I think the piece will be great when it’s complete. However, seeing all that beautiful white space made me wish for a combo mural—half basketball and half Warhol screen print or Pollock splatter painting.
While out walking, I passed this alley, and it sparked my imagination for an entry into a screenplay scene. This won’t go anywhere, but it’s fun to play along.
EXT. ALLEY – DAY
TOM COLLINS, a man in his forties, exits a building, opens the top of a garbage bin and tosses something inside. He closes the lid and sprints down the alley. Moments later, an explosion rocks the area and pieces of the green plastic bin scatter. ANGLE ON Tom’s face as he reaches the end of the alley. He looks back and three SECURITY GUARDS are in pursuit. One bearded guard cuffs his hands over his mouth.
You’ll never get away with this Collins. The human extension formula belongs to Dr. Reddick.
ANGLE ON Tom as he continues running.
Instagram Poem #10
Office Chair at the Curb
An office chair
to the curb.
I hope the worker
Instagram Poem #6
Pay Phone on the Ground
A metal pay phone
splayed on the ground
near my apartment
a relic from the
and no iOS update
Instagram Poem #4
a pair of white slippers
left near a park bench
in downtown Syracuse.
Who owns the shoes
and where did the person
sleep last night?
No answers to be found,
so instead cue Johnny Cash’s
big, beautiful voice singing
“Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”
I looked out my window this morning and saw snow falling, with big flakes covering the windshields of the cars in my apartment building parking lot. It reminded me that snowfall is typical in late March in Syracuse, New York. Here, the official start of spring doesn’t mean the end of winter weather.
Of course everything is different now with coronavirus, but the normalcy of seeing snow falling comforted me. It reminded me that nature goes on, that life goes on. And the silence of the falling snow made me feel safe and secure, even as I remained trapped inside.
Early spring has always been my favorite time of the year, as we put winter behind us here in Central New York. Of course coronavirus means nothing is normal this spring.
However, I am editing a new poetry collection that contains a spring-themed poem that lifted my spirits because it reminded me of happier times. I thought I would share it as we all hope for a return to normalcy.
Best Time of the Year
Lenten fish fries
and the crack
of the bat.
it looks like
But never forget—
a lake-effect blast
can still chase away
the Easter Bunny
and send the Moms
scurrying to their closets
to retrieve sweaters
on Mother’s Day.
On this glorious autumn day—
with bright sunshine, blue skies
and refulgent orange, red and golden leaves
shimmering on the trees—
I am not thinking about
freezing temperatures and lake effect snow.
I know winter will eventually come.
I know we cannot stave off
the inevitable despair that accompanies
the turn of the seasons.
But winter is not here yet.
So I will enjoy this fall weather
while I still have the chance—
while the green grass remains uncovered
and while the warm sunshine lasts,
at least for another day.
©2019 Francis DiClemente
While walking home along East Genesee Street in Syracuse, I encounter a man seated a bus stop located between Phoebe’s restaurant and South Crouse Avenue.
He has long, curly black hair, bronze skin and he’s dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, with a roll of flesh hanging over his waist.
He spots me as I stride toward him on the sidewalk, then flicks his fingers in a “come hither” motion. “Hey buddy, come here, can I ask you a question?”
I cut him off right away. “I don’t have any money,” I say and keep walking.
And I hear him say, the words trailing behind me, “How’d ya know what I was gonna ask you?”
And as I continue walking, I realize he’s right. I feel guilty about not giving him the chance to ask his question. In my defense, he caught me off guard and spooked me with the quick motion of his hands. But I could have stopped, stood at a distance from him and listened to what he had to say.
While taking a walk in my neighborhood in Syracuse yesterday, my eyes turned to a white stucco house with three levels sitting on a block of East Genesee Street.
The architecture seemed out of place for upstate New York, so I transported the structure in my mind to a sun-baked, Southern California setting.
And in the LA film noir projected in my head, I imagined Lauren Bacall or Barbara Stanwyck appearing in the top floor window dressed in a negligee and smoking a cigarette.
The femme fatale drew back the curtains, waved down to me and invited me in for a drink.
I then wanted to push past the establishing shot, swing the camera inside the house and find out the rest of the story.