John Repp πŸ”ˆ

Nneka Asks (Zuihitsu)

Nneka asks how many animals she needs.
Sigal’s vacuum cleaner nearly filled the closet. I ate a huge plate of spaghetti & clam sauce while Joe T. narrated his dinner with Chris. His mustache seemed sentient. Wobbly formica table Marianne had given me. Plate Andi had given me. Green aluminum cup frigid in the blazing kitchen.
Fluoride, clarification, the tunnel of the sinuses. A toddler in brown corduroy overalls. The handbell choir & one’s name stamped in gold beneath Revised Standard Version.
Now Vision #34A, Sub-Paragraph 73,
Accession #459,201: The spring gale
shoves her through the venerable,
slamming door into Baker Hall,
blonde hair blown round her face,
lips & cheeks flushed, pea coat unbuttoned,
scarf floating, gleeful eyes Oh! Hello there!
Just past noon, uniformed kids clutching greasy newspaper packets of fish & chips fill two blocks of Bonnyrigg.
Sipping the morning’s first coffee, I glance at the foothills of fear near the stove & the hillocks I must traverse to gain the stairs. Something slips a metaphysical rapier between my third & fourth rib. Exhaustion’s revelry!
Italian minutes, Roman filth in the precincts
of Seneca, acidic atmosphere blissful, two women
in pleated skirts strolling by, drooping black
leather bags swung amid their laughter’s
eloquent barks, noses called “strong”
in certain circles, eyes anthracite-black,
cheekbones demanding da Vinci’s hungry ghost
render them permanent as Summer noon,
chevron-shaped mouths the nibblers
of amaretto cookies, the quaffers of impossible
espresso, the burblers of nonsensical syllables
want to kiss without cease right there
for the next fifty-seven centuries.
A cackle, an omen, a toss of the coins
of chaos β€” lava lapping the shore
of every strand of hair, step lightly!
Once, over the phone, his sister said, “Ordinary days are fine. I like ordinary days.”

Author Reading

About the Author

John Repp grew up along the Blackwater Branch of the Maurice River in southern New Jersey. He has lived for many years in Erie, Pennsylvania. His latest book is The Soul of Rock & Roll: Poems Acoustic, Electric & Remixed, 1980-2020, published by Broadstone Books. Much more information about John Repp and his writing (as well as his other interests and obsessions) can be found at