July 20, 2021

“Incompletist,” Poetry by Tom Pennacchini

“Incompletist,” Poetry by Tom Pennacchini
Incompletist 
 
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 
and 
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 
now 
 
I was at a loss 
then 
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. 



Read 
 
Read 
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) 
Read 
The people prevarications (attendant chicanery) digitally respirating goofed on technology / hope's dilution on endless extension 
Read 
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 
Read 
The perfect view point 
To watch the world go 
Tits up 
 
Soak up your/ time / space / 
Up to 
This eventual farewell / for now / 
Read 


 
Newsie 
 
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 - 
 
There/then 
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 
Maintain 
I never could drive proper 
due to an excess in shy 
Beyond me (way over) 
it is 
the modernage train  
passing  
Goodbye and likewise riddance  
 
Right!  
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 
(Grand) 
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 
Maintain 
This lofty status 
and this gift of repose 
Splendiferous indifference 
the exhilaration of chopping air 
Beautiful futility 
(Grand) 
 
A permanent 
Hiatus 
 
 

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? 
Fuck 
 
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  
to  
the middle of 
nowhere 
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 
 
kindness 
 

***

Tom Pennacchini is a flaneur living in NYC.  Has had stuff published at The Free Poet, Mojave Heart ReviewJalmurra, The Scarlet Leaf, Poems for AllFree Lit Magazine, Backchannels, Loud Coffee Press and Mason Street Journal

Fictional Cafe
#armageddon#incompletist#poetry#tom pennacchini
2 comments
  • Jean Teschner says:

    Thank you Fictional Cafe! Mr. Pennacchini has a singular and sui generis voice that needs to be heard. Very exciting and inspiring…I look forward to more.

    • Mike Mavilia Rochester says:

      Thanks for reading, Jean! We really enjoyed Tom’ poetry and hope to see more here at the Café.

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