cold broth from a box
as the kindness of strangers
don’t come with a stove
All posts for the month December, 2011
cold broth from a box
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 31, 2011
The bell people, they didn’t ring,
They didn’t talk, they didn’t sing.
They didn’t whine, make a kerfluffle,
All they really did was shuffle.
They walked in packs, with footsteps neat,
All you could see was their feet.
They’d walk through town on each Bell Day
Silently shuffling, then away.
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 30, 2011
Always the Sunday morning before Halloween,
when the leaves left on the trees are still the Fall rainbow
of reds, oranges, and yellows, I get the supplies ready
in the back of our powder-blue Ford pickup as
you make our lunch in our small kitchen, and,
after we put on our matching blue windbreakers,
we head to the park.
And each autumn in Nebraska, in a field near a line of trees,
feeling a crisp briskness in the air telling us winter will be here soon,
I fill your mouth with fallen leaves and you lovingly
chew them into mouthfuls of mulch that you
spit into the bag containing other mouthfuls,
you occasionally taking a sip of lemonade
poured from a pitcher my mother gave us
on our 10th wedding anniversary
to keep your mouth moist.
We do this all morning, and then we break for lunch.
I unwrap from tinfoil the simple cheese sandwiches
you’ve made, and smile seeing that you’ve cut off all the crusts
just the way I like them then reach into the lunch bag
and pull out your lunch – the sandwich crusts in a clear baggie,
which you devour after gargling with lemonade.
The afternoon moves on uneventfully.
As the sun begins to set, we gather our things and
slowly head back to our powder-blue Ford each dragging
two bags of mulch behind us that in our weariness
that comes from a full days work out here on the Great Plains
feel like bags of heavy armor if armor could rustle.
I jump into the bed and you hand me a bag and I
dump it all out in the bed and do the same with
the next three bags then spread it evenly across the bed.
We get into the cab, pause, and look at each other
and kiss the way decent god-fearing, Christian folks who’ve
been raised in the lost rural hamlets of Nebraska kiss -
lip-to-lip, mouths closed, definitely no tongue.
I start the truck and you turn around to look
through the window of the cab. I drive very slowly
until the hit the main highway then stop the truck
and ask you “Ready?”
You nod and I floor the gas pedal and
you watch the mulch fly up and out of the bed
all the while screaming with joy, “Brown smoke!
Brown smoke! Brown smoke go all over!…”
and the like until the bed is empty and
you turn around in the cab and begin to cry
and don’t stop until we’re back at our homestead.
We have a simple supper of leftover meatloaf,
mashed potatoes and peas, before you turn in
early for bed bringing a stack of magazines.
I shut all the lights and sit down in the living room
in my recliner sipping whiskey until I open my eyes
and the sound of the birds tells me it’s another day.
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 29, 2011
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 28, 2011
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 27, 2011
“All the previous mornings when I’d milk the cow, I’d grab the udder, give a tug and milk would squirt out into the pail.
“I had no reason to question whether or not the milk was a liquid.
“Then one morning, when I started milking the cow – and I can’t tell you how I knew, but I knew, I just KNEW – when I tugged the udder instead of the milk coming out as a liquid, the milk came out as a spray of gas, came out like this thick cloud of concentrated white steam.
“And yet, somehow to my eyes, the gas appeared to be a liquid and went into the pail just as it did everyday.
“It was at that point that I realized – I KNEW – that I was no longer solid, but a liquid, even though I appeared to be a solid.
“This continued for several more mornings – the milk coming out as a gas, but appearing on the surface to be a liquid – until the fourth morning.
“That morning, I pulled the udder and somehow I knew that things had changed, that the milk that came out wasn’t a gas anymore, but a solid, sort of like very thick soft-serve ice cream.
“Naturally, to my eyes, it appeared to be just milk.
“It was at that point that I realized that I was a gas.”
“So you are a gas now?” asked the doctor.
“Technically, yes. However, to your eyes I will appear as a solid. “
“And I am a gas?”
“And the coffee in this cup?”
“A solid that merely appears to be a liquid.”
“Interesting,” said the doctor, leaning back in this chair then coming forward abruptly after a short pause. “I’d like to do a little experiment that I think will help you greatly with some of the issues you are having. Are you afraid of heights?”
“Good. I want you to open the window and stand out on the ledge.”
“But, we’re three stories up?”
“You don’t intend to fall do you?” the doctor asked rhetorically with a chuckle.
“Well then, it shouldn’t be a problem. Now, I need to get something from another room,” said the doctor. “If you would be so kind as to be standing out on the ledge when I get back.”
After five minutes, during which time the patient dutifully placed himself outside on the narrow ledge, the doctor returned with a fan that he plugged into the wall outlet just under the window.
“How much longer do I have to stay out here? Hey, is that a fan?”
“Yes. Now in a few seconds, I’m going to turn it on and I want you to tell me what the air from the fan is,” said the doctor. “Not what it appears to be to your eyes, but what you, to use your term ‘know’ it really is.”
“But, I know what it will be,” said the patient, “Why didn’t you just ask? The wind from the fan is -”
The patient’s words were drowned out by several loud popping sounds as the doctor turned on the fan, causing blue sparks to fly from the outlet and the lights to flicker in the office until darkness prevailed.
Startled by the suddenness and loudness of the popping noises, the patient lost his balance and fall to his death.
As with most patients of the doctor who meet unfortunate ends, his death was ruled a suicide.
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 26, 2011
Have you seen my cork?
I’m asking cause I’m ill.
I’ve lost my cork and fallen down,
Now all I do is spill.
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 25, 2011
At an early age, I got the notion in my mind
that I wanted to be a different kind of bongo.
I didn’t want to be the kind of bongo you’d
use in a lounge act on a cruise ship doing
Latin music or a cover of “Copacabana.”
If you had a beard and liked to walk out
in the park on a Saturday night and
sit with your friends and play bongos all night -
I wanted to be the last bongo you’d want to take.
The same if you were the kind of man
who needed to go off into the woods
with other men and play drums with them
to somehow realize that you were a man.
If you were that guy – I didn’t want to be your bongo.
It took some work and some persistence.
People said, “You could be spending your time
on more important things.”
But I put in my time – my ten thousand hours.
And many times I wanted to quit, but I got through the dip.
In the end, I made it.
Now you try to play me and see
Go ahead, hit me.
Weren’t expecting that were you?
You get random trombone sounds.
Now you or anyone else with any sense
probably doesn’t want to play a bongo
that makes random trombone sounds.
However, the rules are very different in a nursery.
I don’t have any children myself,
so how was I to know
how very different the rules are in a nursery.
I realize now that, if I had to do it over,
I wouldn’t be a bongo that played
random trombone sounds.
I’d be the kind of bongo
you couldn’t hit and get away with.
For it is always better to be feared
than amused by.
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 24, 2011
each year at the midpoint of summer
the long line of widows in their black veils
would come down from the hill
and walk through our town’s Main Street
and those who had lost husbands that year
would fall in behind them
and from that point on
we would only see these women
once a year
when they came down from the Widows’ House
and each year the day following the midpoint of summer
the long line of orphans in their mismatched clothes and shoes
would come through our town
holding index cards with the names
of children given them by the widows
and they’d call out the names
and the children would fall in behind them
against their will as if by magic
and we’d only see them
once a year
when they came down from the Orphans’ House
and so new widows would gather their children
as the midpoint of summer approached
and leave their homes abandoned in the dead of night
and so children whose newly widowed mothers
would not abandon their homes
but chose to wait and take their place in the line
would run away from their homes in the dead of night
and after years of observing this behavior
and deciding it must be curtailed
the town fathers decided that whenever a father died
the police would handcuff a new widow
to a married woman with a hale and hearty husband
and handcuff each of her children to
a child with a hale and hearty father
and so it was that I was chained to S.
the morning his father fell into a vat
at the factory and managed to prevail
upon him the wisdom of leaving immediately
and this is how I made my escape into the world…
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 23, 2011
learn from them,
can experiment with
[entirely by voice,
what you prefer
in a given situation.
found poem w/ slight erasures, source: Quick Reference Card to Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5
Posted by Tom Busillo on December 22, 2011