Saturday, December 10

Month: October 2021

Arrival: A Letter from the Editors
Opinion

Arrival: A Letter from the Editors

Welcome to the relaunch of Pummarola, an online journal of politics and culture that seeks to explore the cultural bonds, internal rifts and intersectionalities embedded within our Italian diaspora. With this new issue, our small collective assumes the editorship of Pummarola, fully aware that we have big shoes to fill. We arrive grateful to the founders Ross Caputi and Samantha Pinto for their dedication to the journal. We are fully committed to advancing their vision and expanding the reach of Pummarola to new readers and diverse communities. We have come together as a tight group, despite sometimes disparate lived experiences, opinions, motivations and priorities. We are united in our hope to produce a vibrant publication that will resonate both within and beyond the Italian ...
Poetry

Festa

By Stephen D'Alessio Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino Vito Marcantonio’s old campaign posters sit in the glass cases at the cultural center.His cocked eyebrow and raised fist bring the fire of radicalism surging around him.At the festa the elder right wing Italians eye his picture nervously,craning their necks over the bottles of wine to look at the display from their table.They call him a myth,like la Befana or Babo Natale.“The REAL Italians would never support a red!”As I pass by they tell me all about the good Italian immigrants from the old days,the Christian immigrants,the immigrants who never thought of welfare.For the elder leftists, Marcantonio’s memory is a necessity.It sustains them like the arancini they eat.They sit off on their own, cast outor perhaps self-exiled.They be...
Poetry

Come Mai, Signor Cuomo?

By Peter Fortunato Deflate that buffed chest,lower your head,and look at the shadowtrailing you, sir.The rest of us see howyou have ignoredto your own periland immanent political demisea pit of patriarchal excesswhose bottom is so ancientarcheologistsof the Roman Empirehave yet to excavateits basis completely.Andrew,certain artifactsbelong in museumsas recollections of how some men—the Caesars and the little Caesars—once presumed they wereidentical with the law,and their phallusesemblematic of it.Who can rememberall the detailsof Roman decay, and whatdo they have to do witha governor today,who seemed so provident,expedient,and admirablebut is apparentlyonly anotherexample of decadence?I’ll tell you: the evidenceexceeds your excuses.I have soughtto comprehend whyyou might have thoug...
Poetry

Triptych : Seeds; Binary; Old Growth

By Douglass DeCandia Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel Seeds We do not talk about the old country As if by erasure we might reckon with that loss. It has been not yetone hundred years But our storyis almost gone. Assimilationis a slow death. A pledge of allegianceto forget. But we cannot forget. For we are more than the race America gave us In exchange for our language and songs More than the dispossessed made immigranton another's land. We aremore human than that. Miracleand memory of soil and sea A people of a place upon this Earth Come a long waybut still related Like seedsto the flower of home. ------- Binary My issuewith the straight worldhas nothing to do with sex or gender But with a duality of thinking which imposes That the...
Sausage for Lunch
Essays, Stracciatella: A Sprinkling of This & That

Sausage for Lunch

By Joanna Clapps Herman The author's aunt with her tomato harvest. We always had sausage for lunch on Saturdays, because we were always making the sauce for Sunday macaroni. Every Saturday started the same way. First my mother, my sister and I cleaned the house, then we started the sauce. Two pounds of sausage, one hot, one sweet, two pounds of ground meat for the meatballs. Only sometimes braciola. My mother’s Tolvese grandmother put in chicken too. But we never did. We made it Aviglanese style because that’s what the wife does. She learns the sauce of her husband’s people so he’ll always have the sauce from his childhood. My mother studied the Aviglanese recipes from my father’s grandmother, Mammanonna. It was a point of pride that women were great cooks and that they learned thei...
In Italiano, Poetry

Un Lucchese in America

By Renzo MarcheschiTranslated from the Italian by Elena Marcheschi Renzo Marcheschi working at the Italian Village restaurant. Chicago, Dicembre 1969Son qui a pensar solo solettoalla mi’ cara Lucca e al paesetto.La vita lontan dal tu’ paese è sempre duraed ogni giorno di più mi manca la mi’ città e le su’ mura.Ci sono, è vero, qui tanti paesani,vivon ad uscio, ma è come se fossero trecento Kilometri lontani.Una volta di tanto li trovi, in generale,ad uno sposalizio o ad un funerale.Tutti pensano al Dollaro ed a lavorare più ore,ma nessuno sa quanta tristezza hanno nel core.Vai in automobile e mangi come un pascià,ma a tutti torna in mente quella fetta di polenta col baccalà.Con tutta quella grazia di Dio che è negli storitutti cercan qualcosa che qui non trovi.Sembra una cosa strana...
Poetry

When You Ask Italians to Give Up Columbus

By Jack Manno Island people (Sicilians, Irish) are vulnerable to looters, conquerors,Storms, imperial schemes, thugs.Its an old story for our people; it breaks our heartsAnd compromises our integrity, more; our souls.When you ask Italians to give up ColumbusYou need to know how we lost our soil and our souls.We were tough people: small in stature and bent by work and the fearOf the Padrones, the landowners,and their Mafioso who kept us all in check by terror.A very long time ago the Roman empire went on a conquering spree(It’s always the empires and want-to-be’s)against Native Italians (Sicels, Elymians, Apuani, Ligurians, Celts and many more).In order to survive, we made a desperate pact with the empire’s thugs.Let my children live, let me take care of my family, our land, I won’t...
“This Fundamentally Changed Me”: An Interview with a Sedition Hunter
Stracciatella: A Sprinkling of This & That

“This Fundamentally Changed Me”: An Interview with a Sedition Hunter

By Charles Tocci They are the secretive group of anonymous individuals working collectively to parse publicly available videos, frame by frame, just to get a glimpse of a face in the crowd at the January 6th Capitol Invasion. They are the watchers on the newsfeed scanning for every clue about the identities of right-wing extremists. They are the sedition hunters who collect as much evidence and information about Capitol invaders as possible and then pass their dossiers to law enforcement for prosecution. I became hooked on the puzzle and wanted to understand how they do this work, why they do it and what it might tell us about the appropriation of Columbus statues by right-wing extremist movements. IH (a pseudonym) has been a hunter since January 7th, spending from 40 to 100 hou...
Learning to love swimming in Lake Michigan
Essays, Stracciatella: A Sprinkling of This & That

Learning to love swimming in Lake Michigan

By Teresa Albano Lake Michigan The ferocity of the waves cannot be captured in a single photo of a rising sun, although my swim buddy, Aliza, tries. The waves’ height are, according to Lake Michigan Buoy #45174, 4.3 ft., coming every 6 secs. They hit the shallow sandy bottom and break with energy that easily knocks you down. It’s impossible to confront high-breaking waves by standing upright, as if you were a courageous Black Lives Matter activist, standing your ground for decency, democracy and the First Amendment. You have to submerge or swim through them, which may feel counterintuitive. But when facing a force like water, being relaxed and flexible beats being stiff and rigid. Aliza and I, teammates on an adult swim team, take to Lake Michigan during the summer of 2020 for...
How to Talk about Columbus with Your Family
Opinion

How to Talk about Columbus with Your Family

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF_unlvjccA Video Credit: Pani Stavrou-Wilson, Uncivil History By Marci Merola It's October, and for many that means fall colors, decorative gourds and talk of Christopher Columbus in the air. Maybe it's possible to get through the month without a pumpkin-spiced anything, but the Columbus controversy is back in the news, making for an abbondanza of difficult conversations around the dinner table. How do you talk to old-school family members about the dethroning of an Italian American idol? Here are five ways to help start—or stop—the conversation.  1. We were misled. And it's not our fault. Growing up in the U.S., we were all taught the story of Christopher Columbus and his voyage with the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. (I ca...