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Tony Iovino (email, blog)


About the Poet:

Tony Iovino is the founder of the Summer Gazebo Readings, a summer-long outdoor series featuring over 50 poets and authors.  His essays have appeared in USA Today magazine (the Journal of the Society for the Advancement of Education, not the newspaper) and assorted on-line webzines.




Sprayed with eight decades of life's graffiti,
Remnants of fists made and
hot splattered oil scars from family meals made,
Work endured and caresses lost,
With more determination than strength
Edge the gray steel forward
Over less ground than any light stride
Effortlessly taken beneath a silken gown
Down the aisle towards her Henry,
Or even than her babies took in their
New stiff white laced Stride Rights.
Legs winch to rest inside the scaffolding.
A breath.
Then again.



Words launch
With neither command nor control,
Firebombs to Dresden,
Their friendship aflame.

Perhaps from the embers,
Clicking as they cool,
Some Marshall Plan can arise,
Rebuilding torched bridges of trust,
Rehabilitating brownstones of memories.


He is in me,
Faceless father of my
Grandfather's grandfather.
He must have worked the sea,
For it calls me on cool Spring mornings,
When the tide is high
And hope charges through my chest.

She is in me
Nameless mother of my
Grandmother's grandmother.
She must have lost a child,
For it haunts me on cold Autumn nights,
When the moon is new
And fear clutches at my heart.


Nothing but the finest silks
Pleated with skill, tufted with care
Murmurs the salesman, sincerity veneer thick.
Admire the craftsman's inlaid silver
Caress the hand-carved mahogany.

Or, here, he says, as I drift away
Spanish leather trim
Satin for warmth and comfort
Burnished bronze and copper, a luster of rose
Gleaming in the showroom light.

But, if your love is not unbounded,
Or your taste less refined,           
Well, then, he sighs
As he tips his head towards the shadows.
Common wood, harvested not from the tropics
But, perhaps, a Chinese Home Depot.

There are no tires to kick.
Is there a warranty?
What features will really be needed on this trip?
Does Consumer Reports publish ratings?
Do I want function?
Do I need beauty?

How do I choose my loved one's coffin?