CONGO LIGHTS

by John Petrolino

This is the book's foreword and fittingly that's one of the many words I would use to describe John Petrolino, 'forward'. Not in that pushy, annoying kind of way, but the "motivated, I'm gonna get famous with you" kind of way. As the editor of The Idiom Magazine I receive an outbreak of submissions which insist that their work is the epitome of literature and they usually follow the same type of pattern. An email with the poem or story, some follow up email because I procrastinate getting back to them, and finally an email when they receive a copy with their work in it.. John Petrolino sent me his first submission with an invite to hang out after the next reading as if we were old friends who had just reunited on facebook.

John's first book of poems, Galleria, first impressed me when he revealed his lost "essence" and how he'd barter for coffee with baristas. Knowing John, I don't think he really lost that talent, but instead barters with editors and other writers in lieu of coffee girls. Congo Lights like Galleria, has that same air of having known John for years. Some of the poems are reminiscent and obvious as to who his influences are and who he admires. "We're America" and "Wielding Light" remind me of a Ginsberg piece with their repeating lines that become the poems own mantra. Again in this book John has his growing collection of haikus for that quick poetic fix that we sometimes need. The poem "Congo Lights" gives a glimpse of where John's been when he leaves those who he knows personally, every other month, to some ship to some other country.

Poetry is something that isn't forgotten because it isn't even being looked at in the first place. we can't have writers who hide their work away in a trunk to be discovered long after they're gone or readers too apprehensive to read their work at open mics. Writing poetry is only 90% of the job while the rest is business, getting your work out there and being part of the 'scene'. John does it beter than any writer I've seen and this attitued and motivation is shown not only when meeting him but through his words also. There is no 'getting to know each other' part of the freindship with John and that's how his poetry is, as if its something you've been reading for years but you can still spend a day trip in the city with 'em. Mark Brunetti- February 2009, Publisher of Piscataway House Publishing and The Idiom Magazine


Foreword By Mark Brunetti
Edited By Keith Baird

ISBN 9780692002360
60 pages
Paperback
$8.00

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