Five by


Thomas Fucaloro





Seeing Spiders



My mother’s been seeing spiders,

creep-crawling in the shadows of her brain

project onto what the window frames


My partner and I have moved into a new space

there are spiders everywhere, sometimes we let them live

sometimes they revert back to the shadows of our brains


I believe in energy, I believe whomever gave you life,

spins parallels, meeting when apart, I find my mania

when my mother is not around finding her suffering


I believe neurological webs bind us to the wall

collecting pray, spitting prey, my mother’s brain

is the silk spinnereted thread through mine


I didn’t catch it from her, I was caught by her

and have always tried to detach that thread

into corduroy


I have been seeing spiders in the mirror

splitting the brain, the shadows on the floor

project onto my window frames


But my partner and I have moved into a new space

This is how I burn bridges

And spin them anew






Laying on the edge of the bed



I find another thing I am trying

to escape from whether healthy

or not, I like to disappear and

reappear on the edge of some-

thing else, something truer

than silk. Perhaps polyester.






For those who talk without a pause button



The rabbit hole becomes filled

with dead-rabbit-conspiracies


I understand triggers


But I also understand triggers

tend to trigger

the listener sometimes


So, when you ask me

with a mouthful of

carrots, “What do you think?”


I can only stand there, pulling

out my eyelashes, one tooth

at a time






ode to the obeisance



Staring into me like rain


Filling and delicious and delicate and deadly


Art is a jelly filled doughnut


When you take a bite, it seeps out the sides


This is a beauty filled moment


You give it such categories to soften the blow


Because it’s really a bad back, it’s a bad day


Its anger filled with fistful thinking


It seeps from everywhere


The dead telling stories through the rain


A war hammer waiting for the bell to be cracked


A book you throw at someone’s head


An Emily Dickenson first draft


It’s the year of the mundane


It’s indifferent to your needs


But it can help you be better, like for instance,


You have some jelly on your already dead existence


Start there






The stress of not worrying



can it keep me


from falling apart


maybe I just need


one of those activity books


that relieve anxiety and stress


maybe time is an invisible string


you think you have it threaded but realize it’s safety pins


you need to be your own self-care-advocate


you need to hurt yourself, to make sure you still care









The winner of a performance grant from the Staten Island Council of the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Thomas Fucaloro has been on six national slam teams.  He holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School and is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press.  He is an adjunct professor at Wagner College and BMCC where he teaches world lit and advanced creative writing. 



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