10/25/2013 06:15 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Celebrate Your Italianita!

As October comes to a close and the celebration of Italian-American heritage, culture, and history ends, I would like to make this poem my finale.

I published it in 2008 in Avanti Popolo: Italian-American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus, edited by the Italian-American Political Solidarity Club and published by Manic D Press. I am honored to be in the company of many talented writers.

Every October, writers who contributed pieces to the book get together at readings to denounce Columbus and show that the Italian-American community does not need him as a leader and a symbol.

I would like to remind all my Italian-American brothers and sisters that we don't need Columbus to be proud of our many accomplishments, that we don't need Columbus to march in our parades, and that we don't need Columbus to express our Italianita: our Italianness.

I would also like to remind those who criticize Columbus to continue to do so; however, don't attack Italian Americans for what he did, and remember that he is one of many historical figures who was malevolent. And those figures are still among us; they are even elected to be our leaders.

"A Harmful yet Funny and Somewhat Honestly Truthful Stereotype"

"I can't be Italian anymore,"
she screamed,
from the kitchen
as she was stuffing
her face
with fresh mozzarella,
tomato, and basil
over Italian bread
soaked in olive oil and garlic,
"It is too fattening,"
to her husband,
sitting on his recliner
in the living room,
watching the Yankees
beat the shit out of the Mets
in one of his
pleasurable subway series,
as he sat behind
the fake wooden snack table,
eating a huge bowl of spaghetti,
maybe marinara,
maybe meatballs,
sausage, pork,
with a nice
cold antipasto,
drinking a fine chianti,
not listening to
a word she says,
or screams,
across the rooms,
in their
84th Street
New York City
New York State