Charles Chaim Wax
The Inner Chapters Of Godfather Arturo - Poem by Charles Chaim Wax
Ready Freddy was the local loan-shark,
although no one called him
that disparaging epithet to his face.
He preferred Godfather Arturo,
his persona during the narcoleptic seizures
he suffered from.
He announced this discovery
six years ago. Of course
due to this condition
he was prevented from rising
in the Mafia hierarchy. That was the Cross
he bore, like Jesus he often said.
He developed this condition
at the age of four
while he witnessed
the decapitation of both parents.
It was rumored it instantaneously occurred
after his father’s head rolled
across the floor
bumping into his knee.
People in the know
said he slept through
his mother’s beheading.
Carmine ordered this revenge
because he thought Vinnie, Fred’s father,
had skimming thousands off
A week later a crew from Bay Ridge
were found to be the culprits.
I don’t have to tell you how Carmine. felt,
but the damage was done.
After that he took Fred under his wing,
paying in secret for his Catholic school education.
When Fred reached the age of eighteen
he wanted to make a name for himself.
Carmine sent him on a few jobs
but Fred invariably
fell asleep at crucial moments
allowing truckloads of dresses,
cigarettes, and video tapes
to fall through his fingers.
Carmine then set up Fred
as a loan-shark. In this way
a little bit of Brooklyn
belonged to him
but he would never rise past this.
Other rumors had it that
Fred was gay because
he never went out with women
spending all his time with Enzio, Ricky, and Zippo,
the members of his crew.
Still other rumors hinted Carmine
had let Fred live only because
he had emasculated him
at the time of the double decapitation.
Fred related amazing tales
of Godfather Arturo
after every narcoleptic seizure.
A few details remained constant
such as his vast estates
covering a quarter of Sicily,
and the magnificence of his wife,
a woman with flowing blonde hair,
radiant blue eyes,
and over seven feet tall.
She was also his bodyguard.
They had seven children.
So far Fred had related
facts about only two.
Joseph, the novelist,
and Frank, the Pope.
Joseph was currently writing
a spy novel in Chinese
with his left hand,
and a romance in Spanish
with his right hand—
at the same time.
Because of this ability his output was prodigious.
At the age of 22 he was already
for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Frank had ascended to the position of Pope
at the age of 14, the youngest ever
in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
In his first Encyclical
the entire population of Sicily
a place in Paradise.
Years earlier, in desperation,
Fred sought the assistance of a psychiatrist,
but he invariably
slept through 98% of the session.
It was then I told him about Chuang-Tzu.
He was so interested
I brought the text the following day
and read him the section on the butterfly.
“What’s that mean? ” asked Zippo.
“If you gotta ask you’ll never know, ” said Fred.
“Make it simple for me.”
“Go ahead, Bernstein.”
“All life is One, ” I noted.
“There you have it! ” said Fred
eyelids suddenly fluttering
until soft snoring.
“He’s home, ” I said sadly
knowing I could not join him.
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