Friday, November 11, 2011


Boy with the Carbine/
photo on parent's dresser/
two score years past.

(c) TPuma/MMXI

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My friends come-and-go/
all I have left is David/
Michael Angelo.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A BOY'S JOURNEY (Separation-Trials-Return)


“This is what Joyce called the monomyth: an archetypal story that springs from the collective unconscious. Its motifs can appear not only in myth and literature, but, if you are sensitive to it, in the working out of the plot of your own life. The basic story of the hero journey involves giving up where you are, going into the realm of adventure, coming to some kind of symbolically rendered realization, and then returning to the field of normal life."

Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss

I crossed the ocean,
as a boy to do or die.
Old World, old war paths.

I crossed the threshold,
a civilian to soldier,
question what I left.

I crossed my parents,
unsure of my lone journey.
A final farewell?

I crossed Catholic,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
with me, in peril.

I crossed my sergeant,
nasty bastard with three stripes.
“Private”, forever.

I crossed Happy guys,
no courage to join that group.
They made me anxious.

I crossed GI bars:
nose/jaw broke, blackened eyes.
Tough guy now mellowed.

I crossed twenty-one,
older and wiser, maybe;
weary of Army.

I crossed Captain John,
obligatory salute.
“Good-luck, son.” “Thanks sir.”

I crossed the ocean,
a young man to live and thrive,
New World, new path ways.

© T.Puma/MMXI

Sunday, September 25, 2011



“We pledge ourselves to attend to the preparation, care,
and disposition of deceased human bodies with compassion
and understanding. . .”

Funeral Directors-Order of the Golden Rule
Standard of ethical conduct.

The night was convivial.

Caskets filled the hall the size of a football field.
We mingled amongst the caskets-with food and drink-
like they were empty tables.

It was not a time for grief counseling.
Enjoy the Casino and its heady atmosphere.

Those who deal with death on a daily basis
would awaken with a hangover,
when Death itself would cast a pall
over his handmaidens.

The day broke easy.
The surf was warm
and the wet sand cool.

And then. And then.

Not with a sudden jolt,
but a nondescript accident,
“A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
Details to follow.”

A code of ethics compelled them to return to their homes.

The ultimate horror was to come later
on this day of death,
when there was little or no need
for the services of Funeral Directors.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

EXIST . . .

I am . . .
I am gay . . .
I am a gay exist . . .
I am.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


I walk a fog-shrouded street.
A train screams in fright
misty eyes spy down from street light.
Subway grumbles beneath.
A car bleats a forlorn ‘A’,
buildings sweating grey.
As I taste the humid heat,
a damp cat darts out of the alley,
anxious foot-steps behind me.


Friday, July 22, 2011


Born weightless to fly/
July is month of torn wings/
gossamer brief life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


“I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”
Death-Bed study/#3 request.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Muse of Poetry blew a kiss my way.
I could not deflect nor deny that Bacio d’amore.

My Muse is a fickle lover,
abandoning me to that Purgatory
where unrequited love dwells.

I remain, vulnerable and confused,
unable to share feelings, as I cry out
for her rescue and return.

I have come to accept her
wayward charm.

I am a poet.


Thursday, June 16, 2011


“The true Paradises are the paradises we have lost.”
Marcel Proust

“Nicky Eyes”,
so-called for his horn rimmed glasses.
He is my friend Pauli’s father.
The family that lived next door
on Euclid Avenue, in Brooklyn.

“Pete the Killer” was also a neighbor.
Now, I don’t know if Pete killed anyone,
he was just a sharp dresser.
You know, those elongated collars
on his Chinese laundered shirts.

My father also had a nick-name,
“Tony Surf and Turf.”
He made money in fish.
He lost money on horses.

Euclid Avenue in the Fifties,
Italian and Jewish.

In the Sixties they would build “projects.”
The neighborhood would die
a slow and agonizing death.

The old Sicilians were opera and bocce.
My generation was Rock n’ roll and baseball,
a uniquely American generation-gap.

We had one thing in common,
the church that they built, “Santa Fortunata.”
Whose the primary tongues were Italian and Latin.

Stained glass windows with familiar family names.
A Sanctum sanctorum for us all.

And the Jews, with forearm tattoos,
tough and cynical and world-weary,
who found, like the Sicilians,
a paradise of struggles on Euclid Avenue.

On hot nights families would
congregate on stoops.

Stoop-speak, as a fugue
of English and Yiddish and Sicilian
and, of course, Brooklynese.

To cool off in the summer we went
to the Kinema theater on Pitkin Avenue.
Everybody called the bleached-blonde
young guy, who managed the theater,
a “flaming faggot”,
but he was tolerated by our liberal
and simpatico views of the world.

Brooklyn: everyone had a nick-name.

Anyway, me and Pauli,
came out of the apartment
at the same time.
Nicky Eyes,
a name I never called him,
he was Uncle Nick to me,
was waiting at curb side.


Thursday, June 9, 2011



I am Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
Not really.
My summer reading brought me to
mid-nineteenth century America

I want to be Tom,
with a pocket-ful of trinkets,
hood-winking my friends
into doing my chores.

I want to be Huck,
and raft the Mississippi
living one adventure after another.

So, in mid-twentieth century America,
I set out on my own journey.
Destination: Chinatown.
Objective: Fireworks.
My raft: The A-train.

Walking aimlessly through
the sweated streets of Canal, Elizabeth,
the Bowery.
Familiar sights and sounds and smells
of Little Italy, mixed with the exotic air
of Chinatown.

Strangers and strange places encountered.
But, I finally get what I came for: Fireworks.

My friends ask, “Tom, where were you?”
My parents ask, “Huck, Where have you been all day?”

I go to bed, reliving the adventures
of Tom and Huck.

4th OF JULY (DAY 2)

Cherry Bombs laid fuse to orb in red box.
Finger-losing faux-Cherries,
whose singular blast reverberates
through the physical and spiritual self.


These simple instructions were rarely followed.
These cherries were not sedentary objects.


Thrown against a wall, into a garbage can,
and, sometimes, down a gutter sewer.

But, oh man, the noise, the light,
this singular event, this celebration.

JULY 5TH (American dream)

Up early, to go with my father to his fish store,
a place where old-world Sicily and Russia meet
on Amboy Street in Brooklyn.

The store with its saw-dust on the floor,
absorbing light as a backdrop
to the silvery reflections of fish on-ice
and the odor of shredded wood and sea-water.

Kosher butcher is on other side of the store.
Live poultry in back storage area,
wafting sounds and smells
into the main store.

Sons of the Fishman, and sons of the Butcher
play and work in this house of lively creatures,
alien to our everyday lives on Brooklyn streets.

None would follow in their fathers’
ancient trade.



Friday, May 27, 2011


Crossed the grey Atlantic, one-time
slept in cot below, water-line.
Hard body 18 year-old, in-prime
form clinging uniform, looked fine.

Great buddies I did, meet
we "All-American", G I's.
Did you see us on the street?
Were we candy to your eyes?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Brother Camping has set the date and day,
of the prophetic time of Rapture.
Twenty-eleven, the 21st of May,
of this, he's biblic'ly sure.

So, do as the Bible says, "Repent",
the day of being judged is nigh.
Your time is surely spent,
so please, no long good-byes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

MAY 1st, 2011


May Day.
Did not receive a birthday card this year
from my mother or sister.
Every year they would send me a card,
making a fuss about my birthday.

Maypole Day.
My father also thought this was a special day.
Now, he never sent me a card,
but when he was alive
“Dad”, always appeared on the card.

So, what’s the punch-line?
They are all dead.

I never gave it much thought,
receiving these cards over the years.

In fact, in recent years,
I was bemused,
at being reminded of
my aging and mortality.

May 1st.
No birthday card.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Well you could say I am:

Anthony, blithe, Calliope, doxological,
effusive, Fortuna favet fortibus,
gadabout, halcyon, indagative,
jocose, karma, lexical, meliorator.

Neomorph, obligato, Puma,
quasitum, rhematic, sanguine,
trinacrian, unmiry, votary,
wordsmith, X, Yankee, Zen.

To quote Casey Stengel:
“You can look it up.”


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Oh, my Pollen count is very high
trees and grasses and weeds.
My Allergist’s remedies I try,
runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat,
I plead

to Mother Nature, please be kind,
for I feel a need for Extreme Unction.
To be in this allergic bind:
do allergies cause Erectile Dysfunction?



The Tomato is a Fruit they say,
but not the "Tomahto" to my Veggie friends.

Now, do not confuse Fruit with Gay,
oh red orb, how I love you to no ends.


Saturday, April 30, 2011


Perched on a tree branch, swaying slightly
in the June breeze.
Napoleonic: One talon on branch,
one tucked under his belly feathers.

Bing cherry eyes, hooked beak,
dull brown coat with white specks,
downy white front feathers and,
of course, the red tail.

I blink.
He swoops into the brush
and leaps back up to the branch.
No luck.
No lunch on this try.

He glances my way.
If I were smaller,
I would be his lunch.
He views me haughtily,
as Napoleon to a
Russian peasant.


Thursday, April 21, 2011


George Washington Bridge,
Major Deegan Expressway,
Triboro Bridge.

The Triboro Bridge has been re-named,
“RFK”, for Robert F. Kennedy.

OK, I have no problem
with re-naming bridges,
and no problem with
Robert F. Kennedy.

But, why re-name the, “Triboro”?
Its name says it all
multiple points of entry and exit:
Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens.

So, how do novice
and veteran travelers
know that “RFK”
has multiple points?

Oh, by the way, “RFK” leads to “JFK”.

Anyway, I set in my brain
the mnemonic, “RFK”,
to remind myself of the bridge
and its connections:

F-The Fronx



The turtle and the seal- neither dash nor deliberate-
kept them from the earth’s oily ooze,

or pelican fly, betrayed by his dive, a natural urge,
wings leaden, into a watery demise,

or crab and shrimp scuttling on the Gulf
sea floor, an alien surface, bereft of sand-food.

Men and machines and mistakes and missteps
and greed and life-styles and marine life.

Life resumes with minor diversions,
the earth will once again swallow hard
and belch its disapproval.

© Puma/MMXI

Thursday, April 14, 2011


What a drop am I in mid-Atlantic sea,
to think that this revolves around me.

What a grain of sand I am on shore,
to take the Ocean lightly, no more.

Peace with myself to know,
my place on this water-ball,
my ashes, to sea, do throw.

(‘Voices in my head, verses to be read’)


Tiger, tiger, fading light;
How did we get here?
Are we in the twilight
of your Night?

Not a Disney character, you,
but real, alive, and to be feared,
all beauty, muscle, and sinew.

Poets pen your grace,
a cat of all instinct, a fearful roar,
a winsome face.

And now we count you one-by-one,
a creature to be extinct,
and ask ourselves:
What have we done?

(‘Voices in my head, verses to be read’)


At 3 a.m. I awake to welcome spring.
My studio lit full, by a generational Moon.
Did the Moon give me a wake-up call?

Reminding me of my place in the Universe?
That my return to sleep may be final?


Am I crazy, a ‘Lunatic’,
because of this Goddess of many names,
reminding me to worship,
or at least pay attention to Her?

(c) ‘Voices in my head, verses to be read’.


Redness in my cheeks,
navy pea-coat from head to hips,
black leather hands.

Peach fuzz buds, seeking sun,
brunette hair billowing,
yellow Forsythia, unstill.

Lush green swaying,
white surf spray,
cool blue evenings.

Rainbow of leaves, swirling,
grey clouds moving east,
violet school flag blowing.

(Voices in my head, verses to be read)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I like
you like,
I like

I like
you don't like,
I love

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Ice thaw,
Spring met.
Ground plowed,
soil set.

Sow seed,
reap pod.
Pick pea,
thank God.

© Puma/MMXI

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Greeting April's fool/
awaken from winter's wrath/
bitter-sweet outing.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


When poets perplex me,and
it seems to be happening
more and more lately.

I am reminded of the Umpire,
who called the batter 'Out'
on the,'Infield fly rule'.



Oh, I see the reflection
of the world i am in.
It is surreal, a mirage.
Not an image.

I want to be in that world,
with soft contours and gilded light.

Not beyond the panes
and the reality of beyond,
but a sub-rosa emotion
that I only experience
in dreams.

Puma/MMXI ©


They died in yore and prayed to God,
to take them Home to Him.

They had no hope of a cure,
just faith and a spirit with-in.
God answered their call and bid
His children Home once again.

With torment gone they gathered round,
and ’Rest in Peace’ they did sing.
No respite from pain did Man bring to them,
but faith in God: peace everlasting.

Yet now we dismiss that olde-time faith,
and die in bits and bytes.
And so we know now, from this mortal coil,
souls do not fly off as kites.

Death is wrapped in pastels, and lets us
die in stainless steel, clean as could be.
Are there still some left who do believe:
That God will summon thee?

Puma/MMXI ©


You see, I have a painting on my wall,
in an elaborate frame.
Every other day,
I set the painting right.

It must be the building’s vibration
that move it off-center.

Now, I can remedy that,
(I think)
by taping the bottom
of the frame to the wall.

I thought about this the other day.
What if I remedied the ‘problem’?

Part of my waking routine
would be thrown off- kilter.

Maybe, I am condemned to perform
this silly function by the gods
for some grievous trespass.

Am I like Sisyphus,
condemned to push a boulder
up hill, eternally.

Camus thought Sisyphus
cheated the gods,
by being mortal.
That self esteem
is a work-related ethos.

Maybe I am also cheating the gods.
I enjoy the work.

Puma/MMXI ©

Monday, March 28, 2011


Sun goddess’ children/
laid low by Earth’s elements/
Nippon unbowed.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3/22/11 (HAIKU)

Single lens reflex/
focus on absurdity/
minds-eye distorted.


Friday, March 18, 2011


Oh what webs we spin,
not as Humans caught in lies.
The Natural world we live in,
we spin only to catch flies.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

3/11/11 (HAIKU)

The Earth cries havoc/
Goddess of strife unchained/
Chrysanthemum blooms.


MARCH 17th

I hope to kiss
the Blarney Stone,
my Irish friends
have urged me to.

They say the gift
of gab I’ll get,
with a honey
dipped Irish hue.

Me-thinks I should
partake of same,
and kiss the Stone
in that craggy nook.

To tell my friends
that I’m
an Irishman,
via Facebook.

Saint Patrick’s Day
I will proclaim,
in green apparel

that an Irishman
is in your midst,
roll-out the barrel.

We’ll drink the day
and through the night,
toasting all in
our company.

Don’t worry the
morrow, a day off
to ponder,
one drink too many.

On the 18th
I revert to norm,
and to my roots

As my grand-parents
look down on me,
and do a slow

An Irishman
for a day,
good fellowship
and its mem’ries.

And now I have
many Irish friends,
as many as
I can see.

So in my fine
tenor voice,
I’ll sing again:

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day,
to all you Irishmen.

Copyright 2011/T.Puma
(Voices in my head, verses to be read)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I see the spot
on my forehead
through the
looking glass.

I am again
reminded of
my mortality.

After half-century
of Ashes,
it is more symbolic than ever:
as I really don't need
any more reminders.
(or do i?).


Thursday, February 24, 2011


An asteroid to hit this orb:
Do we go in,'fire or ice'?
Data overload to absorb,
I give-up on this advice

from those who know
and those who reckon.
Ice and winter and snow
or the apocalyptic fire that beckons.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Bumble bee on flower
Rose O’ Sharon blooming.
Watching in the bower,
at the fading of my glooming.

Ah, my little friend
renewing life each Spring.
How much we do depend,
in your instinct, on-the-wing.

(‘Voices in my head, verses to be read’)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I must end this Rhyming phase,
and get back to Free-Verse.
So my poet friends, get off my case,
or i'll call an early Hearse.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I want to be a Fashionista
though that term is passé.
I want to be in that parade Easter
please, don’t call me gay.

I want to look Dandy
in my Italian Tees (?)
Middle-aged eye candy
Cum Laude F I T.

Seventh Avenue, show me the way
so folks will glance and say: Who?
OK, you can call me gay
and my designers too.

They’ll dress me in pastels
solids, plaids, and stripes.
In retro bottom-bells
or pants that are stove-pipes.

My jacket, form-fitting
old Zoot suit back in style.
Silk preferred, No knitting,
as I strut down the aisle.

So, Black and White, adieu
you had a decent run.
Gay Rainbows burst anew
in this New York sun.


Sunday, February 6, 2011


I wish I could pen
a poem of porn.
I ask myself: When?

But the porn I’ve read,
all sounds like corn
and never have I to bed

another soul via that mode
before I take to yawn,
and dream on a Grecian Ode.

So to all the GLBT crew
and my Hetero ‘norms’,
I think I’ll name my next poem,


Friday, February 4, 2011


A fever and a cold;
Is this the Flu?
My stomach on a roll
I wish I knew.

I’ll wait it out,
at least one week.
Wrestling with this bout,
in a state of pique.

How could this be?
My health I care.
One thousand millies of ‘C’
I should be healthy as a bear.

So acorn microbes
fell this mighty Oak.
I mill about in robes,
Mother Nature’s joke.

So, I bid adieu
to an active slot.
As now I have a clue:
I should have got that shot.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


denied my
dance on

did not
desire to know.

destined to

Delightful winter;
did you ever
see me so pale?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Cairo and snow
broken bones to mend.
Confined and laid low
till my discontent ends.

This winter of white
and a Nile of blue.
My restless nights
and Al Jazeera too.

The news disturbs
the weather wears thin.
Stuck in this ‘burb
a wheelchair for kin.

The world news
with color and sound.
Through a flat-screen view
for a Promethean bound.

My winter is this
we ‘mortals are fools’.
Waiting for Isis
and Hercules tools.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


I saw a Knight
I know not where.
Was it last night?
In all his hardware.

Or, just a dream
in a Percocet daze,
or, a foto seen
of Medieval ways.

So, I am history bound,
and a wannabe Cavalier.
But, bourgiouse safe and sound,
I'll live for real
my time here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

YEAR OF THE RABBIT (2011-4709)

East and West we celebrate
an odd year within.

In this year, I wish you luck,
in all phases of Yin.

The Yang of life will
balance this chart Astro.

May your road be smooth,
as you travel in Tao.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

TODAY (1/15/11)

Brisk breeze
snap trees
white sight
clear night
all ice
Nature nice.
Not ?

Monday, January 3, 2011


The Penguins
whose two tone
shine like

I'll see, grin
and feel very