Green Hills Literary Lantern




Lines Written at the Moon Gate


My sister says August 8th will be a Great Portal Day
With planetary energies running at very high frequencies
And, no obligation on my part, would I allow her to
Pray then to cleanse me. She proffers John of God,
Whose waters will have borne me to another world.
I wonder what my father would have said.
She’s losing her marbles, he whispers.  
What can we do to help out?
I then shrug the shrug of the damned.
He then asks if she is a mark.
We chalk up the slide to her mother,
To all the sad Petrillos, those jagged
Little rocks. We just don’t say it too loud.
I’m losing my marbles too, but cleansing’s
Not the word for what I need.
Money’s the word. A Short Burst of
Affection from just about anyone.
A Cessation of Deaths for, let’s be generous—
Two months. A Child—Wait, Two!—
My babies have shown this can work.
Meanwhile, from the seat of the mystical moon gate,
I go to answer sis. August 8th, I tell her,
Is Nixon Resignation Day. If you want to try
To cleanse me that day, great. But that day I’m a skeptic.
That day I’ll be off in another world.



Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono once ran twenty straight balls at pool; finished 183rd (out of about 10,000) at the 1985 U.S. Open Crossword Puzzle Tournament; won a yodeling contest in a German restaurant; was bitten by a guard dog in a tattoo parlor and survived a car crash with Sidney Lumet. Paul Newman once claimed to have known him for a long time; he hasn’t been arrested in 17 months. His  work has appeared in 75 journals in 30 states, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His book, A Boilermaker for the Lady ( has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles.