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Sample Poems by Tom Lombardo

A Grip on the Blues

Bending a note
to resolve the blues requires
a grip by the lips
on the harp's second hole.
Suck a mouth-sized hurricane,
drop your jaw fast and quick
like a sky diver stepping off WHA...
while your tongue digs a trough
to your lungs and the oooo
boils your blood blue.

Dyin' Blues

Delta Blues Dying,
reports The New York Times.
Only four men, older than Satan,
still play: one in a wheel chair
uses a butter knife to bend notes
on his hollow body Epiphone.
His piece of the Delta heard
about That Salk Man too late,
and nowadays he plays for
busloads who email his blues
far from the Mississippi's summercracked
silt. In Tokyo,
when they hear it,
they feel something
vibrate their bellies,
something that bends them blue.


For weeks after Lana's funeral,
my mother cooked for me,
handled death's paperwork,
opened a door-
Look outside at your garden.
Looking outward for the first time since burial
prayers, I saw daffodils blooming,
the ones that Lana and I planted
in a sunken rectangular spot last Fall,
set against the bright, new green of Spring,
Easter white and careless yellow.

The Minute I Found Hope

By coincidence, we each went
to visit Jane
in traction right
femur broken.

I arrived. Found her bed empty.
She's in X-Ray.
In the hallway,
lift doors opened,

to tall pain, hair gold, eyes moon blue.
She's in X-ray.
A drink? First day
with Hope, in lieu.