Thursday, June 4, 2020


This piece was published in the international anthology Poems from the Lockdown (UK: Willowdown) in April 2020.

A Fallout Unspoken

The air about us in
The coming of Spring
Feels a little more still now.
A bit more static,
Almost solid.

Gray, it hangs low, this
Concrete sky.
It casts silence over
The city that can’t seem to wake.

Sullen city
Doesn’t know where to turn.
Living herein,
Standing afar, it’s
Whispers lie dormant.

And the pall that holds us
We thought would arrive with
Howling boom and argent glow
Carries instead
A fallout unspoken.

-John Pietaro
April 4, 2020, 2:35am
End of week two, the quarantine

video/collaboration: Days of Rage


photo by Sherry Rubel

 "Days of Rage" is a collaborative vision in every sense. When photographer/filmmaker Sherry Rubel asked me to add some poetry, very late one night, to this project--before I'd seen or heard any of this film--I dug into it rapidly, feeling deeply moved by the news reports of George Floyd's horrible, tragic death. It inspired me to write two brand new works that night, both directly inspired by the struggle; she still has the other one on hold, but for very real reasons, I hope we never need to use it.

Seeing my poem "Still Winds" close this piece as Chris Forbes' music pushes the last ounce of fight-back into the skirmish, left me feeling a vital part of this. Sherry and I are collaborators on two current book projects; she is a singularly gifted photographer with a sight all her own. And Chris, I'm proud to say I've worked with in a few ensembles. As a music journalist, he is the pianist I vote for as most woefully under-recorded. The woe, however, is in the ears of the listener who has not heard him. “Days of Rage” is music of tomorrow, words of everlasting radicalism and imagery of the never-ending battle for equity.

Visuals, concept, choreography by Sherry Rubel
Music by Chris Forbes
Poetry by John Pietaro

#justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter #resistance

Album review: Gene Pritsker’s Sound Liberation, Let’s Save the World Suite

  Gene Pritsker’s Sound Liberation , Let’s Save the World Suite (Composers Concordance 2022) --originally published in The NYC Jazz Recor...