A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Giulio Magrini

Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently?

Giulio: I started writing in the early 1970’s. In my days of erratic attendance at Duquesne U. and the University of Pittsburgh, the environment was influenced heavily by the Beats. I tried and failed to replicate their style,  and found my own voice through the performance of my work. Now I am continuing to explore the harmonies of my own voice. That should never stop for a writer. I celebrate the work of the writers I meet presently, who exemplify their present. The similarities between the 70’s and today are striking, and depending on your perspective…Disturbing. 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Giulio: I would say the moments when I performed my work at such venues as the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which has changed its character since the days we read. Also important was my work at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers using poetry therapy, and a radio show we created using local Pittsburgh poets to read their work. There is no greater reward for me and no greater gift that can be given by an artist of any kind than to enable a sharing of another’s work. Thanks for this opportunity by the way, as you prove my previous point of the importance of sharing.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?

Giulio: While I had mentors through University with writing classes, and I was exposed to many fine creators in those days, for me the person who sits at the top  of the pyramid is Vincent Zepp. He single-handedly changed the complexion of poetry for local poets in Pittsburgh. He elevated a writer’s world in a city through his Szep Foundation, and was a river to many writers who have gone on to establish enviable bodies of work not only in Pittsburgh, but around the world.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?

Giulio: My family established its roots in the Bluff, which is a mixed urban area of Pittsburgh. Gentrification has taken away the people and replaced them with hospital and University concerns. We then moved to a middle class suburb in Pittsburgh. It was a great place to grow up but was insulated and did not challenge the status quo. It was like owning one overly comfortable couch designed for me but not for uninvited others from other diverse parts of the city. Some grew from that environment and some are still sitting in that couch…waiting.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?

Giulio: My most recent work is usually my favorite. I am my biggest fan in that respect. (Laughs) I might choose an elegy I wrote on the occasion of the death of a mayor Richard Caliguiri here in Pittsburgh who was mayor from 1977 to 1988. That poem was read the 4th of July following his death with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Point Park in front of over 100,000 people. The poem is currently archived in the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

I love music, cinema, and apart from my writing, I like to post my cuisine on social media. I am inspired to help people in their own kitchens, and pass on the lessons of my teachers, like my Nonno and the rest of my family from Toscana and Calabria. I also include my many teachers who own restaurants in the Pittsburgh community. We are a close-knit group. Traveling is an earnest desire, but due to circumstances I have been unable to do that as I have wanted.

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?

Giulio: I have a poem called Artists and the Intelligentsia where I discuss artistic process. There is a stanza that reads: “The medium and the touchstones of civilization were defined through history as an artist’s production that begets the manifestation of us” Ask me that question another day, or hour, and I will give you another answer from another poem.

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?

Giulio: Classical has to be at the top of the list. My heroes in life play for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. I have great memories of rock concerts and bluegrass also. The greatest or most important song is like wondering which drop of the ocean you most prefer as you listen to the roar of the waves on the beach. We cannot enumerate the stars in the sky either, unless we use
them for a backdrop of love.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote?

A timely question I am glad to answer. As it happens I have a new release The Color of Dirt, which is an anthology of my poetry, flash fiction, and some poems in Italian. It is being published locally by Word Association Press. It will be available on their website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and we will also do direct sales from home. I will be performing in as many venues as possible to promote the book. I am in the midst of creating a blog to keep readers informed of my latest schemes. Who knows when or where I am likely to turn up?

Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?

What reason did they give to call them “privates”? Seriously, there have been a lot of years and I have had the pleasure of the joy and the thrashings. Despite my age I look forward to the memories and strange occurrences that await. Curiosity did not kill the cat. It motivated him (in my case) to keep writing and performing.



Please send an email to giulio27@verizon.net <mailto:giulio27@verizon.net>
if interested in DIRECT SALES of The Color of Dirt

My blog is under construction. At this time I urge readers to check my Facebook page until the blog is finished, https://www.facebook.com/Giulio27

BIO: Giulio Magrini started writing poetry in the early 1970’s, and takes most of his inspiration from the darker sides of human nature. He has performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and many other former venues in Pittsburgh like the Lion Walk and Encore II, and was among the four featured poets at the Fifth Fourth River Poetry Festival in 1990. Giulio has conducted poetry workshops in alternative high schools, prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and hosted a radio show for local poets. He
was asked to perform one of his poems, The Pittsburgher, as an elegy honoring the late mayor Richard Caliguiri before the Pittsburgh Symphony at Point State Park before a 4th of July crowd of over 100,000 people. That poem is now archived in the Heinz History Museum. Giulio occasionally writes in Italian for performances, as he instructs his audiences to listen to the sounds of the Italian and remember them as he translates. Magrini has always
preferred the performance of his work over publishing, until now. The Color of Dirt is an anthology of his poetry and flash fiction, and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and also from his publisher at:
https://wordassociation.com/poetry%20book%20page/thecolorofdirt.html The color of Dirt may also be obtained directly from the author by contacting him at  <mailto:giulio27@verizon.net> giulio27@verizon.net 

A Poetry Showcase from Giulio Magrini

New Poems from Giulio Magrini

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jay Maria Simpson




A Poetry Showcase from Giulio Magrini

photo from pixabay


Everyone has it
What they were was taken
Or left
Expelled with the trash
The residual leavings of life

Excreted lifeless empty
I am left with the holes 
Of memory through the laughing smiles 
The touch of a small hand 
The eyes turned upward
Loving the birds 
Especially the red ones
You remember those days of dressing up
She hated the attention of her favorite color
And was patient in the museums
Odd for a child her age
You wondered at the joy she commanded
Where would it take her?

You dreamt for her
Her choices viewed from immature bows and taffeta
Your charge to plan and dream for her 
Until her design finalized by her seasoned choices

That season never came
And it was never planned for
Because there was no plan 
And there was no life 
That made an allowance 
For unbearable terrible eventualities
Possibilities that are unthought 
Through the moments and breaths 
Of a child’s happy gasps
Of one more time Momma
One more time

What can we do with these empty spaces? 
They will never be her
And what have I become living as a minus
From the memories of her in my heart
There is no reckoning of us left or of me

There is no me without us
And that is my life in empty space


Axiom: Beaming deception is shrouded by constant smiles

Janet smiled to excess
Happiness exists in flashes 
Not in perpetuity
A bewildering obscurity 
Glistening behind conspiracies 

This is the one with the cackling sister
Behind the curtain 
Plotting against the naïve brother
This was the main feature
Unveiling the cartoons of my life
I have seen this one
Janet the flying monkey
Grinning madly in the air

There was no awakening
From the nightmare of Janet
Hallucinations night after night 
Calling for my little sister

We spoke for years and years
In the terrible daylight
Her incessant smiling 
Continuing and chronic

Truth was a stranger
When I shared my pain 
She replied with a smile

I grasped for her but found smiling desolation
She is gone but her smile remains in memory
And now I rely on the remembrance
Of her smiling face 
And the nothing it gave me


Barbara embraces the flower

She cannot resist
First the stems slightly 
Then the delicate blooms

What does she see that I do not?

And then she caresses me


Underneath the perpetual Halloween masks 
Of fashion art and correct moral despair
She deposits her opinions 
Like fecal disease disguised as au courant sophistication
Eventually distinguishing herself
As graceful stale fish emanating from the art gallery

Her craven cowardice hides
Behind whatever it is she is selling
It cannot be her 
Because there is no there

She talks to mirrors
Or others that speak in her preferred 
Mirror language of rot
Providing an environment to make her comfortable

She is an interesting disgrace 
And dances well for a handicapped person
Until it becomes time for loyalty
And she retreats into the cell of ruin
That she has become

Let us celebrate the embrace of her demise
It is after all an example of her free spirit


They told you
That you reached a certain age

Knowing better 
A wizened nod
To the assembled onlookers 
Growing from the stumps
On the streetcorners
Their glared and cornered peripherals
Noses pointed to the margins
Tracking your regressions
As you falter predictably 
An exemplar to the dynamic 
Of your devolution

Going through the motions
Biding your time
Until the next big thing

But there is nothing on the horizon
No invitations were sent
No meetings are scheduled
And everything that must be done 
Has been done or neglected

The question lingers in the air
What is the point and the purpose of you?

You see shadows and silhouettes
Apparitions of moist tight skin
You assailed the unforgiving storms
Not giving a damn with her
Grinning at terrors
They were trivialities to your conceit
Vulnerability is your embraced ally 

Smoke stifles your flagging memory
Where the air no longer breezes 
The memories pile up unmercifully
Too much to keep orderly
And the chaos and confusion festers
And breeds well in an environment 
Of cerebral clutter and noise
Clanging and banging thoughtlessly 
Inside your head

The queues are fowled and the memories 
Demolished and cracked 
The reality of the last beat
Of the measure of your life has begun

We begin our final tune for the evening
The Going to Die Anyway Rag 
A request by Giulio Magrini

BIO:  Giulio Magrini started writing poetry in the early 1970’s, and takes most of his inspiration from the darker sides of human nature. He has performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and many other former venues in Pittsburgh. Giulio has conducted poetry workshops in alternative high schools, prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and hosted a radio show for local poets. His book The Color of Dirt will be published sometime this Summer by Word Association Press. Magrini has always preferred the performance of his work over publishing, until now. 

New Poems from Giulio Magrini

For the special ones
*Argus was a figure in Greek mythology with one hundred eyes, that were subsequently put on*
To grunt slobber pant
To waddle to grin
To grin to grin
To act improperly
In the real world
To walk lumpy
To pandemonium on Sunday
Retard sweating hands
To be able to make change
And be told
You are a success
To be ridiculous 
And have an excuse
And not use it
To laugh at complexity
To dance truly alone
Act the fool
Swing from the bells
To be found 
Thousands of years later
In the arms of your lover

The eyes
On the tail
Of the peacock

                   PORT DRINKER

He wakes
In a shabby brown coat
And vomits something brown

He won’t know 
Where he is
Until half a bottle

After that
There’s no stopping him

And the image of his before
Smiles approvingly and sedated
Anesthetized his misery 
Now ecstasy
And the symmetry of his end



A mother’s
         A mother’s
34-year-old daughter
            just a little
           little bit neurotic
Can still 
          identify with
What is happening
          feels free to 
Say fuck 
Say fuck
Say fuck
         feels free to say
        and even
Even smoke									


They must
Suffer and do
        all the 
        all the things
I had to
I had to
I had to
            I had to do


They want
         a free
         a free ride
They want a free
Lazy bastards


It is my 
It is my job
            to see
To see that
To see that they
Tow the line


          do not 
They do not participate
          they sit
They sit
          they sit
They sit staring
          staring at the wall


        I am 
I am sick
        are going
To be 
        to be sick
They are going to be sick

BIO:  Giulio Magrini started writing poetry in the early 1970’s, and takes most of his inspiration from the darker sides of human nature. He has performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and many other former venues in Pittsburgh. Giulio has conducted poetry workshops in alternative high schools, prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and hosted a radio show for local poets. He is now working on a manuscript of much of his work titled The Color of Dirt taken from his publications and performances. Magrini has always preferred the performance of his work over publishing, until now.