Monday, September 26

Month: May 2022

Papa’s Peeps
Poetry

Papa’s Peeps

by Stephen D'Alessio In the years before the coronavirus, we are Italian on Easter. No dinners of food snatched together before the supermarkets closed for quarantine hours. It is Nana’s lasagna, pizza rustica, and sausages stacked lovingly on a little dish. Now, the family sits fully fed, cups of coffee in hand. The conversations, face to face, not over unfeeling digital screens, taking us far away. But Papa sits silently at the end of the table, the hunter patiently awaiting his prey. The minutes pass, and suddenly there is a great rip.  The conversation disappears, like the air out of a punctured balloon. My sister has appeared next to Papa with the marshmallow peeps! He surveys them with a jeweler’s expert eye. Papa’s hand shoots, spiderlike...
Slow Dance
Poetry

Slow Dance

by Douglas DeCandia "Be still a moment. Let  the season catch up. Peace  is not a place one gets to But moving,  rather, in rhythm with the Earth. And Winter," I remind myself, "Is a slow dance all its own."
Carmen’s Cards
Fiction

Carmen’s Cards

by Federica Santini She starts to turn up the cards. Diamond, spade… Death! We first see him shirtless, effortlessly lifting a dead tree. He stares into the camera while breaking down a wardrobe with his bare hands. He takes a selfie, full center, his muscles bulging under a too tight button-up, Elisa’s quirky smile just an afterthought to the left of the frame. Picture after picture, we learn to know him as a good giant, a good guy who was love-struck. He was enamored, in tears, obsessed. He was a good person, naïve, clueless, just wanted to help. He was a small-town Rambo and so very likable. Liked. We hear nothing of her. She is at the edges, small print to his front page titles. She only exists through him: his obsession, his unrequited love. On the last Sunday of August 2019, 2...
Gratitude is Like Vitamins for Your Soul
Fiction

Gratitude is Like Vitamins for Your Soul

by Mike Fiorito I first put Ernie Paniccioli’s name to his face when I saw Juan Carlos Pinto’s portrait of him hanging up at OYE Studios in Brooklyn. There are always many artworks on display at Pinto’s studio. Some are completed projects; some are works in progress. But this portrait really spoke to me. The hint of a smile, but yet the face wasn’t smiling. The eyes looked welled up with tears, but they weren’t crying. Pinto managed to express a living essence behind the eyes in this portrait. “Who’s that,” I asked. “Where have you been? Living under a rock, bro?” he said, laughing. Then he told me it was Ernie Paniccioli, or Brother Ernie, as he’s also known. Ernie was born in Brooklyn, of Cree Native and Italian American parents, and grew up in a tough section of Bedford Stu...
Elena Ferrante and Me. I Don’t Know Her, She Knows Me
Bella Figura: On Italian American Identity

Elena Ferrante and Me. I Don’t Know Her, She Knows Me

by Sara Marinelli I had to wait five long years for Elena Ferrante’s next book after her last one, The Lost Daughter (2006). My Brilliant Friend, the first volume of what became the world famous quartet, came out in Italy toward the end of 2011. I had moved to San Francisco from Naples about two years earlier, and among my dearest belongings I had carried Ferrante’s books in my suitcases for fear of losing them in the shipment boxes that would join me later. My next visit to Italy was planned for the summer, and I couldn’t wait any further to read her new book. I called a friend in Italy and asked him to mail me the book as soon as it hit the bookstores. A week later, winning the battle against the Italian mailing system, my object of desire made it to my door in San Francisco. The ...