Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New E-Book

Download my latest e-book, Imagining a Baby, part of the Dusie Kollectiv. I worked on this poem during the weeks leading up to Vito's birth and released a print version last week.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Santa Maria del Carmine, Tango & Etc.

Hot and humid here. Not much out of the ordinary in that respect. It's really too hot to even think about using the computer during the day. In fact, I've been on relatively light computer rations all this week. When I do use the computer, I try to limit my session to no more than one hour. I don't want to melt this beast...

Vito received a couple vaccination injections on Wednesday. He seems completely recovered from the experience. We heard him cry more strongly than we had previously experienced, but I suppose we're in for many more firsts in both good and bad categories...

Putignano - San Stefano - Le Illuminarie - Installation ILast weekend started a two-week stretch of excitement and festivals in Putignano. On Sunday evening, we went out to celebrate the festival of Santa Maria del San Carmine with the town.Putignano - San Stefano - Le Illuminarie If you go back to last year, you can read even more about it and find more photos of the happenings. The small picture on the left shows the lights for Santa Maria del Carmine and the small picture on the right shows the lights for San Stefano (Saint Stephen). Saint Stephen is Putignano's patron saint. I'm not sure why. Apparently, there is, at least, one of his bones (his skull?) here in town somewhere. I haven't verified this information, but let's go with it for now...

The highlight of Sunday's events was the climactic tango performance at the town hall by Hector Ulisses Passerella & Ensemble. Traditionally, a local orchestra performs in the small square near the church, but the event organizers thought they would try something with a little more pizzazz. The ensemble not only played tango music, but also featured a couple of dancers and a woman who recited poetry. Watch a short sample of the event now...

The name of the performance was Vi Racconto Il Tango... which translates to something like "I tell you the tango..." and presented a more historical and informative perspective on tango music and its origins and development. I don't think anyone went home displeased.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Sound of Music

icon-speakerVito is starting to make lots of sounds. It's exciting as there're new sounds almost every day. Click on this icon and listen to Vito, recorded last week, in one of his lingual states. Angela and me are quite happy to inspire this kind of backtalk from our little man and do our best to respond in kind. If you've ever been a parent, you've probably experienced it. If you haven't been a parent, you can try now in the privacy of your own home!

Stork VaseMy mother brought us the vase pictured here when her and my father were visiting a few weeks ago. It is a Marcacci family heirloom. The vase (although it doesn't really look like a traditional vase) was given to my grandmother Ruth, my father's mother, when my father was born. Ruth, in turn, gave it to my mother when I was born and now, my mother has passed it down to my wife at the arrival of Vito. A cool tradition. Apparently, it used to be quite popular to give vases when there was a newborn. I don't know if this happens anymore or not, but we'd be happy to hear about it...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Intolerable Humidity & Mother's Milk

We've arrived among the days of unbearable humidity again. It makes vacuuming, one of my household tasks, quite unpleasant. This third floor apartment doesn't exactly cool down fast in the evenings.

I don't think Vito likes the humidity very much either as he resisted our best efforts to pacify him this afternoon. He's sleeping soundly now while Angela expresses her milk. When my parents were vising last week, my mom told her that's what they call it in America these days, expressing, but I have yet to verify the information. Seems strange, but what do I know. I'm not exactly up on the latest breast-feeding slang. Feel free to let me know if you know the score...

And, well, here I am, as usual. Sitting in front of a computer for very long doesn't exactly cool me down, either, but it's much more satisfying than vacuuming. Unfortunately, in the last two days, I've printed both sides of an entire ream of paper, which has not been enjoyable on this little ink-jet job. Better than nothing. The final pages are actually printing out as I type this.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

In the Trenches

Putignano - Centro Storico - La Notte BiancaTonight is La Notte Bianca (The White Night) here in Putignano, a new event since last year, and many of the shops will be open until dawn. It's really the last hurrah for the carnival floats which normally debut every year in February. It also a nice lead-in to San Stefano, the festival of the town's patron saint, which begins next week.

Most of the time, Vito sleeps or eats pleasantly. When he's not doing those things, we play together, me imitating his sounds and trying to communicate in his special language, him smiling and moving his limbs spastically. That's basically my job these days: baby translator. Occasionally, dealings with Vito can offer much more than expected. Regurgitating of milk onto my shirt, for example, or drooling onto my arm and the floor. He makes messes and is likely to leave his mark at any time.

I took a hit from our little man today. While feeding him this afternoon, I noticed he was squirming around more than he normally does. That usually means one thing. I tried to reposition him and, really getting to the bottom of the situation, noticed a warmish sensation on my palm. Vito started crying and I passed him off to Angela (she handles the serious jobs). Then I had to disrobe. Vito's expulsion had tagged my shirt and my pants and I needed to get into something fresh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More General Stuff / Poetry Update

It hasn't been as humid here lately so it's possible to sleep at night without sweating ceaselessly. In fact, it was downright cool today with a strong wind blowing. A welcome change...

Mother and Vito are both well and good. Seems like I don't have a minute to spare these days. I can't imagine what will happen when I begin working again. Something will fall away... I suppose I will deal with that when the time comes.

A couple international publications this month. Read a few groups of poems about Italy, part of a slowly evolving series additionally featuring some of my photos, at an Irish publication called DeadDrunkDublin. You can also read poems in a New Zealand magazine called Junctures. There's even more work in Concelebratory Shoehorn Review and in the latest issue of Hamilton Stone Review. Last but not least, check out Sawbuck, in which a number of my poems appeared recently.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

i-Outlaw 2.6 featuring Annie Finch

You can now listen to i-Outlaw 2.6, the audio poetry show I host, produced by Josh Hinck. Lots of stuff interfered with our rapid release of this version, including the wonderful arrival of my parents for a stretch. Anyway, everything should be up and running now. Happy Independence Day!

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Annie Finch LimelightHer mother was a poet and doll-artist, her father a scholar of philosophy and religion. A practicing Wiccan, Finch's poetry is inspired largely by her relations with the natural world, especially the landscapes of Maine. The forms of Finch's poems are almost always complex and musical; their themes draw upon earth-centered spirituality, myth, sex, and childbirth. Uniting all of her work is a conception of poetry as essentially incantatory, performative, speaking to the body as much as to the mind.
- from the Annie Finch and Poets.org websites.
The role of the poet, as of every citizen, is to be first a fully engaged citizen, either of a family or a community or a subculture or a nation or the planet or of any other group that feels like the right fit.
- from an interview on Here Comes Everybody, 2005.
i-Outlaw version 2.6 also features fine poetry by:

Emma Barnes
Aaron Belz
Andrew Burke
Jim Goar
Lisa Gordon
Jill Jones
Lewis LaCook
Amanda Laughtland
Rebeka Lembo
Ashraf Osman

Spread the word far and wide. Don't forget to enter our contest to win a free book of poetry! I have books by Sheila E. Murphy, Jill Chan, Derek Motion, Jordan Stempleman, Eileen Tabios, Mark Young & Bill Allegrezza. Listen to i-Outlaw now and find out how...