Luciano Ferrara is a senior at SUNY Albany and a member of the English Honor Society. Excelling in creative writing and fiction, Luciano is also an accomplished lyricist and songwriter. He is currently working on a fantasy novel and hopes to graduate with honors from UAlbany and attend grad school in Boston, in an effort to become an author and an important part of the modern literary world. He is a contributing writer for the music press site The Alternative and released his fourth solo record, “The Divide“, on May 4th. His first book of poetry, Romanticizing the Art of Being Honest, releases on November 25th through Sighing In Unison Press.

 

24/7 Diner Service

In America, there are people who get fat off of commerce,
And in America, there are people that are starving for a dollar.
The sense of cents is worthless in the pockets and hands of those numbed by constantly handling pans.
I bet you walked by a few of them this morning, said a little prayer, fished those manicured hands into your pants
Pulled out a quarter and said, “You’ll make it through this, man.”
The marker on his cardboard was bleeding from the rain, and his reason for destitution was unreadable and stained.
He took the coin, blessed you, then tossed it in a can, but the second he turned away, you took his picture for your Instagram.
Because America starves the poor, who can’t afford redemption,
While the rest of us just get bloated by retaining too much attention.

So, where do I stand? Am I hungry, or am I stuffed?
I guess I’d say I’m eating okay. I season with salt and pepper and spices, not gold dust.
I microwave things, but at least I’ve got the stuff.
I keep thinking about America, land of antitrust and home for the unjust,
And how if it were a diner, they’d probably serve toast, sans crust;
The coffee is burnt,
The service is inconsistent,
And the pancakes you ordered two hours ago, after waiting an hour for a glass of water, are practically non-existent.

What I mean is that America is an opportunist’s dream,
But the American Dream means serving bad food at a job you hate just to make ends meet.
Waiting on self proclaimed tycoons who take advantage of the weak, then blame you because they could swear they said Canadian Bacon, so this is the wrong meat.
Look down at your notepad, he said sausage. The proof is written in bad handwriting, but it’s still recorded in ink.
The best part’s the snide aside he wrote down in place of the tip:
“Maybe you’ll learn how to take an order one day, and hey, maybe then I’ll let you come work for me,”
Right next to zero dollars and zero cents. How sweet.

Cause that’s everyone’s dream, right?
To work for scraps and handouts, then be shamed for having stomach pains and dreams that never really panned out.
I can’t say I blame them. We all want a piece of the pie, right?
Unfortunately, the dessert special sold out early tonight.
Lucky for you, America composts, so take some of those scraps and make a stew.
What else are you supposed to do with it? As if you’d ever dare to waste food.

 

The Shades Approach

It starts as a gathering of leaves;
Piled together in pods, snug as a few peas,
Nestled in a nest of thickets & brambles, dead limbs of trees.
A warmth needed in a damp night, camping for weeks, no home open to sleep.
I just need this damn peat to ignite so I don’t freeze.

Flint and magnesium, lick a spark onto ingredients,
The recipe for a red flower, magic to expel dark powers:
Shadows and ghosts approach, but when faced with the light, they cower.
So now you understand why I’m fighting against the sun, high in its tower,
To produce a small ember that will render these shades scoured
From the forest where I’m forcing these two rocks to make showers
Of energy, lightning, flick, FINALLY! FIRE! I’VE BEEN AT THIS FOR HOURS!

Flames erupt and then cascade, painting the trees in vibrant arrays
Of scarlets, not reds. Of golds, not yellows. The colors cast spells that dispel the odd fellows,
So long as the bellows of my breath keep the fire alight
I feel confident in sleeping for the first time in a hundred nights.
Sick beasts held at bay while I rest my heavy eyes,
Beside the fire that protects me from the dark’s parasites.