On Saving Wall Street

After Nero seized the

     burned flat lands where

          thousands of Romans

     had once lived

          he constructed

     tributes to himself

          that only his wealth

     could fund.


This is where the next

     emperor built the Roman Coliseum.


© 2008 henry toromoreno


for anthony, et al.


“Hold on”,

     I say to him

          and he stops, alarmed.

“We’ve got to report this theft”,

     I yell out loud

          and he gets defensive.

Telling me he hasn’t taken anything,

     I explain

          that someone has stolen

his books,

his pens,

his notes,

                     and everything he needs to learn.

He laughs

     believing I am joking,

          and keeps on

     walking late to class.

Without a pass.

© 2008 henry toromoreno

for fear of copyright infringement

for fear of copyright infringement

i can no longer read

anything that might be good

i know my best ideas are stolen

and the lesser ones are poor imitations

or hateful versions of something

someone else created

imagine how it hurts for me to know

that i must abandon all those

words i’ve tried so hard arranging

i’ve seen so many times the names

of streets and things that once belonged to me

mentioned in the lines I read

that I must therefore close my eyes to see

some novel combination

© 2008 henry toromoreno

name droppings

Emerson would accuse me of blindness

       that I am unable to turn coffee rings

into a concentric metaphor for

       a day spent writing this.

My wife hollers her Corso warnings,

       and she is right that I

should not get caught up

       in these serious engagements —

there are no milkmen any longer

       and there never was any penguin dust.

I’ve been in gloomy New England

       more than half my life now,

and have never had Frost slip

       accidentally through my pen –

though I can’t help look at bent

       birches without thinking of him.

For now it’s enough to know

       that I lived in Amherst and walked

past Emily’s home understanding what she meant

       about that fucking feathered thing.

© 2008 henry toromoreno