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 for Monica Sharp

white lightning

photo by Florian Olivo (unsplash)

Black Shuck

If on a thundering night you chance hear him
When strikes the bolt hard on the earth’s wet floor
He howls that he comes to settle a score
Yea, your dark heart with its sins will fear him.

Farmers from sucking murk cannot clear him!
His ravenous hunger returns for more.
Scant does it matter whether rich or poor!
Courage will falter and patience wear thin.

Black Shuck - the hellhound - roams only at dark
He sniffs and snuffles and knows your mean ways
Teeth clench and jaws snap - follow his sharp bark

Clear thy heart! Order well all thy bright days!
Pray that lightning not become evil’s spark -
When Black Shuck prowls the town, sinners will pay.


Sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, bile:
Capricious humours tow us through the world,
Determine whether lips or toes be curled, 
Whether we bolt, or tarry here awhile.

No soul can say who glides smoothest with style,
Who beckons to charm all strangers, teeth pearl’d;
Or who slumps to gloom, lost in cold wins whirl’d,
Who cannot summon even one wan smile.

And yet we are born, and claim our blood lot;
We move through this life. We struggle to see
That which we choose, and that which we choose not - 

Not understanding this quick trinity
I feared finding myself in fine webs caught!
There’s naught to fix here: I am who I be.

Global Perambulations

Through the damp night came a ferry’s low moan
From my bed I dreamt of journeys afar
Guided by an invisible bright star
Speaking in languages I’d never known.

Trusting was I of the dreams I was shown,
So weary was I of that Baltic Bar!
No more did I wish that rare caviar.
And though I’d miss it, by then yon I’d flown.

Thus we must heed whate’er our visions tell;
Do not discard them ‘ere rise the next sun.
Ephemeral glimpses bid us there dwell.

And lo! slumber sparks daydreams so begun
That our life continue smoothly and well.
And wake we in another scene: this one.

Ghost Ship

O noonday Demon with your wearying Complaint,
Why takest Thou my weak-willed heart,
Whose Pulse doth beat in manner faint
Making all efforts a failing art?

How can Thee take the Sun for a Cloud,
Turning that Star as though a thin Dime?
My stubborn thoughts whistle aloud.
Heart loses track of Space and Time.

O wretched Devil - hungry Ghost!
Go - find Thee daring and faraway lands!
Sail in search of some new Coast!
Leave me - if not my Heart and Mind - then my Hands.

I crewed on deck for years with Thee
I know thy Maps - thy Labes and Charts
But here in this fresh Century
I’ll lay down Thy writ to make clean Starts

Keats and Me

A marshy spring meadow
In the weak sunlight
It had just stopped raining
I knew he was waiting

The apples in blossom
New grass soft and green
The creek clean and full
Rotting logs sweet

Sky blue and grey
Big-bellied clouds sagging
Quick on the path now
I knew he was waiting

I skirted the puddles
I took care with my shoes
There wasn’t much time now
Rain coming soon

Bunches of violets
Who’s shrinking now?
Not I, I murmured
And furrowed my brow

He won’t say I lagged
He can’t say I don’t love
My darling, I’m coming
With our treasure trove

I’d always been so good
I’d always done right
I wanted to meet him
Out here in the light

I no longer cared now
I wanted to see
I wanted to kiss him
Irresponsible me

Mr. Brown in Pandemic : A Spenserian Sonnet

What rollicking man once rolled round the world
To alight where his fancy might draw him
Disembarking to spy each flag unfurled
Clutched to the bosom of friends who saw him.

But the pandemic drew near - spread thin
Too thin, those ties which before held him fast.
And he lost within months the merry din
He hoped would to his final years last.

Confronted instead by a silence vast
And his heart limited from all it loved.
Now dull as dust the joyous years he passed!
Replaced by elusive shadows unproved.

And each day he now roars forth Tech! - loathing Zoom,
Looking round in fear at his silent room.

The Dream Woods

Deep in the wood 
where the old heart hides
where the ghost grabs flesh 
grasps bone or less
Dreams fly low 
as though true memories made
Background surges 
foreground fades
Until each everything everything everything
Gone over 
Over again
Until the tread is lost
the sinew slips
The gears grind
The picture fits.

Bio: Monica lives and writes in Florence, Italy. Her international spirit travels with an American passport but she's lost count of all the relevant metrics. She currently moonlights as a legal researcher for a local law firm. Her off-hours are filled with parenting, managing various people and projects, and literature. Read more about Monica at sharpmonica.com.

Social media handles:
•	Instagram: occhiatafiorentina
•	LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharpmonica/
•	Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msharp73
•	My author website https://sharpmonica.com/ 
•	Twitter: @finnch