Robert Eugene Rubino

Robert Eugene Rubino is a retired newspaper copy editor and columnist and a former volunteer adult literacy tutor. He has published prose and poetry in various online and print journals, including Hippocampus, Raw Art Review, The Write Launch and MacQueen's Quinterly. "Vanity Unfair" (Cathexis Northwest Press) is the latest of his three collections.

“Farewell, My Lovelies,” “A Chameleon Named Silencio,” and “The Unwoke Wizard of Oz”

Good riddance, alcohol.
Good riddance mary-jane.
Good riddance hashish and uppers and downers.
Good riddance Timothy Leary … we hardly knew ye.

Good riddance to
those bottles of quenching cold ice-cold cottonmouth-inducing beer & ale
and those steins of on-tap room-temp Guinness stout
— it’s good for you the billboard said and the billboard wouldn’t fib. Read more.

Issue 77

“Views from the Cushion,” “Passive Aggressive Origin Story,” and “X-Ray Yoga Vision”

(Before Meditating)
Doorway into adjoining room’s debris
boxes blankets pillows piled in childless crib
window fence smokeless chimney lifeless tree
its branches as bleak as a hopeless soul. Read more.

Issue 71

“Early Envy (1956)” and “Fantasy Football”

When he’s eight he envies neighbor/buddy Bobby his airline pilot father
who drives his eye-popping harlequin Ford Thunderbird
with gears-a-poppin’ engine roarin’ to and from Idlewild
before and after taking off into the wild blue yonder. Read more.

Issue 67

To Grandmother’s House We Go

When you were thirteen, your paternal grandparents Nonnina and Nonno already seemed ancient, having been married fifty years. Now you’re older than they were then. But you remember … Three things hang on their walls: a gruesome crucifix, a framed wedding photograph, and a billy club. Read more.

Creative Nonfiction
Issue 63

“Forget the Alamo,” “Eliot Ness Noir” and “Major Case”

At the aptly named Jackson Theater
when you were twelve
you saw John Wayne’s visually ambitious
gloriously fictitious
version of The Alamo
— yet another story already told to you through TV
— and so of course yet another lie. Read more.

Issue 61

“Bernadette at Lourdes” and “Lolita Condemned”

Sister Mary Rose (so young she could’ve been your actual sister)
marched you and her other seventy-two second-grade students
(no teacher aides, no volunteer parents, just the good nun)
eleven blocks west toward the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge
to the palatial Hobart Theater Read more.

Issue 55

“Bone Marrow Biopsy Reverberations” and “Return to Gamble Garden”

The oncologist instructs you to lie face down
like you’re going to get a massage
except you’re not going to get a massage.
And you think of the thousands of dollars
you spent while hooked on erotic massage
during the final years of your third marriage. Read more.

Issue 53

“Break Time,” “When Dying Deer Appear” and “Crawlspace”

Maybe you’ve lost
your patience
with your country
with a loved one
with yourself. Read more.

Issue 44

“In the Key of Keystone,” “Lost & Found & Lost” and “Winter Wind”

It was all that jazz
it was the city — San Francisco
it was the venue — Keystone Korner
a former topless bar on Vallejo Street transformed
into a world class club its interior intimate its memory indelible
& all that jazz Read more.

Issue 37

“I Like Ike”

When I was your age
the subway cost fifteen cents
gas cost thirty-two cents a gallon
television was free
& so was Saturday confession
in preparation for Sunday communion
when I was your age… Read more.

Issue 32

“Speed Limits? We Don’t Obey No Stinking Limits,” “Gym Rats” and “Poking Insidious Eye With Sharp Stick — It’s About Time”

We’re revved up on Peet’s coffee
driven by Silicon Valley vanity
we’re unanimous
we’re equanimous
in our 24/7 disregard
for our city’s 25 mph limits
speeding up & down Middlefield Road
at 40 … 45 … do I hear 55? Read more.

Issue 25