Frank Giampietro

Frank Giampietro, Poet

You eat with your fingers

when appropriate. You are a native

with an immigrant mind.

No one mows the lawn like you do.

The blue jays sing from your railing.

You drink your coffee black, like a man.

Why are your eyeglasses always smudged?

Because your sense of smell is so strong,

like your neighbor’s dog, Rodney,

the Tibetan wolfhound—

the only one in Delaware, and such a smart dog,

so quiet but playful, not a jumper, very curious—

yes, a genius of a dog lives next to you,

Frank Giampietro.

When you work, people around you work harder.

When you’re on the set with DeNiro,

DeNiro works harder.

You are in demand. You have a ministry. 

You console the living, you honor the dead. 

Your headaches are the price you pay.

You speak in cliché, but only when spoken to.   

When you are sixty, if you try hard enough,

but not too hard, you will write beautiful—no,

accurate, poems. Some lines will be mediocre,

some genius, for instance:

winter has too many pockets or

it didn’t take long for the skywriter to say I’m sorry.

And you may still have a problem

with endings, which may have something to do

with ambition—or Lorne Michaels,

how he’s not afraid to drop a cow

on the stage to end the scene.




“Frank Giampietro, Poet” is from Begin Anywhere (Alice James Books, 2008).