Air Raid

Air Raid Social- acrylic on cut canvas. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso

The bell rang three times back then

or someone caused the sound

a custodian, or principal,

or robot with a lightbulb on its head.

Air raid warning

ding ding ding

telling us death

could be coming out of the clouds

heavier than hail

louder than thunder

and forcing us under our desks

to protect us from something

the blast?

the fallout?

As if.

As if.


Playtime yes

and sometimes they would lead us down

into the shelter

where we would chatter away the hour

and marvel at the size of the great iron boiler

another symbol

of industrial power

of fire and heat

of the nation.


All of this exercise

under desks, underground

taught us nothing of the kind of horror

hanging in the skies

everyday every hour

from planes on endless flight patterns

or satellites making circles

around their prey,

but it did tell something

of the seriousness of the times

and later, in retrospect

how important some things might be,

JFK disregarding the advice of his generals

envoys nudging despots away from madness

teachers calming frightened kids.


Spy craft

the careful calibration of power

a world lucky enough to have a noble person

sitting in the big chair

refusing to turn a schoolhouse drill,

a lesson in preparedness,

into another lesson

in bellicosity

and the effects of atomic shock waves

one where children

hiding under desks, or

huddled in a boiler room

just disappear.


Danny Grosso





The Continuity of Change

Ghosts on Madison Street – acrylic and metallic paint on denim. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso

All around us

are people

some so present

they tear into

your personal space,

some distant

as mist on the horizon.

There are ghosts

that remember the world

in the time of its infancy

and of ours

and as they wander untethered

by the demands of their former selves

they sometimes pass

a campaign poster,

hover over

the rusted remains

a button

proclaiming the successes

of a failed candidate

in an election that for a time

seemed all there was in the world,

vital to everything,

the future,

the viability of a culture,

life and death.

And yet they remain

these ghosts

some maybe, unknowingly

still of this world

wandering through the streets

that once raged like rivers

of protest

that somehow endure

never succumbing

to apocrypha.

Relentlessly comes the future

victorious is the new

and still we persevere

no matter who is elected president.


Danny Grosso 



A Room Full of People

From D.C. – an editorial strip originally published during the years 1981 -1984 in the Loyola Phoenix. Later compiled as The Traveler – Vintage Comix -1981-1991. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso. 

At the correspondents dinner

they joke about

a room full of narcissists.

Everybody laughs

self consciously

for a few seconds

and then it’s almost quiet

and amid the chairs squeaking

and muffled grunting

around the round


a man waits in vain

wanting only to hear his name

spoken from the podium

and a woman checks her teeth

in the reflection

of a shiny knife.


Danny Grosso