June Avignone

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· Tales From a Toll Collector's Daughter: A Story In Pieces
[in progress]

· The Secret Little Ones Of Turtle Back Island

· On Going Home Again

· Images Of America: Downtown Paterson

· Cianci Street, A Neighborhood In Transition

· Travelling Small Distances

· A Place Like Paterson


· What You Love Most On Mill Street

· Wolf Nose
[winner of an Allen Ginzberg Prize]

· The Cure We Wait For

· Suburban Backyards

· Wildly Enjoying the Process

· more to come...

An excerpt from Tales From a Toll Collector's Daughter: A Story In Pieces
By June Avignone

Be reconciled, poet, with your world, it is your only truth. Ha!
– William Carlos Williams, Paterson


I can see you much better,
when I close my eyes now, see the rough diamonds
on the littered streets
hidden among shards of glass,
Call them back from me.

You see, your famous poet has it wrong
a woman is like a city, not a man
these bricks remain my hungry heart, the crazed streets
tracks on my veins.
like a womana forgotten city,
Not a fragrant flower, like you say.

I dream walk down Cianci Street
past the abandoned bocce ball courts
where Italians once played
and where junkies now shoot and piss,
and see my friend Vince, alive again.

He sits out front in his red chair at the Napoli,
his gambling/coffee club, bald and rotund
connected street Buddah in gold chains, Lucky
his black cat curled up in a ball asleep in the
window by a cracked statue of San Gennaro.

He says roughly, 'Sit. Have a cappuccino.' And I do.
Watch the pretty Peruvian woman next door kiss
her fat brown baby and the homeless man shower
in the fountain across the street in Federici Park,
fully clothed with the bar of Dove Vince gave him.

'Look at this fucking guy,' Vince says. 'Madonne,
but you know, you're gonna miss this place when
you move up by all them daffodils you tell me about.'
Lilacs, I say. 'Ha! What the fuck is the difference,
This city is in your blood now, like me.'

And he's right. You course through me still
like the thundering falls, return back to the mist
when I open my eyes.