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Wild DreamsThe Best of Italian Americana$

Carol Bonomo Albright and Joanna Clapps Herman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823229109

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823229109.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see http://www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 17 July 2018

Poetry

Poetry

Chapter:
(p.241) Poetry (p.242)
Source:
Wild Dreams
Author(s):

Carol Bonomo Albright

Joanna Clapps Herman

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823229109.003.0007

Abstract and Keywords

This 1991 poem by Brian McCormick is about “the night Neil Armstrong impressed the thin dust on the moon, I made my meld in diamonds, playing pinochle, two decks cut and sussed with my foster family, Italian Americans, all now dead...”

Keywords:   Brian McCormick, poem, Neil Armstrong, moon, foster family, Italian Americans

(p.243) Inside the Inside of the Moon

Brian Mccormick (1991)

  • The night Neil Armstrong impressed the thin dust
  • On the moon, I made my meld in diamonds,
  • Playing pinochle, two decks cut and sussed
  • With my foster family, Italian
  • Americans, all now dead. Mom Vecchio
  • Fears treatment in ignorance, her breast black,
  • Malignant, eclipsing her aureole.
  • Her sixth grade schooling in science inexact
  • While on the TV screen Galileo
  • Is proved correct by golfing astronauts.
  • Armstrong's hop from module videos
  • To earth: Mom Vecchio lays down a heart.
  • She asks, “When is he going to go in?”
  • This puts a stop to the conversation.
  • Again—“When will he go inside the moon?”
  • “Inside the moon? He's on the moon's surface.”
  • “I mean, inside the inside of the moon.”
  • “Inside the inside of the moon?” Nervous,
  • I try to divine what she sees inside.
  • “Inside the inside where the moon-people
  • (p.244) Live, the way we survive inside our sky.”
  • She made her meld, her mind made wonderful
  • To me, that she could live inside a shell
  • Around the earth, the firmament made real
  • By faith in this Apollo miracle!
  • Planets, moons, traversed by NASA's angels,
  • Instantly transfigured, flown by foster
  • Love of God, she trumps with Pater Noster.
  • The phone rings. My brother sounds far away,
  • “Did I kill a black baby as a boy?”
  • Calling from his shelter in Rockaway,
  • The sunspot interference fades his voice.
  • “Did I burn it in the oven roaster
  • Because I went crazy, because I'm bad?”
  • Sea of Tranquility, golden visor!
  • “You're thinking of the oven used by dad,”
  • I said, “when he threatened to throw us in,
  • Clicked his heels, called us Jews, and lit the gas.
  • Now get some sleep, you're imagining things.”
  • Invisibles explode us into space
  • The flag flaps in vacuum, and we salute
  • The black baby inside the inside of the moon.

(p.245) Why I Drive Alfa Romeos

Kevin Carrizo Di Camillo (1993)

  • Because most people think it's the name of an Italian
  • clothier, or they spell the first part in Greek
  • and pronounce the latter in Shakespearean.
  • Because Alfas have the aura of a priceless antique.
  • Because the gauges read wrong and commit sins
  • of inaccuracy every other day of the week.
  • Because the logo is inscrutable: a man
  • swallowed by a snake and a cross, red as a cherub's cheeks.
  • But mainly because I drove an Alfa
  • around Nantucket this past summer.
  • Roads smoked with sand, Maria was with me.
  • Listened to the only music: Verdi's operas.
  • Engine kept tempo like an unflagging drummer,
  • driving towards the sun, ocean, and Italy.

(p.246) Walking My Son on the Beach

J. T. Barbarese (2003)

  • I smell like an engine housing
  • with my arms around his ribs;
  • his sweat tastes like her breast-milk
  • and something else—something his
  • and his alone. The tang of his hair,
  • the sweet cedar bark of his skin,
  • whatever my days have left out of me
  • in him has found a way in
  • and leavens the sweat that sweetens his cheek and leaves it tasting of brine
  • and all the somethings drawn from me
  • as he was becoming mine.

(p.247) The Skeleton's Defense of Carnality

Jack Foley (2003)

  • Truly, I have lost weight, I have
  • lost weight,
  • grown lean in love's defense,
  • in love's defense grown grave.
  • It was some concupiscence
  • that brought me to the state:
  • all bone and a bit of skin
  • to keep the bone within.
  • Flesh is no heavy burden
  • for one possessed of little
  • and accustomed to its loss.
  • I lean to love, which leaves me lean till lean
  • turns into lack.
  • A wanton bone, I sing my song
  • and travel where the bone is blown
  • and extricate true love from lust
  • as any man of wisdom must.
  • Then wherefrom should I rage
  • against this pilgrimage
  • from gravel unto gravel?
  • Circuitous I travel
  • from love to lack
  • and lack to lack, from lean to lack
  • and back.
(p.248)