Standing at Your Grave — Poetry by David Rullo

Standing at your grave,

I’m thinking of modern art and poetry.

Why should I be thinking of modern art and


You never had an affinity for either,

Never mentioned one or the other.

Yet here I am, thinking of modern art and


I guess it’s because I don’t really have anything

to say

(At least think, since I’m standing at your grave).

I suppose I could tell you of my recent search

for blood orange juice.

How I searched the local stores and upscale


After having first found it in a downtown coffee


But have been unable to locate it since.

The label was written in Italian but I think that

was just marketing.

I’m sure it was manufactured somewhere like


It was mixed with seltzer water

So I’m not even certain it contained any real


I’ve never even seen a blood orange

So have no real basis to compare the drink


Would you be interested in hearing this story?

If not, I could chant Kaddish for you—

Except that I can’t.

I only converted a little over a year ago

And my Hebrew is rough to be kind.

You’re an Italian Czech Catholic that used to

bring us to

That little Slavic Church

With the horrible Cantor that couldn’t sing

And sold doughnuts in the basement,

A quarter a piece.

The incense used to make my nose run and

head ache.

So no, I can’t chant Kaddish, not for you or

anyone else.

Maybe I should be talking about my son but

that seems strange.

After all, he’s your grandson but you’ve never


And quite frankly I don’t know where to begin.

What would you want to know?

What would you want to hear about?

Everything I assume and it’s too cold this early

winter day

To spend the time that would be required.

Instead of telling you little stories

Or trying to fill you in on the big things you


I’m left, standing at your grave

And thinking of modern art and poetry.

It seems like I shouldn’t,

It seems rather strange,

But circling around my head is modern art and


Before my next visit,

I’ll do my part and find some interesting things

to discuss.

But just to play it safe,

Before my next visit,

Maybe you should spend the next few weeks

Trying to find a way to cram on de Kooning and


David Rullo is a poet, freelance writer, journalist, musician and artist. His work is influenced by the Beat Writers, especially Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. A partial list of other influences includes Jackson Pollock, Tangerine Dream, Douglas Coupland and William Gibson.

“Tired Scenes From A City Window,” Rullo’s first collection of poetry was recently published through Outskirts Press and is currently available at select Pittsburgh bookstores, websites like and and through book distributors Ingram and Baker and Taylor.

Rullo has been published in various literary magazines including Exhausted Ramblings, Cavalcade, Pendulum, The Second International Anthology on Paradoxism and more. His journalism articles have appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Jewish Chronicle. For over a year Rullo penned the weekly column/blog Aging Hip Replacement for the pop culture website Popblerd in addition to writing album reviews and various other topics.

As a musician Rullo is a member of the two-piece experimental band Centrale Electrique and a one-man ambient/electronic side project Architects of the Atmosphere. AoA continues to be heard on the Australian ambient program Ultima Thule.

Rullo has also had a conceptual art piece hung at Future Tenant as part of the exhibit Do You Understand curated by Kimberly Rullo.



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