“2018 AD: Slow Work Under the Gun”

Tresna is intended

To be read in a left to right margin scan.

And yet, it follows these days that a

Distracted, incredulous attitude is the norm.

It is default; even for that rapidly dwindling

Tribe of mangy, feral, metaphor-mad text zealots.

More commonly known as:

The Literary Crowd; it’s merely

Standard, baseline response.

In my case it merely indicates

The pedigree of a full-blooded

American. And let me assure you,

My comrades, this is a red, rich blood

Filled proudly with a potent mixture

Passed down to me by my very own

Salt of the earth ancestors of

Irish, English, Polish, &

Italian ethnicity.

Slash me open—American

Through & through—

Through & through:

All the dirt piles

Of vagrant plots

Against vacant lots;

We all, the small ones,

Seen them…from

Top our “War Hill”!

Granite, maple, bramble, &

Pine rococo tangle.


(We boys of gawk; Shelton “shit-talk”;

Plastic gun squawk; sole treasure

Cached in cracks inside hill’s rock: 

Pulped, gacked, and hacked

Pages jacked from mag porn

A vintage of damp, decaying,

And degrading…)


O! Plastic, yellow, & ubiquitous

Whiffle balls & bats! What set us kids 

To slashing! Clubbing around, game or not,

Honing our violence on trees, big rocks, dirt,

Brothers, cousins,—and sisters!

And quite often ourselves. Now take note:

The world famous Whiffle Ball Corp.

Shares my Shelton hometown 

(South Connecticut).

In elementary school my friend, Mike Padilla, had

Whiffle factory as closest neighbor…

Can you imagine.

That creek running behind his house!

Trudged through it in heat haze

Looking for frog babies.

One time floating toward us

On shallow creek at surface

In melancholy meander: Whiffle balls.

These balls were mutants; the fugitive grotesque.

Whiffle black-ops debacle.

Hollow, plastic black orbs of various shade

And size—And—

Well. I wanted gone with this.

Blame for New England-style

“Damage” & “Brokenness.”

(Had seed of theory featuring Nathaniel

Hawthorne, Hester, Dimmesdale.)

Kept brief: End Transmission

—P.E. Tottenham


Near Scargo, Dennis, Massachusetts


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.