Old Money by R.A. Pavoldi Don’t worry doll face, what I got’s better ‘n money, redeemable for time at any blue collar near-death location, stashed in closets, attic in boxes, I got cat’s eye marbles chipped on Tenth Avenue, Tweet’s old Pinochle deck, a tied sack of jacks, baseball cards like Peppitone, LaSorda, and DiMaggio, I got an olive jar full of the Atlantic from a girl I’d never see again, seashells, beach glass, an’ pichers, sharks teeth, snake eyes, Indian head nickels, I got 78s and 45s, like Louie Prima, Harry James, Jimmy Roselli, and Jerry Vale, I got a Victrola, a Model A crank, shift knob, and piston, an all the old recipes right in my head - tarrall’, zepoll’ and a’ beetza gien’, I got cugini and coombahds - Johnny, Paulie, Tundi, and Nuche, and old billheads, Pavoldi Plumbing and Heating, an’ Albanese Fuel, campaign pins, Patsy Albanese for Town Counsel! and, I Like Ike! I got Tommaso’s sausage grinder, Ant’ny’s Saint Christopher medal, Raymo’s pipe wrenches and Ruger, Antoinette’s Saturday shot glass and Madalena’s Sunday size bowl, I got clippings and obituaries, accusations, racketeers, and revenuers, Antonio and Innocenzo, their immigration papers scratched with an X, I got the ole man’s campaign ribbons every color of the South Pacific, my mother’s yearbook and tassel, and you on our weddin’ day baby twirlin’ like a petal in a smokestack, don’t worry you married down Toots, I know a ting or two ‘bout a ting or two, I still got a couple tree aces up my sleeve, when that last day comes high rolling puddin’ I’m ready to deal, I got 500 clams baby, I got a bucket o’ Smack-a-Roooz.
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R. A. Pavoldi is a self-trained poet writing over 50 years.
His poems have published in The Hudson Review, North American Review, Italian Americana, FIELD, Cold Mountain Review, Crab Orchard Review, ARS MEDICA, Tar River Poetry, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, among others.
He credits the concise lyrical Napolitano-American dialect and the school of hard knocks for his voice.