Tag Archives: job poems

Black box warning on the bottom of a pen pack

This product is intended for daily use

to write, draw, scribble, scrawl

and put ideas down on paper. It does

not protect against laziness, sloppiness,

and other socially transmitted diseases.


Benefits of daily use may include but

are not limited to improved creativity,

more original originality, a firmer grasp

of daily scheduling, increased productivity,

and mastery of fine motor skills.


Use of this product does not guarantee

these results and the manufacturer in no

way implies that these benefits are typical.



Certain heavy users have exhibited serious

side-effects including irritability, anger,

anxiousness, fatigue, depression, headache,

bloating, muscle aches, balding, nausea,

changes in sexual and gastrointestinal appetites,

carpal tunnel syndrome, thoughts of suicide,

ink stained fingers, cap chewing, blue

tongue, pocket spots and increased

cerebrovascular flow. These symptoms are

typical of engaging intensely in the pursuit

of knowledge and the improvement of one’s

mental faculties and should not be taken

as a sign of misusing the product. If all

symptoms appear simultaneously, stop

using the product immediately and wait

until one or more symptoms disappear

before continuing regular use.


You should not use this product if you

suspect that you are intolerant, lack

a sense of humor, have no imagination

or exhibit symptoms of other psycho/ social dysfunctions.


Please consult a teacher for more information; literally.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

Yard work

 Half an hour now

I have been promising

to join my sons in

building a fort in the corner

of the yard.


This is Gabriel’s last summer

before he turns ten

and the fort is mostly

his idea, and he is

the most committed.


Alex, half his brother’s age,

is the “go-fer”

and when he has

no clear command

directs his attention

to fighting everything

he imagines is approaching

our retreat.


I gather arm length branches

and stack them to the side

to save my plastic rake from breaking.

I curse the ice storms

that crushed my plastic shed

by crashing icy pine hammers

down upon everything.

I want to pick through the debris

but I have mounds of leaves and

grass left from yesterday’s work

to cart away.

I pile it all on my

plastic blue tarp spread open

on my lawn.


My boys arrive to call again

           to join their game.

I show them the mighty dragon

I have slain.

All that’s left of it

are brittle twigs that once

were bones, and crunchy faded

leaves that covered

the beast, I explain.

I show them the orangy

pine needles that used to be

the dragon’s mane,

and pull out pine cones

as evidence of the deadly

teeth that threatened us all.


Alex can’t believe his luck and

stabs at the pile with his stick.

Gabriel knows this is a trick

and that he must now

help move the body.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

Catching kids cutting

     1st of all

       you never read

       so why would you

       ever have a book

       in your hands

       except to hide

       your guilty mug

       from me?

          2nd of all

       you’re holding a

       crossword puzzle

       book which requires

       work which you

       hate and a writing


       which you never

       have so why would

       you be looking

       through that?


now that you have

my attention which

is all you really


what are you doing here?


This is not a rhetorical question.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

colliding into youth

A hundred times a day

     they come at me

exotic particles from

     extra dimensions

from places I can’t imagine

     where the gravity

of a mother’s laughter

     doesn’t exist

in universes

     where there are

no points of light

     no bursting celebrations

against the darkness

     but only constellations

of sorrow and bad choices

     galaxies where black holes

are the safest place to be

     far from a father’s belt

or worse still shielded

     from the background radiation

left by the people

     who lent their

dust to make you


A hundred times a day

     I collide into the antimatter

          Of, whatever…

          Of, so what?

          Of, leave me the fuck alone.

I collide and neutralize

          With, here’s why

          And, because it matters

          And, as long as we are

both real and traveling

in the same space

at the same time

we will be drawn together

because opposites attract

and excite to the point

of explosion.


Just as before time

     there was no other

because we were one,

     now we leave traces

that verify the other’s existence.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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

Sisyphus’s Aide

You call this an opportunity?

It’s more like a post

     behind enemy lines

where I find myself

     running ahead, falling behind

I’m not so sure it’s

     worth the effort or  the time.

What is it that we do,

     me and you?

Seems everyone around here does it too.

I should have checked

     the fine print in the ad, like I been told

“Tired of your Job?

     Find a new career in Rock and Roll.”

© 2008 henry toromoreno