Thursday, January 27

Poetry

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...
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...
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