Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen


In Poetry on October 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm




Foreword: This is a voice for the plight of trafficked persons.

Nameless, faceless, in a sea

Of scenarios waiting

To be played out,

My identity is a blur.

Faces, places, sounds swirl

Around me like a flood.

I am engulfed;

Broken, shattered

Into pieces. Violation

After violation,

I am consumed.

Running! Running from shadows

Of my past. I am

A victim of the present.


Silence!! (Terror can be so silencing.)

I am screaming,

But you can’t hear me.

I am screaming,

But you can’t see me.

I am screaming,

But you can’t help me

Nor save me

From the scourge

Of the underworld.


To my captors:

You disarm me

With your half-truths.

You captivate me

With broken promises.

With a nod of the head

And a handshake

You say, “Give me

Your tired, poor, huddled masses”

And erase my innocence.

With a wink of an eye

You say, “In God we trust”

And obliterate my smile


And you laugh.

With a kiss

And a warm embrace

You betray me.

You darken my soul

And sell yours in the exchange.

Ah, yes, to my captors!!

For now I am your cache

Till Liberty comes.

-Llima B.


In Food, Poetry on October 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm



He stood complacently, not responsible for

its greenery

he shrugged and gave a quick nod to the farmer at whose hand a tomato was nurtured into full redness

he stood surveying the abundance of choice with a boredom not fitting its opulence

he had eaten one too many carrot sticks and bedded down his lettuce as a frivolous notation about his access to the harvest

he had meant to care but found he couldn’t

he had meant to share but found it too bothersome

he yawned in the face of greens and reds and oranges and yellows and the endless need to wash and wash and wash and chop and cut

and the glass bottles of extra virgin olive oil and jugs of red balsamic vinegar and

he remembered the towering woman

who swept her pasta up in one fell swoop—

how it had fit perfectly in the Styrofoam container

how he had started to say Styrofoam is so bad for the earth but she had turned and left and it enraged him how anyone would walk out on him when he had so much to say and had demanded her to listen

he imagined the cherry tomatoes as her earrings and woven, braided strands of spaghetti as her necklace and then it revolted him because all he wanted

was a glass of brandy and his cigar and a tower of a woman to meet his every need

and the waitress had spit at him when he didn’t tip her and he wondered why they all persecuted him and

he sat on his tile floor and

cried and

cherry tomatoes rolled about his kitchen floor and

made him laugh.



She was tall and solidly built.

Her calves were hefty, sturdy foundations and she swayed, unconscious of her movement

a distant humming setting her on her way delicately

back and forth silently.

A tower of a woman stands at the door;

the chill from the fridge plastering her face ghostly as if the cold had pressed her flesh into ice—

a face gone white and numb.

Now she sees the piles of Styrofoam containers of the food she could not stomach

with the company she sought to escape.

Give me a doggy bag and let me run far from him she wanted to say

But only pointed to her plate of sad spaghetti and crusted bread and flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano with which she toyed, one swipe of the fork and

when the waitress saw her she threw the contents in a Styrofoam bin sullenly

and he watched, about to speak, and she fled before he could

and silencing thus, she vomited all food and thoughts and words in the comfort of her home and stacked another container on the tower of her containers and she was a tall and hefty woman who could,

if asked,

heave all the cartons to the wind and with it,

the likes of all those who sat across from her, fork in hand.

Instead she piled one on one on one the white Styrofoam tower

sturdy like her own, good, once hungry body and she says

Enough and shoves the last container that

falls spewing fine threads of spaghetti, chirping meatballs crying for help racing across the tile floor—

and the one below it, white Styrofoam square, stodgy falls too

And another and another

the containers spewing rice and broccoli and carrots and roast lamb with rosemary and yellow yams still in their tight jackets and wings that will never take flight laden as they are in barbeque sauce and baby leaves of spinach set flight away from cherry tomatoes and all the words of all the men who tried to tame her with affection

And leering glances

And cauldrons of words chased down with brandy.

She swayed on her long legs

Then Topple! she shouted

Then Fall! she sang and kicked a meatball into the corner

Then Gather the food as if in a harvest! she pleaded and

looking at the wasted food on the black and white tile floor

sat on the floor

collapsed onto the floor

and cried and when she thought

of all their words over dozen of dinners,

jumped to her feet

and laughed and laughed.

  -Annie Quintano


In Soup Kitchen Stories, Uncategorized on September 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm


Two years ago, Anthony was enjoying a successful career in wardrobe, set design and acting for film and tv. Originally from Delaware, where his mother was a college professor of Communications and his father ran a small construction company, Anthony grew up in a loving, comfortable home.  He was encouraged to develop his creativity, work hard and put his best foot forward in everything he did.

Sadly, when he was still a young man, both his parents passed on within a few years of each other and Anthony, with no brothers and sisters to lean on to help, coped with his grief by travelling the world, wanting to experience life to its fullest. Always optimistic, he had faith that between trips he could always find new gigs on tv and film projects.That formula worked for several years before he finally settled down in New York with a long term job on a major television network tv show in New York.

“I lived in an apartment building on the West Side, you know…a doorman,  a nice place, ” he says. “I enjoyed the good things in life: restaurants, travel, nice clothes. I didn’t know what it was like to live without any money.”

So, when the production company went through a reorganization and Anthony lost his job, he was confident he could pick up new work before too long. That was a year and a half ago.  “I thought I’d pick up something new by the end of the month,” he remembers. “Then one month turned into the next, and then the next.”

Never one to give up hope,  Anthony refused to think about the worst case scenario.

But with no income, and no new job prospects in the competitive show business industry, Anthony soon saw his bank account dramatically shrink until he finally had to use his security deposit to pay for a final month on his apartment last June. Since then, he’s been living on the street, homeless, and without family to turn to.

“That first day, when I moved all my things into storage, I looked around and thought – I really don’t have anywhere to go!” he says. “So I started walking, and trying to figure this ‘homelessness thing’ out.”

Anthony’s been putting one step in front of the other ever since. Not feeling safe in the crowded shelter system, he started sleeping on the subway at night, and coming to the soup kitchen during the day for his midday meal.

“If I stay clean and well groomed, and I sit a certain way on the subway  with my briefcase between my feet, I can close my eyes.  I just look like I’m a tired commuter, and I sleep from one end of the line to the other” he says. “By using my old gym membership I can still shower and stay clean. The haircut vouchers from the soup kitchen have really helped.”

At first, he said, it was hard to ask for help. “I always saw people in line here and I was hungry. My pride got in the way though. I kept saying to myself – ‘I don’t want to be in that line’. Next thing you know…I’m in that line!”

He remembers his first impression of the inside of the soup kitchen as he stood with his tray of food, how  it immediately gave him a sense of hope, of peace: “The church is so beautiful!”

Anthony continued to look for work, but when his phone got cut off, he faced an even harder uphill battle to stay on top of his job search.  Excited to find out about our computer lab and resume coaching, he says, “All the people here help so much, they are amazing – the food, the clothing, the soap and toothpaste,  the haircut vouchers. It makes me want to volunteer too. I need to feel productive.”

Anthony’s perseverance, combined with the help from the soup kitchen will hopefully pay off  before the winter months set in. He’s just recently gone to several  job interviews for customer service positions and one job looks especially promising.

“You know, I see this as temporary. It has to be” he says, determination in his voice.  “Some day, I’ll be able to give back a lot to the soup kitchen. You’ll see!”