Aftermath

Wires and water

don’t go well together.

The hurricane has forced them

to cohabit streets filled

with floating debris,

lumber, children’s toys,

a car, someone’s stove

drifting by like a cloud

sauntering in a blue sky,

the kind of sky they haven’t seen

for days in New Jersey.

–excerpt from “Aftermath” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Plainsongs.

Conjecture

What if sun and moon

were to collide in space,

spawning sparks of gold and silver,

little gods and goddesses falling to earth

to make everything right?

–excerpt from “Conjecture” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Amoskeag.

Opening the Curtains

In the division of labor

that is marriage, one of his daily jobs,

assumed for no particular reason,

is to open the curtains. Each morning,

wandering from one room to the next,

he lets in the sky, enjoying the pull

of the cords, the vision of cloud,

rain, or new snow, framed in

the crossword design of windows . . . .

–excerpt from “Opening the Curtains” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in The Cape Rock.

Southern Comfort

. . . We create ourselves anew each night,

bathed and night-gowned, sipping root beer floats

on the porch under an orange moon,

counting pink polka-dots on skinny legs,

as now we watch a penny-candy sunset . . .

–excerpt from “Southern Comfort” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Chaffin.

Stormy

. . . It always rained sideways

through the cracks,

like memories

intruding on an ordinary day:

driving to work,

picking up groceries, or watching

a dragonfly light on a leaf.

–excerpt from “Stormy” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Plainsongs.

Announcing . . . GHOST GARDEN

Ghost Garden, Donna Pucciani’s seventh collection of poetry, explores the search for her Italian roots. Unlike her full-length collections, this compact pamphlet is elegantly concise in its concentration on a particular subject: the Pucciani family tree.

The book traces the family of the author’s paternal grandfather, Carlo Pucciani, in three sections: “Searching,” “Finding” and “Remembering.” The arc of research and discovery, personal encounter, and the inevitable nostalgia of diaspora and separation, is told in both the straight line of chronological detail and the emotional spiral of personal experience.

The Pucciani family hails from the small hilltop village of San Donato di Ninea, the ancestral home for many generations. Located on the ‘buckle’ of the boot of Italy, in the southern Italian province of Calabria, San Donato is the birthplace not only of the family “ghosts” but also of cousins living in Italy today whom the author found and met personally in the process of her genealogical research.

The “ghost garden” comprises poems on the author’s grandfather, the only one of sixteen brothers and sisters to emigrate to the United States through Ellis Island in 1903, vast numbers of cousins who remained in Italy and whose progeny now live in Milan, Bergamo, Cosenza, Paola and Florence, and distant relatives whose ancestors came over to settle in Akron, Pittsburgh, upstate New York, and even further afield, in Buenos Aires.

Pucciani’s writing brims with colorful imagery, startling metaphor, and precise diction that, along with photos of the village and the family elders, combine to render a special sense of place. Those who have read memoirs and prose renderings of the Ellis Island experience and the search for family in the old country, particularly in Italy and Ireland, will especially enjoy this unique poetic presentation of history and mythology.

(GHOST GARDEN can be ordered by arrangement with the author. Please contact dpucciani@yahoo.com. The cost is $10.00 plus postage.)

Planetary

My planet passes the sun every year

on the date of my birth at Garfield Memorial,

a hospital in D.C. that no longer exists. But I still exist,

having squirmed my way out of my mother’s legs

into the gloved hands of Dr. Caroline Jackson, I’m told,

after a fifteen-minute interval in which

they discovered we were twins . . . .

–excerpt from “Planetary” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Coffee House.