Waste Management Business

Renzo liked being a button man.
He didn’t have to worry about blending in.
He was above that. If he made a racket
in the street, no one would say anything.
He didn’t have to refrain himself
from his wants. Or his temper.

He made a little extra dealing crank
and crack, but only to the mulignons.
Not in his neighborhood.
His heart beat in his chest with pride.
He offered them his protection,
but they had to pay on time.

He was going to have to do something
about Oriana. She had latched on to him,
but she was just his cumare.
He wasn’t stringing her along.
She was supposed to know her place,
and be happy with his spare time.

His capo asked, and Renzo answered.
A strike mucking up business?
Consider it busted. Some current fashions?
Look what fell off the truck.
A “draft” for a contract? Consider it written.
And no trace of the pen afterwards.

/ / /

This poem was inspired by the many hours of The Sopranos that I have been watching of late, using words from Wordle 61 at The Sunday Whirl.

waste management business: euphemism for organized crime
button man: a made man, a wiseguy, a goodfella
mulignons: a derogatory term for Blacks, pronounced “mool in yon”
cumare: girlfriend/mistress, pronounced “coo mahd” or “goo mahd”
capo: mob boss
contract: a murder assignment

26 thoughts on “Waste Management Business

    • Mary, thank you. I’m fascinated by the way they speak on the show, so I wanted to include it in the poem, but also give some definitions so readers weren’t lost. I was also a little worried about the subject matter. My character is not a good guy; it was difficult writing about him.



    • Jules, thank you. I appreciate your comments. And I was worried about how this poem might be taken. Very different than my usual – which in and of itself is good, I think – but I didn’t want to offend anyone – or further stereotypes. I tried to focus on the character I had in mind – and I see him as a bad man, perhaps even beyond redemption.



    • Elizabeth, thank you. I wanted to play with that dialect, and include definitions so readers wouldn’t be totally lost. It was different, which was fun, even though my character is such an unlikable one.



  1. SO much fun! I can’t wait until you start watching TBBT, to see how they influence you! 🙂

    Seriously…I haven’t read many of the wordle poems yet, but I’m sure you’ve taken us in a unique direction with these words. Very clever.



    • Paula, thank you. It wouldn’t surprise me if TBBT influences me when I start watching it. After all, I’ve written poems that have referenced Lost (twice now), Nip/Tuck, and now The Sopranos.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s