May 9, 2017

Three Poems by Joe Gianotti: "Beans and rice for Lunch", "Daedulus, Cunning Worker", and "Clothespin"

Joe Gianotti grew up in Whiting, Indiana, an industrial city five minutes from Chicago. He currently teaches English at Lowell High School. He is a proud contributor to Volume II of "This is Poetry: The Midwest Poets." Among other poets, he represented Northwest Indiana in the 2014 Five Corners Poetry Readings. His work has been published in Blotterature, The Chaffey Review, Folly, Mouse Tales, Steam Ticket: A Third Coast Review, This, Yes Poetry, and other places. You can follow him on Twitter at @jgianotti10.

Beans and Rice for Lunch

On our rainy May day
in Aurora, Illinois,
a single protestor
misquoted the Bible
through his bullhorn.
He held terrible white signs
with dreadful red lies
and awful black pictures.
In stride, I put my left arm
around your shoulders
and curved your body into mine,
a wicker shield
to defend your steely self.
You craned your neck
and shouted incendiaries
at the small, bald man,
whose eyes glittered and grew larger
while the rain smeared his glasses.
Your words fell around him,
fomented him, angered him.
We escaped his singular gamut,
and in the end,
it took more time to create
than it did to uncreate.
We left Aurora
and its lonely protestor,
drove down the highway,
and ate beans and rice for lunch.

Daedulus, Cunning Worker

In your old age,
you’ve replaced your
venomous vocabulary
with spiteful silences.
Or you gruffly force me
to repeat the pieces of my life
that you deem distasteful
as you feign forgetfulness.
You seem to shed loose
all of the ways in which I disappoint you,
like a snake molts its skin,
rubbing your head
against rock until
I let go,
and you crawl away
from your former self,
turning your old skin
inside out,
even leaving your brille behind.

But, Daedulus got trapped
in his own labyrinth
while Theseus escaped
with a skein of thread.


She never owned a dryer.
Two pieces of notched wood
held together by a coil, a fulcrum
that bucked the 20th century.
Perfect little inventions
that neither Einstein nor Edison,
nuclear energy nor the internet,
could ever improve.
She carried her bucket
in the backyard
during summer and fall,
in the basement
during winter and spring.
She fastened the wash
to her wire lines.
The laundress with her tools.
The artist with her brushes.

© Joe Gianotti

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