Salvatore Buttaci

Salvatore Buttaci is a retired English teacher and writing instructor who was awarded the Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Christian Science Monitor, www.poetrymagazine.com, The National Enquirer,  and  Cats Magazine.
His current poetry chapbook What I Learned from the Spaniard… (Middle Island Press) is available at http://tinyurl.com/nz2rmuz
If Roosters Don’t Crow, It Is Still Morning: Haiku and Other Poems 
His short-short story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, published by All Things That Matter Press, are available in book and Kindle editions at Amazon.com .http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/sambpoet
Salvatore Buttaci was Poetry Editor of the Bayley Review at Seton Hall, Poetry Editor of Issue Press, a multidisciplinary forum, and Editor for more than a decade of New Worlds Unlimited, an annually published poetry anthology. More recently he edited The Poem Factory on the Internet.
He lives with his wife Sharon in West Virginia.



I want to write a letter

to the Phobia Society of America

but I'm afraid.

That same old cold sweat,

the agony of pushing myself

beyond the usual "Dear Phobic Society"

frightens me and though

I want so much to write that letter,

I'm afraid.

And I would have so much

to tell those Phobia pholks:

those self­righteous,

Saner­than­thou hypocrites,

who sit in judgment

casting stones at

their members who are

so afraid.

I would write but then visions

of my letter buried in a postman's

dark brown, musty leather sack

leaves me claustrophobic,

not to mention that the sack

is on the shoulder of a stranger

who whizzes up up up up up

elevators to the 500th floor

to where The Phobia Society of America

has its office

very high above the crowded New York City.

So I'm afraid.

Somebody inside me says,

"What the hell is with you, Man?

Reach out and touch someone!

Get that fear out of here!"

And just as I take heart to act,

somebody else inside me says,

"Easy for you to say.

Talk is cheap.

Try acting out, Tough Guy."

I'm in conflict. I'm afraid.

A letter to the Phobia Pholks

means they will learn my name,

know where I live,

and they will reply!

"You must confront all the dilemmas

in your miserably cowering life,"

they will write.

"Your nights are supposed to be dark.

Elevators are supposed to go up up up.

Crowds happen naturally when more

than a few people stand together.

They can't hurt you.

Hey, Wimp, get a grip!"

I'm afraid

they will want me to write about my life,

bombard me with platitudes like

"You have nothing to fear but fear itself,"

and all the time they're thinking:

"What makes you spineless wonders tick?"

Sometimes in the night I dream

an unreasonable facsimile of myself

sits tall at a banker's desk.

Pen in steady hand, I write that letter,

offhandedly joke about how nobody but nobody

who climbs to the top of this big bank

could ever even remotely know Fear,

except the kind he elicits

in the pathetic little tellers

who fear one more year's no raise.





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