Two of my poetry collections are now available. The first, entitled Vestiges, was released in November by Alabaster Leaves Publishing. And advance sales for the second book, In Pursuit of Infinity, by Finishing Line Press, are underway and will continue until Dec. 28. The release date for the book is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2013. Pre-publication sales will determine the press run, and so if anyone is interested, you can order the chapbook online. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it. Below you’ll find some excerpts from Infinity.
Dreaming of Lemon Trees
I dream of words
I strive to recapture
When I awaken in the morning.
I dream of stories with endings unknown,
Vibrant scenes imagined in my sleep—
A Degas ballerina alone in her dressing room,
A wagon train backlit on the horizon,
A hummingbird dancing on the windowsill,
And a lemon tree in the church courtyard in mid-afternoon.
Wherever I go in my dreams,
The air is balmy and sunlight abundant.
Trees sway and the scent of evergreen finds its way to my nose.
I dream because when this tired body hits the mattress,
It relaxes, then releases and gives up its earthly weight.
My eyes close and I sink to the deep recesses of my mind,
Setting the subconscious free.
My mother sits
in the kitchen chair
after she recites
her morning prayers.
Sunlight streams through
the lace curtains
and cigarette smoke
is suspended in the air.
She bows her small head
and presses her fingers
to the bridge of her nose,
as she contemplates
the chores for the day,
while her milky coffee cools
in a blue ceramic mug,
resting within reach
on the laminate counter.
Independence Day, 1979 (Rome, New York)
Whipped-cream clouds smear a powder blue sky,
while Grandpa nurses a carafe of Chianti
and dreams of waltzing down Bourbon Street.
The DeCosty family gathers on the patio,
with Uncle Fee roasting sausage and peppers
and Nana dribbling olive oil over fresh tomatoes,
then adding alternating pinches of basil and parsley.
Inside the backyard bordered by overgrown hedges,
the rambunctious cousins wham Wiffle balls
with a thin banana-colored plastic bat,
evoking the hollers of Grandpa . . .
who watches out for his mint-green aluminum shed,
situated perfectly in left-center field—serving as our own Green Monster.
And when we get ahold of that little white ball,
it smacks up against the aluminum obstacle,
clashing like two marching band cymbals in a halftime show.
And with sweat coursing down his neck,
Grandpa barks out his familiar line under the patio awning:
“Son of a bitch . . . keep that goddamn ball away from my shed.”
But Nana is always on our side,
and cancels out his power and keeps him in check.
“Fiore, you let those kids play and mind your mouth,” she says.
Grandpa abandons his no-win cause,
turns up the volume on the Yankee game
and pours himself another glass of red wine.
He watches quietly as the shed stands erect in the late afternoon sun,
sacrificing its facade for our slew of ground-rule doubles.
The most adorable pregnant bridesmaid ever
Waddles down the church’s center aisle,
Unable to hide her protruding belly.
And with her feet swollen,
Her lower back sore and forehead warm,
She endures the ceremony standing
On the altar beside the joyous couple.
But she nearly passes out while
Posing for pictures in the lakefront park.
Inside the reception hall,
She almost vomits at the sight
Of shrimp cocktail and chicken Florentine.
She orders hot tea and lemon from the top-shelf bar,
And dines on rolls and garden salad.
This single-mom-to-be, though not merry,
Offers a smile when others turn to stare,
And bobs her head to the music
As the guests hit the dance floor.
She nibbles on a sliver of white-frosted wedding cake,
And asks for guidance from her parish priest, wise old Father Meyer.
Then the bride overthrows the eager females huddled
Near the dance floor and the bouquet lands
Softly in the expectant mother’s lap.
Her face turns red as everyone looks at her.
So she just grabs the bouquet and throws it back.