O Romeo

         (in the 21st Century)

Doth thy tender profile break on yonder Facebook page

As I scan thy brow that traces streaks of sky

Across thy Blog;  I readeth thy missals and thy texts

Knowing they were meant for me—O foolish mind

O vain illusion, assuming all, or nothing,

As tenuous as Instagram, that haunts my waking dream;

How fortunate that I canst text thee in this virtual manner

Avoiding your risk of scaling my balcony and falling to my dismay

And scraping thy knee, or more, scarring thy pate,

Thy profile, so that virtual clouds would weep

Virtual tears, for earth could not bear to lose thy unearthly beauty;

No, my lord, thou canst text me from thy room and keep secret

Our hidden melodies from our families, the Capulets

And Montagues who would break with cruel intent and delete

The bond that lashes me to thy soul;  yes, send a brief tweet

If thou canst, and hold thy tablet close to thy breast, closer to my doom,

Knowing that my heart beats against the glass of thy Chat Room.


  • Bernard Block was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Cornell University and Brooklyn College. He hitch-hiked to California in 1965 and lived in the Haight-Ashbury through 1967 where he gave poetry readings at the I and Thou Coffee Shop, North Beach coffee houses and Golden Gate Park. He returned to NYC and studied with the poet Colette Inez in the mid '70's. He earned his living as a caseworker with the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City (he is now retired). Bernard has read at all the major spoken-word venues in NYC. He has presented his poetry in venues in Philadelphia, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC. In August, 2014 he was invited to feature in Laugharne, South Wales in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. Bernard curates and hosts the Series “From Whitman to Ginsberg” at Cornelia St. Café. There have been 21 editions of this Series; the most recent was presented on September 28, 2018. All 21 editions were videotaped and can be accessed on his YouTube Channel. He has had 38 poems published in the prestigious European on-line literary journal Levure Littéraire #8, #9 and #12 (Editors: Rodica Draghincescu; Erika Dagnino). Five of Bernard's poems appear in the French/English literary journal Recours au Poème (Editor: Marilyne Bertoncini) with French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi. In an article in this journal regarding the NYC poetry scene, Ms. Brunazzi devotes a significant discussion to Bernard's poetry and his organizing role on that scene. Bernard Block’s book of poetry "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?" has been released by Dark Light Publishing. This is a bilingual edition, English/Spanish, with evocative translations by the eminent Mexican poet, Roberto Mendoza Ayala. It is available on Amazon and from the author: [email protected]