It is with great enthusiasm I shine the spotlight on Giovanni Mangiante and feature his work on the Jimmy Broccoli page and website today.
Giovanni is a brilliant poet, a talented musician and singer (I've heard his renditions of Elliott Smith's "Behind the Bars" and "Gloomy Sunday" - two of my all-time favorites - and both are masterfully done), and he is a genuinely nice guy.
Like me, Giovanni will likely never be offered a job at the Hallmark Greeting Card Company. LOL. His poems tend to lean towards the more emotional - and occasionally darker - sides to life. And he keeps things real. The "realness" of his words is among the qualities of his writing I appreciate most.
Here is Giovanni in his own words:
Giovanni Mangiante is a bilingual poet from Lima, Peru. His work appears in dozens of journals such as Studi Irlandesi, Three Rooms Press, Silver Birch Press, As It Ought to Be, Shot Glass Journal, FEARLESS, Open Minds Quarterly, and more. He has upcoming poems in The Piker Press, Sledgehammer Lit, and is currently working on his first book of poems. He lives with his dog, Lucy. In writing, he found a way to cope with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
It is an honor to share the work of Giovanni Mangiante with you today on the Jimmy Broccoli page and website. Here is "I Have To Get Better" and I know you will enjoy it as much as I do.
“I HAVE TO GET BETTER”
“you have to get better” says the doctor before i leave his office—
he doesn’t shake my hand and i don’t mind.
i walk out the building, get into a taxi, pull out my phone, open the notepad
“i have to get sober” i write, and slide it down my pocket again.
i look out the car window and i know most of the faces i see
have already given up entirely while others are well on the way.
i look in the rear-view mirror “how is it that i look like?” i think.
when i get home, my father says he’s sure i’ll get better soon
and suggests going out for dinner. i say okay, but when we get there
my mind is somewhere else and i can’t enjoy the food nor the moment.
“a lot of people don’t have a good father like yours” i think to myself,
and the guilt doesn’t make the situation any easier to endure.
i pull out my phone again and write “i have to get sober”
then i look at my father and he vanishes; the plates, the food,
the silverware, the table too. people’s voices suddenly go underwater
and the restaurant is finally an empty crater with me in the middle.
i pull my phone out again—my nerves fractured and sharp
“i have to get better. i have to get better. i have to get better” i write.
i slide my phone down my pocket and look up—everything comes back.
my father takes a bunch of fries to his mouth, and smiles.
i smile back.
- Giovanni Mangiante