No Epitaph

The lies lie heavy on his chest,
Striped red, striped white, now tattered vest
And soon to draw his final breath—
Who’ll mourn this Son of Freedom’s death?

I look around, there’s none but me
With ears to hear and eyes to see.
Alone beside his rotting bier—
Their hearts of stone would shed no tear.
‘Tis better that they are not here,
Who seethe with hate, who thrive on fear
And war against this land, once free—
Grotesque, these Sons of Anarchy.
Run through the gutter, down the drain,
My Uncle’s flag, not seen again.



On Reading Old Poetry, 2020

My country dies around me.
__No battle has been fought.
Inaction does confound me,
__For I, I can do naught.

But what about the many?
__Seems they’re confounded too.
None rises up, not any—
__There’s nothing they can do.

What mystery travails her?
__Does there a fever rage?
What is it that assails her?
__Is she but of an age?

Perhaps a simple answer?
__We watch and she does fall.
Could be there was no cancer—
__Did the Almighty call?



Son of Mario

on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Altar Boy has struck again,
His Honor and his deadly pen!
The elderly and babies too—
See what this psychopath can do!
How gleefully he signs his name—
My governor, devoid of shame.



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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17 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    Your final poem on the Governor reminds me of the short Neapolitan dialect song that used to be sung about Mario Cuomo, by the radio commentator Bob Grant:

    “Mario, Mario, tu si un proprio sfaccimm…!

    It’s hard to translate, because “sfaccimma” is one of the most insulting words in Neapolitan. But here goes:

    “Mario, Mario, you are a real lying little squirt of diseased semen…!”

    The song can also be applied to his equally detestable offspring, Andrew Cuomo. Like father, like son.

  2. Leo Zoutewelle

    Joe T., you always hit it so right! I love it. Thanks,

  3. Joe Tessitore

    Life Goes On

    There in the nest,
    They do their best.
    See how they try!
    They’re born to fly!

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Well composed, hard-hitting poems that convey their grave message perfectly. I hope they go a long way to making many see clearly.

  5. Jeff Kemper

    Nicely done, Joe. My governor (Wolf) is a little better. Emphasis on the word “little.” Or maybe not. I hope we soon see how intricately and by whom this 2020 chaos has been planned and funded.

  6. Sam Eason

    Good thoughts put poetically. At one time I knew a Joe Tessitore who worked with Grolier and then Scholastic. He has a son John. John published a book Bio about Hemmingway and some other titles also. I believe that Joe has passed, however.

    Sam Salvageot Eason

    • Joe Tessitore

      It was a practice in our family – my father was named John and his father was named Joseph – going back farther than any of us can document.

      The Tessitore’s you knew were second or third cousins, or “removeds”.
      A lawyer told me that we often confuse the two.

      P.S. I went to grammar school with a Selvaggio.


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