As a young man, he gave us love
as the taste of stolen apples

As an old man, he gave us poetry
as the taste of borscht –
“You can throw everything into it”
what matters, he declaimed
is the taste

Making poetry, making love
is like making hay
“unkempt, uncombed with dry berries mixed in”

bouncing along atop a truck
reckless love and poetry
blowing in the wind

So here’s to borscht, here’s to chaos,
here’s to spontaneity and spunk
mixing gaily

And to more stolen apples,
taken freely –
after all, who are we to hoard them apple-kisses
for ourselves?
As the anarchists say,
“Private property is theft”

Let us dance around the communal campfire
stealing apple-kisses
throwing whatever we have –
caesura carrots, free verse beets, onion irony –
into the shared borscht-poem
topped with a dab of capricious sour cream

Vincenzo Di Nicola

Two kinds of people

It tends to work:

It stands to reason:
on one hand, there’s this
on the other hand, there’s that

There’s two sides of the coin,
give and take, balanced and fair

There are, after all
hot diseases and cold diseases
rising up in your head or
falling down to your feet

You can only be,
when all is said and done,
pregnant – or not

It’s either a boy or girl
isn’t it?

When all is done and said,
you were on the right side of history
or you messed it all up

Either you’re a type A or a type B
Oscar or Felix – or was it
the other way around?

We all have our roles to play
either you are George or Martha
Vladimir or Estragon

Even the Bible told you that it was
Cain and Abel –
and we all know how that came out –
Rachel or Leah, Esau or Jacob

Old Testament or New
people of the book
or followers of the cross

And wasn’t it Jesus who said
be hot or cold, or
he would spit you out?

The good guys and the others
doesn’t it come down to that?
white hats and black hats –
isn’t that it, really?

Like the French guy said:
pick either Marx or Jesus
(or did he say neither one nor the other one?
too confusing, those French guys!)

Heaven or hell – it’s self-evident
you’re in the divine presence
or you are not
(even if the English guy
made a good case for
the other one)

After all, you have to make a choice,
take it or leave it

At the end of the day,
it’s still the end of the day
(dusk notwithstanding
& doubts aside)

It’s either physical or
it’s all in your head
isn’t it?

There’s no stark raving sane
or lucid lunatics
common sense can tell you
that much

And we all know
there are only two kinds of people in the world:
those who believe there are only two kinds of people
– and those who don’t

Vincenzo Di Nicola

About the Author
Vincenzo Di Nicola is a physician, philosopher and poet in Montreal where he is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal.

His works include A Stranger in the Family, Letters to a Young Therapist, The Unsecured Present: 3-Day Novels and Pomes for Pilgrims, and a forthcoming first volume of his selected papers, On the Threshold.

Vincenzo Di Nicola's books on