Innocence Lost
by Phillip Giambri

I’m six years old,
and I know one thing for sure,
I love my mother.

At eight,
I really love my dog, Penny.

At twelve,
I think I love Jesus.

At fourteen
I love Maureen,
but she likes my best friend.

At sixteen
I’m in love with Cass,
but I’m dating her best friend.

At eighteen I’m just angry.
I think no one loves me,
and I hate everyone.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is part of a larger piece entitled “What The Hell Is Love?” that is an analysis of my thoughts on love throughout my life. It has spawned a project involving more than 30 other New York City poets, storytellers, and writers who have all offered an honest and in-depth analysis of their experience with love. In March 2015, the “What The Hell Is Love?” Project was performed live by these writers over two nights at The Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Phillip Giambri, aka “The Ancient Mariner,” is a product of the streets of South Philadelphia who obtained his deviant perspective on life listening to Jean Shepherd on WOR radio back in the ’50s. Fleeing Philly at 28, he served in the military, has been an actor, hairstylist, stoner, janitor, writer, drifter, recording engineer, hired hand, poet, traveling salesman, barfly, banker, biker, bronco buster, announcer, mail-order minister, photographer, and “Computer Guru.” He arrived in NY City in ’68, joined the Hippie pilgrimage to St. Marks Place, and never left.  He’s attended too many schools to mention, studying nearly everything, without ever attaining a degree in anything. His work has appeared in Artists In the Kitchen 2013 edition, “Walt’s Corner” in The Long Islander, Silver Birch Press Self Portrait Poetry Collection, City World Radio, and He produces and hosts a popular monthly spoken word/poetry event, Rimes of The Ancient Mariner, as well as special collaborative events with other artist/performers; most recently the very successful “Barflies & Broken Angels,” “Are You Dangerous?” and “What The Hell Is Love?” series. His website Ancient Mariner Tales offers bored web surfers a glimpse into his futile search for self-discovery and meaning. He can be found in downtown NYC, regularly spinning yarns and telling tall tales anywhere that will tolerate him.