PRAISE FOR UNBURIAL:
“Marc Alan Di Martino’s family-excavation Unburial gives us a whole world by giving us both the Old and the New, Italy and America. Each poem is its own delight, but the book is a book in the best sense, developing and redeveloping metaphors from geology (granite, tectonic shifts) and astronomy (black holes, dark matter). Another recurring metaphor, that of polishing (rock, tile, glass) serves perfectly to describe the gem-like sheen of these lyrics.”
– Aaron Poochigian, author of the verse novel Mr. Either/Or
I learned your language to unbury you
to feel again your mossy Roman beard
beneath my fingers, to be thunderstruck
again by your accent. You were straniero,
never americano, held on to your green card
like any immigrant with an ounce of hope.
Phone calls were costly then, AT&T
selling you a can and string to unspool
across the Atlantic Ocean. Once a month
you’d dial up your sisters in sammpietro,
vernacular for the neighborhood in Rome
where you grew up, no more than a stone’s throw
from Michelangelo’s copper cuppolone.
It was still Oltretevere back then,
‘beyond the Tiber,’ now prime real estate,
streets clogged like arteries with tourist buses
craning to see the pope play peek-a-boo.
As kids we’d boomerang indifferently
beneath the saint-studded cornice, feed
the horses stalled on sizzling cobblestones
black as iron ore, leapfrog the piazza
shaped like a keyhole, chase fattened pigeons
around the Egyptian obelisk as fountains
exploded at twilight. [read more at Unearthed]
If you are in Rome, you can find my books at Otherwise Bookshop.