Green Hills Literary Lantern






Every time I go online I'm told to do this.

Chat chat chat. Every time I need to know a fact.


Remember the 80's, when chat meant chat?

Or the 60's, when you'd do it over a fence

While watering the lawn?

Beaver Cleaver's mom's chat was Aristotelian

Compared to modern day chat.

Even Chatty Cathy wasn't bad.

You'd pull her chitchat chord and hear

“I love you,” “Tell me a story,”

“Will you play with me?”, “Please take me with you,”

None of which the current chatters say.


I want grit from those who want to chat.

I need to know if this is going to work.

I need to know how much it's going to cost.

And I don't have all day.

Do chatters work for me or I for them?

I don't recall applying for the job.

Chattel's what they try to make of me.


I'd like to herd all the chatterboxes in the U.S. of A—

And India too for that matter, especially those named Chatterjee—

Onto the Chattanooga Choo-choo,

Fire that mother up, and send her full tilt

Onto a broken trestle over a precipitous ravine.

As the locomotive hauls them down to death, doom,

And eschatology, chat would stop.

Chatterers would voice things like

“No!”—a simple negative!—or “Our Father,

Who art in heaven, we're going down to hell.”

Yes! True! Hell!

The perfect place for chat. 




Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono has currently published 380 poems in 85 journals in 30 states. Work was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2006, 2013, and 2015. Widely considered one of the greatest poets to ever come out of northern Bronxville, his book A Boilermaker for the Lady has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles. His newest, TO IDI AMIN I’M A IDIOT—AND OTHER PALINDROMES, is due out later this year.