Guest Blogger


Joan has been a guest blogger before on IdealisticRebel and she has just had a new book of poetry published.  It’s called Fluency. Joannie and I have been friends forever, the kind of friends who last a lifetime.  When her book came out she sent me a copy, and I read it cover to cover.  Immediately, there was one poem in particular which I found to be very powerful and very moving, which I wanted to share with each of you.  If I hadn’t gotten so sick with the deep bronchitis, I would have gotten this to you earlier.  I’m still on medication and have doctor appointments coming up to handle this, and my blogging will be sporadic for while yet, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to share Joan’s words with you.

Joan and her lovely husband Paul have retired and are moving to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter.  Joan has been through a great deal in life’s trauma’s, and she has been and remains a glowing light for what can be accomplished when you look up after you survive trauma in your life, and still retain your inner strength and beauty.

 

Here is one of my earlier photographs of her.  We used to go on Sunday mornings to the beach and have breakfast, and play volleyball.  I would leave and go home to shower an put on my nurse’s uniform while my friends stayed on to play.

 

Joan1

 

Joan is also a wonderful musician and a classically trained vocalist, and often sings with her husband Paul Esiert as Fire and Ice, in and around Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Here are her words

 

Jing-o is the Name-o

Greasy dago   Guinea wop

Spaghetti bender    Mafioso

Class, let’s see if Joan can talk while sitting on her hands

Let’s listen to her sandals go   wop, wop, wop

as the dagos go by

Look at that dago nose

John Metzger and David Duke grand idiot dragons

and wizards of the KKK – the jury’s still out on the eye-talians

they’re not really white

Back in the day Warren’s Eastside fathers warned their daughters

not to go past the railroad tracks

to the West End where all those dagos live

the Ghetto in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains

 

10% of 1st and 2nd generations Italian-Americans

served in WW II

Italian-American soldiers suffered

the highest number of casualties

Burning crosses

Murders in the fine Italian New Jersey farmlands

The Man can’t have the wops working the soil

better than he does

All Italians are the mafia

Did ya hear the one about the dago and the…

or the wop and the…

Those shady Southern Italians with their beady eyes

and black hair

 

I’m not racist, but…

Nigger lover

She must be Italian

Hey lady, the stork gave you the wrong baby

Are you a hooker?

What a sham, Mr and Mrs Papalia

Joan’s such a beautiful girl

Mrs. Papalia, disown your daughter

Did ya hear the one about the nigger and the…

Did ya hear the one about the coon and the…

She’s the one that married the colored boy

Joan’s invited to the party but not him

I feel bad for the children

Them babies should be put in a burlap bag

and down in the river

The apartment’s already been rented

I can’t babysit for you anymore

Retail security watching every move

Glass ceilings

An EMT’s failed drowning rescue — Dead?

Who cares – one less nigger around.

 

Amadou Dialo: New York City

killed by 41 shots in a doorway

reaching for his wallet

White hoods and robes in upscale Amherst, NY

Jasper, Texas

Ferguson, Missouri

Charlotte, North Carolina

Ocala, Florida

(How much time you got?)

Ninth Ward, New Orleans – Hurricane Katrina

 

LWB Living while black

LWM Living while Middle Eastern

while Indian

while Hispanic

while Jewish

while Asian

while Muslim

while hoodied

while LGBT

while fat

while female

Living while whatever you are that   they aren’t

(How much time have you got?)

I’m not prejudiced, but….

 

–Joan Papalia Eisert

from Fluency, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions

A Woman Ahead of Her Time


Sometimes we think we have to belong to an established family to make a real difference in the world. Some women feel they need a PHD to prove they are good enough. I have a story here of a woman, Anne Bradstreet who came to America in 1630 aboard the first Puritan ship to arrive here in the colonies. Anne was a married woman who had begun writing early in her life despite the fact that she had eight children.

Being a published woman in the 1600’s Puritan community was not something which made her popular with some others in the community. Her literary endeavors were off-putting to some of her peers. They questioned her place and the propriety of a woman writing her thoughts and observations.

Anne wrote about the hardships of women in the New World, as well as the difficulties in her own life looking for recognition and acceptance in the American colonies at that time. I think many were similar to what we have faced since then as American women. She also wrote many mystical poems about her own religious beliefs.

Anne’s poetry was published in 1650, when her book “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up” went into print. She also wrote about the raising of her eight children and subjects of import at the time. Many of her poems are gentle, such as her poem to her husband:

“If ever two were one, then surely we,
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all of the riches that the East doth hold/
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.”

Anne was influenced by the work of Edmund Spencer and Philip Sidney. One of her descendants was Oliver Wendell Holmes. She is considered America’s first English-language poet.