Wednesday, August 17

Poetry

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."
Ros’e Argende
Poetry

Ros’e Argende

Ros'e Argende by Douglass DeCandiaRos'e Argende is the name of a folk song from the Montemarano, Campania region, that inspired the poem. It means Rose and Silver in the dialect of the region.I heard a song today An old songfrom the old country It sounded like wind and spoke of longing Though I did not know the words My body became a field of poppyand wheat And for a momentthat was the forever of this song Time lost itself in me And we circled together Backand aroundand forth again Untetheredin the wind. ------- The original song recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH4w3B5qPaMRos'e Argende, read by the author: Original lyrics:Ros' e argende se n'ha jute,E la signora è romanuta, Ohì signo', ohì signo',Ros' e argende, è ros' d'amor. La signora è romanuta,E a l...
Poetry

An Epiphany: January 6, 2021

by Peter Fortunato Little Christmas, as it used to be known,January 6 of the Julian Calendar, though who remembers why?What irony that on the day of the Epiphany, when the newborn Christian savior was revealed to three wise men,the U.S. Capitol was assaulted by barbariansin the name of a deceiver!Some were simply servants of the Lie,others, ignoramuses, but there’s no excusefor their attempt to nullifythe votes of millions.   In the year since then, I haven’t hearda public comment that relates the ancient feastto that event, when instead of bearing gifts to honor Baby Jesus,  insurrectionists bore arms. No preacher that I know has spoken out aboutwhat seems to me equivalent to desecration, but then, I’m not a church...
Poetry

Poems: Teaching Tools, Rapini

By Joey Nicoletti   Teaching Tools My brother, am I allowed to work less on reactions, which are taxing for me to manage in the moment?   For instance, did I hear you correctly when you said Buddha is a four-letter word?   Did I understand you when you said Ahmaud Arbery wasn’t murdered?   Do I have to be on the same timeframe that everyone else is on? Am I allowed to go for a walk, stop   and enjoy all that any moment has  to offer me, such as a shot of Bailey’s  in a fresh cup of hot chocolate?   The look of concentration in a muscular acrobat’s eyes,as he throws a chair   and a petite woman  in the crisp December air,one after the other?   Am I allowed to marvel  the radiant smile  on the woman’s face   when she lands in the chair, his ripped arms as still as ...
Poetry

resistance requires a guerilla memory

by Charles Tocci Photo by Charles Tocci She died in a bus shelter outside the CVS. A few blocks down, bunching traffic, congesting the neighborhood for hours,  before filing out, quiet and dark. We were left to wonder just what all the lights and sirens had been about. And then the morning after, it was gone. JC Decaux, paid millions, power washed it clean: Sidewalk, bench, and an ad for Blue Cross Blue Shield. When curiosity turned to Google, the Trib reported a woman, disheveled, roamed the CVS with a kitchen knife. Startled employees call the police, who arrive post-haste to North Sided distress. Cops, finding her, now out in the bus shelter, yell to put the knife down. And failing that, attempt to tase her, and fail at that. So when they say she...
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...