Green Hills Literary Lantern







Guys like me created this guy,

droning on and on about bananas.

All I want is to hang with my bunch down there at the far end of the table,

yet, on and on, the verbal peel. If only he could segue into something less agrarian

than fructo-facts swarming round, waiting to be swatted.

All I want is to hang with my bunch down there at the far end of the table.


Maybe it’s his imitable squeeze, the batting, chirping firebird

and Venezuelan archivist—oops!—ex-Spanish teacher,

twined like a liana round his chest.

Maybe she’s the reason he’s bananas.


Do they speak of them in private? I’ll bet they do.

If she were mine, and I as blind, rapt, and fructivorous as he,

batty thoughts would issue from my bloviating bill.

I’ll bet he thinks she looks like a banana—

he hasn’t seen her since she tanked his specs.

He told me she’s a city girl, and that’s a quote.


I’ll bet he thinks we all look like bananas.

Here’s the thing—we do! Bev and Erik, Keith, Nicole—

the fearless, spelunking Amanns—

even the Amanns, crawling cursing in the vaunted cave—

all of us plátanos, battening, tapering, ripening to mush.

When one guy’s top banana, what’s that make the rest of us?


I’d like to rise in the midst of this crap and strike out for the far end of the table.

It might be problematic—knowing him, he’d segue into vegetables.

Mis amigos! You’re just a slippery slope away, down there at the far end of the table.

Call it Tortugueros—it might as well be Spain. Either way, you’re bursting with potassium.


I fantasize an earthquake, an eruption, when suddenly the maniac’s on manioc! I knew!

He goes to use the head. It dawns on me what I’m behooved to do.

I flick your standard peel upon the tiles, camouflaged perfecto in the yellow.

In thrall to the life of the mind, a man could lose his footing.

Not him! He sidles back and skirts it, then shorts us on the check.

Hector, por favor! Bring us more bananas! I have found a use for them.

They just might be the perfect food, bananas.





Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono has currently published 403 poems in 90 journals in 30 states. 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. TO IDI AMIN I’M A IDIOT—And Other Palindromes was recently published. Another book of poems, I Hate to Second-Guess Myself – Or Do I? is due out in 2017. Paul Newman once claimed to have known him for a long time.