First Comes Love

Pino Coluccio is an amazing writer. The origins of a shoe salesman’s fetish are explored in “Life’s Work.” The mundane motions of everyday love– “He pulls her light warm weight upon/ his chest and soft sighs commingle–/ good old same old same old. Medium bliss”– are sweetly given voice in “Hunchback.” Loneliness, and the things that humans long for, are poignantly mixed together in the bottom of an empty mayonnaise jar in “Where Has All the Mayo Gone?” As every good poet should be able to do, Coluccio takes small pieces of daily life and finds in them great meaning. He writes about a child stealing olives, adolescent love, shopping at Honest Ed’s, and a bar of soap, with equally expressive language and an effortless capacity for rhyming. He plays with his verse, using tradibruise and it’s blue.” Often he repeats phrases but places them differently throughout the poem, as in “Salt Instead of Seed,” where through a window “the boy who’s lit the lamp to read” and “the father sowing salt instead of seed” vie for the perspective of the narrative while carrying the rhyme. I will read and reread Coluccio’s book, trying to figure out how to write like him and looking forward to more. (Sarah Nelson)

by Pino Coluccio, $16.95, 69 pgs, Mansfield Press, 25 Mansfield Ave., Toronto, ON, M6J 2A9, mansfieldpress.net

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