Archive for October 9th, 2014


jaison cianelli




after the baby was burned


hot tea

scalding fresh flesh

the call from the hospital

the panic

the deep breathing

trying to calm the fears

the breaking voice


twelve days

in the burn unit


my happy baby

who has suffered so much

in his one year


the big baby turning purple

unable to pass my bride’s

small hips


the nurses panicking


the baby two weeks old

burning up

the poke and prod

the iv

the spinal tap


and now

still smiling weakly


when he comes home

there is the sudden leak

in the bathroom pipes

which is going to cost

more than we have

or can cough up

our cards maxed

plus it’s the weekend

so even if we can find a plumber

who has a plan

or a high interest loan

from the bankers

we have two more days

with no running water

and people who need to drink

and poop

and shower


and i

the father


the father


once again

torn between

despair and rage

and love


i leave


to drop my maria

who is eleventeen

at the tribal rites

because she

is part of a mob flash

or something

at halftime


she talks

all the way to the game


but so preoccupied with grief

over the baby

and the plumbing apocalypse

and the fight with the eldest son

i do not make plans

for picking her up


she is so happy

and alive

and beautiful


i just forgot


i watch her walk off

into the crowd

of strangers

me basking in her fire


not thinking


driving away i realize

i am

the stupidest father ever


i figure she is with her friends

she will use their phones

to call

or she will see her brother

and he will take her home


at ten thirty

when the phone does not ring and does not ring

fighting the angst

the stupidest father ever

drives to the stadium

big enough to hold the whole town

in this football crazy place

there are thousands of people

heading out


hundreds remain


he parks his car


feels her presence

by the main gate

ignores it

and begins

a more systematic search

past the marching band

and milling sports writers

and old guys in high school colors

orange and black

into the stadium

all but deserted

then out and back

to the main gate


and there she is


talking to kids


her face smudged

with tiger stripes

this girl with eyes

of nameless colors


this girl who finishes my sentences

and knows my thoughts

and says the same word

at the same time i do

the girl with seven brothers


the stupidest father ever

hugs his girl

teary eyed

though she

does not see

in the half light


we turn to

head home



my bride


whose eyes say we must talk


tells me we need to fill the five gallon jug

because we don’t want to turn the water on

and make the leak worse

the wood already wet

and ready to rot


near midnight


to the 24 hour laundromat

to get change for the water machine


there is one soul

in the florescent light

and the hum


a company  truck



he is playing pinball

in the corner


in the steel ball

and the motion

nudging the machine


he never sees me

even when the coins

come clinking down


home again

after the shuffle

of reentry


always jarring







when everyone is sleeping



to the capitalist paradise


i mean the paradise for capitalists


thirty years working

nothing to show

financial plan

eventual bankruptcy

punch in the nose

after punch in the soul

while maintaining





earlier today

driving home from work

heavy sky


but low sun shining

horizontal rays

drenching ohio

with golden light

a transfiguration

in soy

and corn

and leaf

beneath the brooding sky


breathing deep


taking it in

with russian hymnody


in the air





not ready for the chaos

but prepared


for the utter incomprehensibility of god


and all things



Painting by Jaison Cianelli


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