Five Poems


Thomas Fucaloro





Someday I’ll Learn to Hide my Cigarettes Better Haibun



As they floated across the room and shipwrecked right into the drowning of betrayal, each precious puff, a secret held in greying deception.


Tobacco clogs the pipes they say; flooding always reveals the truths we are trying to hide behind the sink; to make sure the mirror is not watching.


As the cigarettes floated across the ocean of the apartment the sink kept singing tobacco/mosaic/water/resolve.


She picks up a pack


My mother lights one up, then


She lights me up too





Falling apart through the tears


My age is wearing on me

and I don’t look a day older

than the younger me wanting



Am I wearing too much black,

Hot Topic had a going out of irony sale

and I bought 2 of everything

just to prove my thesis


I remember a time I mattered,

now you matter. That is a hard pill

to throw away because I have swallowed

so much that I thought was there to help me


You matter more than the brain’s refrain

of an afterlife promenade and all the aid

you can muster into a carton and pour

like orange juice over vodka filled ice cubes


Falling apart through the years

my focus is the prominent lines

of your skin, your smile maps

and creates





I’ve never wrecked a car

but here is a list of things

I have wrecked


The inside, how it crumbles only to assemble bulbous


The shattering, the time we often spoke


The relationship with my sister, how I’m only a minute


This sinister, it is no longer the scarf I wear around my lid


Every other relationship rhyming with pun-fealthy


My understanding of math and how it can turn a wheel


My perception of what the body wants and how it can keep and how it can hold


Old bags of popcorn, 4a.m., vodka stained teeth like enamel nails chewed through


The meaning of everything I learned at the age of 8


The sometimes I could never turn into always


Telling you to turn the wheel





The nurse comes in and says it is time to check my blood



A man brings a satchel from a journey he will never reveal


Someone builds a compass from old banjos and gusto


Everyone is smiling but everyone is smiling too much


They kneel covering their eyes in prayer


They have their feet cleansed river before setting sail on soul


A woman in a long black gown holding a dead-man’s-sickle hands a child a flower





Peninsula bear entertains kids;

officials suspicious of the motives



I would be suspicious too


You never know what a gaggle of


Entertained kids or adults can lead too


Especially concerning something they don’t understand


Our intellect limits how we can communicate with those whose intellect differs









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.  He teaches poetry at Prison Writes.  His latest chapbook, “There is Always Tomorrow” was released in 2017 by Mad Gleam Press.  Since 2016, Thomas has helped in building a community of poets in Staten Island, focusing on making poetry accessible to all, either though the Life Vest Poetry Slam, The Who Needs Healing? Reading Series, or the free workshops offered at Staten Island Libraries and other various orgs.