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Guido Poetics

Guido Poetics

Joseph Sciorra (February 6, 2011)

The Muse that is “Jersey Shore.”


How is it possible that Snooki inspires the poet, that Pauly D is immortalized in verse?

While the “aunts and uncles of Italian America are outraged,” Michael Cirelli got busy. His collection Everyone Loves The Situation (Penmanship Books, 2011) includes 37 poems that riff off the cast and shenanigans of MTV’s international megahit.

“Everything about it spoke to my artistic, personal and political sensibilities. [. . .] People that looked and spoke like my cousins, (but not as cool), now had a forum to express how the American Dream affected/infected their lives.”
Cirelli’s poems are not simplistic paeans to creepin’, fist pumpin’, or gettin’ juiced but playfully incisive observations on the media train wreck of our imagination. The poet helps us recognize that the tension emerging from the attraction and repulsion is a source of creativity and renewal.
Pauly D Lives Up to The Lifestyle
There’s a gateway, an arch
Over Atwells Avenue,
The entrance to Italian America,
And from it hangs “La Pigna,”
The pine comb,
A traditional symbol of abundance
For our people,
Who came to Federal Hill
And marched down this street
Each Columbus Day,
Who made bread and played bocce
In the Nocabulabet Bocce League,
Who hauled coal and branzino and
Valeted cars and delivered “apizza”
(In rain, sleet and slurs),
Up and down this avenue
That if followed far enough
Leads to the columned homes
Of Johnston—and lodged within
Those gaudy columns
Is the understanding that we made it,
As if getting from Providence to Johnston
Was like Sinatra conquering
New York, and all along Atwells Ave
The New World’s billboards
Told us what we wanted
What we needed
(To fit in), as we polished our Cadillacs
and we wrapped Egyptian gold
Around our necks,
As we mistranslated the hard tongue
Of L’America and became
Our own new breed, abundantly
Gelled abundantly tanned,
Perfecting the lifestyle
In front of a beveled mirror,
Mistaking a pine comb
For a pineapple.

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