it thus

to all who think their strategies are fair.

Petition Heaven that such precious fruits

be properly dispersed to those who care

for justice. Tout the beneficial roots

of all the tactics that good men condemn.   

Then pray they favor those supporting them.  




a line, (a short blue one)



Opera Comique  


I helped Pierre defend himself last week!

I’d never let some bum get off and speak

the way this bully did, about to tweak

Pierre’s beard. “Are you a man or a geek!”

I challenged Pierre, goading him to wreak

vengeance and to tone down his yellow streak.

It worked. For the lout didn’t even squeak

when, “Slam! Wham! Bam!” You should have seen the meek

Pierre turn black and blue without a shriek

as the lout unloaded with a unique

blend of punches from his brawny physique

that made Pierre’s legs crumble like antique

furniture. Of course the roughneck would sneak

away before cops arrived on the bleak

scene. But brave Pierre turned the other cheek,

preferring to consider my critique

that praised the failsafe falls of his technique

in weathering the beating of that freak.

In due course I would dutifully seek

an ambulance. For he was up shit’s creek.

But why did he just lie there with such pique?


a line, (a blue one)


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