Friday, October 29, 2010



You felt liberated as a pink
pajama sleeve fell from your
shoulder to reveal a Victoria Secret

You were flirting with the man
seatedin seat number thirty-two.
You hugged your pillow
when the train rocked to your left.

We watched as a fat man’s stomach
deflate as air exited his mouth -
again his stomach filled with air as
his head jerked - his mouth now wide
open, his belly moved in and out,
in and out - hesitating - and he
leaned left toward seat number
thirty five - his head jerked right
he closed his mouth.
Air entered his nose as he began to
snore, his stomach sinking into his
seat - now seat number thirty-four.

The two men directly in front of us
kept changing directions,
leaning left - then right, and left again.
I elbowed you to keep watching when
both men simultaneously reached to
scratch fleshy scalps.

As the train twisted left - then right -
and left again - whells of metal continued
to hit the back of seat number forty-two
- heard brakes squael, your chair on wheels,
rammed against a woman exiting the ladies
room - rolled back to her - clipped her
knees, hitting the back of seat number

Glanced out of the window – so, not
to make eye contact with the woman
as she squeezed through the asile . . .
Instead, I watched the sunset - it
reminded me of the morning when you
spilled orange marmalade onto the uniform
of our waitress, when we were both
seated in booth four - your wheelchair
was neatly folded next to the front door.

November - brings night early. You - ready
to position your body for sleep - asking if
I would twist you like a tootsie roll.
My arms and hands pulled your lifeless body
toward the window of the train; your jeans
fell off your hips, you lost it - Miss
perfection - instead of laughing as heads
popped over seats, eyes watching us -
Never looked them square in the eye, besides
everyone was laughing - because you did.

You kept turning your eyes toward the wheelchair.
I knew it was new - paid way too much. But,
you ignored me when I told you not to worry,
pushing on your bare shoulder, holding up your
head, keeping you away from seat number thirty-two.
The train rocked back and forth, I held your head,
your shoulder too - so you wouldn't fall side
to side, or forward - refusing any kind of belt.

Your wheelchair rolled back toward the restroom,
back, hitting seat number forty-four.

You still wanted me to adjust your jeans.
The man began to snore - your chair rolled -
a train rocked - I had no idea how far we had
to go.

Nancy Duci Denofio
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1950's - TELEVISION A LONG POEM - Memoir

Memoir – Long Poem TELEVISION – 1950’s

My memory of Christmas begins with my father sketching Christmas on our windows in the parlor. Following a sketch in white paint, he began adding all the vibrant colors of Christmas. One window would have Santa, another, an idyllic scene of a horse and sleigh in the woods, and for sure a religious scene with angels and God in the sky. Every room he painted windows, including my bedroom and my brothers.

One memory which remains until this day is washing all the color away. I do know what its like to give a drawing, painting, or piece of art to anyone, while you create - your become a friend, like anything else it becomes part of you. But my father took a picture of my brother and me in front of every window, those little square color photos, and then the last thing about Christmas, was scrubbing the windows clean.

There was no question that my father is and was an excellent artist. While attending high school he learned he was the recipient of a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City. Unfortunately he had to turn down the gift because, being the oldest of three boys without a father since he was the age of ten, working and helping the family became his future. Dad began working for the General Electric plant in Schenectady. During his free time he went to Union college where he received a degree in Metallurgy. His long career at GE came to an end when he was elected the first Italian American mayor of Schenectady New York. You see, dad was never selfish; he gave whatever he had away. But dad never gave up drawing. Every political function every conference every president he managed to see he made sure he had a drawing, for their signature. He has drawings of IKE and Nixon, Carter, Kennedy’s, Rockefeller, Roosevelt, Truman and many more. He often told the story of shoving the piece of paper, with his drawing, beneath the nose of Ronald Reagan, and in the other hand a picture of Reagan when he came to Schenectady for the new WRGB Theatre. Reagan smiled, posed for the picture with my father and signed the drawing.

All of his work has some story such as this, some human part of Dad that made him the best Dad in the world. So, he kept most of his work, except for those drawings on the windows during the Christmas holiday, it was time to put Christmas to sleep, for another year. I don’t remember when Dad stopped drawing on the windows, I do recall playing with new toys and posing in front of them, my brother blowing on some trumpet, or wearing a space helmet, and me banging on a drum, pointing to the window with a big smile on my face. He never knew how sad I was when they washed the color away.

Yes, growing up in the fifties was different, but exciting. We learned about dishwashers, automatic coffee parts, color televisions and learned who was rich and who was poor. Even in the early 60’s very few television shows were in color. Gunsmoke and some other show where Elvis and the Beatles came to life, Ed Sullivan, that was it, and in living color, right in our living room. Dad, Walt and Phil once posed wearing a wig resembling the Beatles and pretended to strum one of our old play guitars and began moving around like Elvis, or singing like “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I guess they really weren’t too sure if Elvis or the Beatles had longer hair. The room, the living room, or the parlor, whatever you want to call it, was so active and full of life.

Mom would sit on the old red velvet couch, knitting. I can still see her hands moving so quickly and hear the rubbing of two metallic sticks; every once in a while mom took a break to take a puff on her cigarette which she placed in the glass ashtray shaped like the first electric light blub from the GE - it would burn away, because right then and there it was the sweater she was knitting that meant more. The smoke from the cigarette slowly crept up and up to reach the ceiling. Everyone in those days, smoked.

I remember sitting on the linoleum covered floor, it was red and white and squeaked when crossing in rubber shoes. I would sit cross legged on the linoleum, sometimes my thighs cold, other times, hot and sticking to the floor, but I was one of many sitting and staring at this square box, a new television. The room would be packed with people, and the sound on the television so loud as an announcer introduced all the players for one of the Yankee games. Mom, she kept box scores of every game, and always sitting on the left side of the sofa, and Walt on the right. Uncle Phil, from upstairs, sat in the middle of them on that old red couch. And Dad, he pulled a chair into the doorway from the kitchen, his arms stretched, touching either side of the door frame as if to allow only certain people into this arena. If my brother was home, he would occupy the chair that never matched the couch. I never lasted on the floor sitting cross legged for the entire game - I lost interest. I would slip beneath Dad’s arms and run my fingers across the wanes coating in the hallway then head to my bedroom - the bedroom off the kitchen where everyone gathered except when the Yankees were on television. Then, and only then was I in a quiet place.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Monday, October 4, 2010


Sold to the Peddler

Sold you to a peddler
on our street, and
he took his time -
examined you, and all
our junk…

You were too old, worn
out - cracked ceramic
skull - nails bitten,
fingers missing, dress
torn, and missing shoes…

Needed some cash back
then, and you seemed so
worthless - needless,
useless, stored inside
a cardboard box -left
in the dark.

I begged for you - as
a child – to hold you –
feed you fake milk from
a magical bottle. I
burped you too – small
hands gently patted
your back - tipped you
forward when I wanted
you to cry, and combed
knots from your hair.

You made me cry one
day when you would
not open your left eye.
Mother, she oiled you
with Crisco, and took
time to sew your torn

Now - I want you back –
but I let you go with
the peddler, in another
cardboard box.

Nancy Duci Denofio

Friday, October 1, 2010

INDIAN STYLE - A young child sitting on a city porch


the porch, in the front -
the porch near roses,
near metal milk crates
and above colored slate
from Vermont – is where
she sits – Indian Style,
on top of pieces of
wood, warped, and
grey paint peeling

the porch near two
doors leading too
two families in the
city, on a corner lot
in a city filled with
children who played,
played – as she watched -
the porch where she
smiled when a friend
walked by -

sitting Indian Style. . .
she smiled once more -
another friend walked
by – near the hedges
lining the property,
she saw her feet
touch cement, her head
looked straight ahead –

legs crossed Indian
style on the porch
where fingers picked
at pieces of wood
covered in grey paint,
a smile on her face
a stray tear rolled
down her face,
caught the edges of
her lips, where a
smile – remained. . .

scooting over to the
right, toward the
metal milk box,
she opened the lid
and there – inside
where paper dolls
were stored inside,
she saw her friends
smile back.

Nancy Duci Denofio
All Rights Reserved


A poem reflecting a painting

Page of Burnt Umber

A left arm stretches to
toss toast, burnt,
from a second floor
window to feed
wild birds.
Pockets stuffed
with apples, sliced,
bruised, and lips
suck skin from a grape.
Roots of a weeping willow
push earth up and out
near a garden
burning trash -
Steinbeck on booze
a left hemisphere

Nancy Duci Denofio
All Rights Reserved



sad to find no pleasure
from one to smile back –
or a gentle touch –
as fingers swipe across
ones’ face

people - back away
tremble inside – yelling
without telling - please
step aside

lonely for those people
who stare from a window
waiting patiently for a
sign of life

once frolicking inside
ones’ home with friends of
friends and relatives – now

how chasing a butterfly
or watching a grasshopper
made children shudder –
when spiders crawled

life becomes empty
when you are one -

waiting in silence for
one – only one
to return
from dust.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved