public school

Truth or Fiction

Are you well? 

Lovely to see you.

O kind sir

Have some tea.

Perhaps you’re a figment of



For the latest DVersepoets


we’re asked to write in a style of poetry, 

supposedly Spanish, known as Shadorma



still my guitar gently weeps

As everyone knows by now I’ve always been quite irremediably smitten by music in general.     When I was little the Beatles made it unavoidably necessary for everyone who fell under their influence to want to play an instrument.     I have no idea which instrument is my favorite but when I was a kid in Queens,  my friends and I took guitar lessons at one of the local public schools, either P.S. 148 or P.S. 127.    Unfortunately that only lasted for a fairly short time.    In 1980 I finally decided to get a guitar and to learn to play again.    To my chagrin I’ve always had only acoustic guitars.   Although I’ve never learned to play any other instrument, I’ve always been quite smitten with all different kinds of instruments.      One day at O. L. P. H., about ten years ago,  one of the church’s bands was practicing for a while in the sacristy.    A parishioner  named Lou was playing his French horn.   To this very day I can still remember how perfect it sounded.    I’ve also always been quite awe-smitten with the sound of slide guitar on Beatle George Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) and fuzz bass on his “What Is Life”.      When I used to visit relatives in Buffalo and North Tonawanda, in western New York, during the 1980’s my cousin Vinnie and I used always to play his guitar.    We played quite a rousing version of J. J. Cale’s “Cocaine”, popularized by Eric Clapton, and we played an overwhelmingly memorable version of the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” with a band Vinnie was in for a while.      Then there are all the annual Fourth of July jam sessions.     Steve’s a music teacher and the kids all play instruments too.    Besides that quite a few of my cousins also play instruments.    Cousins Gary and Lanfranco even play the accordion, and the Ronald, when he was young, played the trumpet.    In my world there’s most certainly never been any shortage of exposure to different varieties  of instruments.

i don’t want to leave you now you know i believe and how

St_John_Baptist_Diocesan_H_School_314934 18-lasalle-schoolFor my first twelve years of school I had virtually always gone to exceptionally good Catholic schools in Queens and Long Island.    In grammar school, with the exception of two weeks in Copiague Junior High School at the beginning of the seventh grade, I went to St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst for six years and spent most of my last two years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst.    After that I went to St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip.   I’ve always really enjoyed keeping in touch with people from those days.    As Hope, one of the ladies from my class at St. John’s, once said on Facebook, just because we were classmates so long ago, doesn’t mean that we should be forbidden to try to be friends again now.    Because of my having spent all my adolescence and most of my adult life in Lindenhurst it’s always been so much easier for me to get back to St. John’s reunions than St. Gabriel’s.    During the very early days of the twenty first century I got back in touch with a few friends from Jackson Heights and I’ve been to a couple of St. Gabriel’s reunions with most of them.    My parents and I got to see a lot of my old friends and their parents and families.     The Sisters of Charity,  de la Salle Christian Brothers and lay teachers who were on the faculty and administration were there too.    I always have a really nice time at St. John’s  reunions too with all the classmates, and Dominican and Franciscan Sisters and lay teachers from the faculty and administration.   The hard part for me has always been having to say good-bye when it’s all over.   Although I understand that the food, music and other circumstances at these events are never objectively any better than they are at other parties or occasions, being back with all the people from my early days, in the same place in which we first got together,  is inevitably quite a thrill.   Over the course of the past quite a few years I’ve been in touch with very many of these people on Facebook and e mail anyway but that’s never struck me as anywhere near as interesting as seeing them in person.    It’s even better when we can get back together on the grounds of the school, though St. Gabriel’s was  recently turned into a public school.     It’s so interesting for me to be able to see how these people and places have turned out over the course of the time that’s passed since I was a kid.  I’ve always been quite smitten by the grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome.    At least I understand that though.    It wouldn’t be the same if I could see them in person on a regular basis again.   Then it would become a routine chore and would lose all its charm.    Each of those specific times, precisely because they’re so infrequent and so temporary,   is so very hard to let go of when it has to end.    Because I’ve always had both an overwhelmingly good imagination and an intense interest in my past I tend to get really engrossed in times like this.   The bookworm in me sees it  somewhat as if I’m  revisiting a previous chapter in my life story.    Although no one can rewrite anything like that it’s still quite nice to see how all the characters, and the settings,  have turned out.   Each of us, though, has to make sure he leaves before midnight in order to avoid turning into a pumpkin.