Tuesday, 30 November 2010

One Stop Spotlight - Giovanni Cucullo

Giovanni is a New York Chef and a Writer - what a talented mixture!
I've never tasted one of his meals but I've tasted and enjoyed lots of his fantastic poetry and have to say - it's delicious.
First time I came upon Giovanni's blog the "jazz section" caught my eye, and being a saxophone player myself, his music poems touched my heart, my soul, my senses, my "everything."
And for today's spotlight, the poem on my wish list was this Jazz poem - I just love it!

Take a deep breath, enjoy and maybe you'll start to hear the seducing sound of mesmerizing saxophone tunes...(A shame we can't read with closed eyes.)
~ Claudia


Poem: aka Dig!

The earth grows out of an upright bass

and spins a walking love luster under its leg.

Dueling saxophones

throw down their bronze swords and

fly by the night

into the moaning mixture,

the howling moon;

the ferocious murmur of black and white,

the tender growl of an eighty-eight.

I travel

forever west

following incantations of a ghost drummer,

hypnotic sea-body rhythms

lure my soul

to the symbol of cymbals and crashing rhinoceri,

and the snap crackle staccato

of cool blue gurus doin’ a doobee doo doo with you know who.

The music soarrrs

through the weight of smoke

and bumps a ceiling fan.

Beebop! …and riddle-le-dee-bop!

What do you say when you wake up to a quintet of angels?

The space of music

and the piece on earth.

Knowing when to be silent

and allowing the secrets of another cadence to fall into your hands,

like the virgin rain,

like a tom tom boom,

like a good fresh funk.

Slippin’ and sliding and searchin’ and sometimes nailing the note…

as if the note was really looking for us the whole time.

Like sculpture in stone.
 

© Giovanni Cucullo


And here's some background information about Giovanni:

"Sometimes I search and scratch my way to the end of a sentence.
 I will chew on my pencil until the words write themselves on my teeth and the lines speak to me in tongues.
Sometimes, words rock and swing, floating gently down to me, like autumnal leaves marking a vibrant poet’s path; a scribe’s journey.

In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke begs the aspiring poet to “…describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the belief in some sort of beauty.” I have always looked to the world for inspiration and have happily discovered that every time I open my heart and my mind, beauty and clarity find their way home.

For as long as I can remember, I have had this urge for printed permanence. This journey of mine will continue and I have committed myself to nurturing and feeding my thoughts, my character and my relationships with beautiful things. I will continue to seek out fellow poets who shower the world with a reservoir of sacred gifts that inspire heart and mind to dance and to share it always and ever outward."

I live in Westchester County, NY.
Pursued music for many years studying Jazz at SUNY Purchase.
Got a B.S. in Business from Iona College.
Currently a chef, restaurateur and consultant.
Recently published a cookbook dedicated to my mother called:
Ricette di Maria - Maria’s Recipes.

My Blogs:
www.giovannicucullo.wordpress.com
www.goldentable.wordpress.com
www.growthideas.wordpress.com
www.restaurantchaser.wordpress.com


I have asked Gio if he'd also share one of his recipes with us, and here it is:

Recipe: Oven Roasted Tomatoes

If you like sun-dried tomatoes, you will love these.

Halve some plum tomatoes lengthwise & remove seeds (not the core).
Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking pan and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs.
Slow roast in the oven for 2 hours at 300 degrees.
Remove, cool and store in mason jars, layered with fresh herbs and covered with more olive oil.
Covered in oil, they will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months and will come quite handy paired with fresh mozzarella and basil when you crave a fancier version of Caprese salad or any time you want to jazz up your favorite sandwich.

17 comments:

moondustwriter said...

Giovanni - what a treat to imbibe the tones of your poetry. Thanks for sharing your love for music, poetry and fine food with One Shot

Hope I get back to Westchester some time soon

Thanks Claudia for the Spotlight

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Great spotlight Claudia. I've known Giovanni for quite a while as we visit each other's blog and I can testify he is a great soul. The poem was outstanding as well and weaving music into it was awesome...nice one!

Cheers!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Giovanni, you've always had me with your poetry...but now you're quoting Rilke and serving up Roasted Tomatoes?...you need to stop :)

Congratulations! Enjoy the spotlight.

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Great spotlight Claudia. I've known Giovanni for quite a while as we visit each other's blog and I can testify he is a great soul. The poem was outstanding as well and weaving music into it was awesome...nice one!

Cheers!

LauraLME said...

Great Spotlight!
Giovanni- Fascinating rhythm of words and verses, as if by reading them you could be lead to some music playing in the background, original vibes and flavors in your style!
Congrats, nice feature!

Myrna R. said...

So nice to highlight Giovanni. I enjoy his wonderful writing and love the tomato recipe he gave. It's great how his creativity expands into his business world.

Hope said...

'say it like you eat it' mmm what a treat! Brilliant poem!

great post! thank you so much for sharing!

Claudia said...

..the earth grows out of an upright bass...can it get better..? yes - once again - i love this poem and can read it all over and over again.
i also love the recipe - dried tomatoes smell of summer and warmth...
and i like Rilke...will have to check out this book gio mentions.

one of the rilke poems i like a lot is:

to say before going to sleep

I would like to sing someone to sleep,
have someone to sit by and be with.
I would like to cradle you and softly sing you small
be your companion while you sleep or wake.
I would like to be the only person
in the house who knew: the night outside was cold.
And would like to listen to you
and outside to the world and to the woods.

The clocks are striking, calling to each other,
and one can see right to the edge of time.
Outside the house a strange man is afoot
and a strange dog barks, wakened from his sleep.
Beyond that there is silence.

My eyes rest upon your face wide-open;
and they hold you gently, letting you go
when something in the dark begins to move.


thanks gio for stepping into the spotlight!

budh.aaah said...

Like a tom tom boom
:)
loved the line. All the best.

jen revved said...

terrific poem-- and yummy recipe. There can never be enough sun-dried tomatoes or saxaphones for that matter...xxxj

Pete Marshall said...

a great spotlight on a talented guy...thanks claudia for bringing his poetry to our attention...cheers pete

dustus said...

The musical quality of the poem paints a wonderful visual composition with sound... "snap crackle staccato" Dig the poem! Thanks, Giovanni, for sharing your talents. Excellent spotlight, Claudia.

Giovanni Cucullo said...

Thank You Claudia, you are truly an angel!
Of course, thanks to Brian, Leslie, Adam and Pete for the wonderful platform and for all of the pixie dust you provide...One Stop Rocks!
This is quite overwhelming.
About six months ago, my poet-friend (700 miles) nudged me into this on-line community of poets.
I happily discovered a network of inspiring & talented artists who consistently encourage each other to pursue their creative endeavours.
I am honored and proud to be a part of this and thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity.

Stay Inspired!
Gio

Giovanni Cucullo said...

Thank You Claudia, you are truly an angel!
Of course, thanks to Brian, Leslie, Adam and Pete for the wonderful platform and for all of the pixie dust you provide...One Stop Rocks!
This is quite overwhelming.
About six months ago, my poet-friend (700 miles) nudged me into this on-line community of poets.
I happily discovered a network of inspiring & talented artists who consistently encourage each other to pursue their creative endeavours.
I am honored and proud to be a part of this and thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity.

Stay Inspired!
Gio

Brian Miller said...

wow...what a great spotlight claudia...giovanni...you rock it...love the sounds of your words and the food sounds delish...

Anonymous said...

Giovanni Cucullo...his name keeps coming up in the poetry world and every time I visit his site I am thoroughly impressed.

Anonymous said...

His name also comes up as someone who killed a young girl named Maryann Loprete. She worked for him at Barcelona in Stamford. He was driving her home while drunk on January 28, 2010 and she was killed, he walked away with a broken foot. Her family was left with a broken heart.

There is a Maryann Loprete-page on facebook where her memorial is.