July 25, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Tony Juliano photo



Gianni Gaudino







I pay rent to my landlord

who went to law school

My landlord whose father

was a banker Whose father owned

a sweat shop Today I’m 26

Everything could go my way

PNC kicked me off

my savings plan saying

I borrow too much of my own

money “Sorry for using

my own money” I tell them

“The idea was some men’s

lightyears away” they say

I sip espresso most mornings

Grocery shopping I buy two apples,

soda, milk, and razors–everyday

my boss gawks my stubbly face

@4pm Rain all day

Afraid to tell ppl how dreary

I think the city is My therapist’s

operator says dial 911–

hard buttons to press

but I do  A cop shows up

I cry on my floor tell him

“I want to die!” snot dangles

from my nose Cop w/ his big

cop boots stands over me

radios to his cop friends

for back up    I roll

into myself the way a roly

poly might when its back

is pressed      I roll

kiss my knees and tell myself

“it’s okay it’s okay”   Three

more cops show up   Holding

nightsticks, punching

each other’s kevlar vests

Using their boots they unravel

my circular body   I cry

harder now   scream how dreary

this city is  My bankers

show up, holding a roll

of paper  My landlord

shows up asks about rent






I am feral actually



Sometimes I just want to eat

the whole jar of peanut butter,


or have sex with a nameless man

against a moist tree, his face an aperture


under the glow of the moon.

I don’t respond well to criticism–


let me walk around with a dirty mouth:

I can only buy so many organic apples


before the lights come on in this cinema,

pulling the drapes from my white shirt


to reveal fangs and a growl. Think of me

as a mirage when you’re parched.


I’ll be the abstract one, letting

my phone ring and ring. I water


your corpse to life and then vanish

like a breeze in the desert. Open all the windows


in your home to this wind; place your hand

on my pulse and your body ricochets.






Gianni Gaudino

Gianni Gaudino is a 7th and 8th grade English teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. His poems appear in Yes, Poetry, Muzzle Magazine, Ovunque Siamo, Whirlwind Poetry, and Philadelphia Stories. He lives is South Philly.

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