Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

[Three Poems]

by Barbara Tramonte

The Tyrannical Mind

A chocolate-covered cherry
Drenched in liqueur
In Sevilla

Those three glasses of vino blanco
That washed the sardines
Down during dinner
Are good, dear self

I allow this macaron
Nut turtle
And drizzled truffle
To delight me
In these scant moments
Left on earth
Is it not intrinsically right
To do this,
Scolding brain?


Night in the Gazebo

More air
And that stupid barking

274 Shays Street
Amherst, Massachusetts
Wear a bracelet
To the ball

I have prehensile hands
And wild, strong muscles

Fingertips that know the symbols
				A, B, C

I am
Legs of insects rubbing
And that sound is more
Unplanned than a hiccup
More confusing
Surer than a false positive

Did I say gazebo
Or ghetto?

Night air
Old hands
Stupid barking dog


Ray Charles

Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson
I followed you from Tampa
To Miami

Now so many
Many years
Bursting with light
Have gone

Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson
I am a coward next to you
A peon

Were my eyes blocked
To light
Like yours
I’d be a beggar
Or very angry
I know
Something would crack
Then leak

We have to honor those among us
Who are most human
And in that way, most advanced
And this is you

Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson

Unchain your heart
And give it to me
So I can hit the road


SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Barbara Tramonte

is a professor at SUNY Empire State College, where she teaches in the school for graduate studies. She worked as a poet-in-the-schools in New York City for ten years, and formerly owned a children’s bookstore in Brooklyn Heights.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Black Buzzard Review, Boston Review, The Chaffin Journal, Confluence, Crack the Spine, Dos Passos Review, Drunk Monkeys, Edison Literary Review, Eleven Eleven, ellipsis, Folly, Forge, FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry, The Griffin, Hiram Poetry Review, Home Planet News, Illya’s Honey, Juked, Kaleidoscope, Monarch Review, New Letters, The Old Red Kimono, Pearl, Phantasmagoria, The Pinch, riverSedge, Sanskrit, Slipstream, Spillway, The Tower Journal, Tulane Review, and other literary and academic journals.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury