Franco D’Alessandro

Franco D'Alessandro

Franco D’Alessandro is an internationally produced and published playwright and 2009 New England PEN Award nominated poet. Additionally, D’Alessandro is a professor of drama and writing, specializing in the analysis of 20th Century American dramatic texts. Franco teaches Master Classes in American Drama all over the world as well as to underprivileged students in NYC.

His internationally acclaimed play “Roman Nights” has been performed in 10 countries and is currently in its eighth sold-out year based in Prague and touring Eastern Europe. In 2011 Stranger Love: Five Short Plays (a collection of his acclaimed one-act plays) was published. He resides in NYC.

Please visit his web site: where you also may read about his first collection of poems: SUPPLICATIons


(for Joseph Papaleo)

i escaped to that undiscovered and hauntingly familial place
columns, terraces, fountains, porticos
seeking protection in marble, stone and brick
comforted by frescoes,
walls that speak to me
the colors of an ancient spectrum: simplicity – duality – space

lingering lively chats at midnight
wondering walks through piazzas,
haunted…hoping…stealing pieces of time
living with a rare easiness;
sitting, patiently, sun-soaked,
traveling through centuries with the shift of an eye
learning newness in day’s azure light

i will return to that now fading place
where people are the same as breezes:
capricious and kind, soothing and determined
where the beauty is not simply seen,
but touched, eaten and savored…
the soul’s daily intoxication with grace

i have lost myself here – my ways
trying to find the beauty in exile
out of sync – out of place!
i have lost my way here- my self
fast food – fast love – fast life
i am left hungering for those lost days

i was born out of time – out of place
a Roman ruin of a life, glorious and fragmented
hoping to find “in motion what is lost in space”
i start to feel, i am losing again
gaining loss with each year
more of me disappears
i close my eyes
making the sign of the cross,
another year
another thought
another meal
gaining loss

     surviving is remembering, so
     i remember to survive…

© 1999, 2002 Franco D’Alessandro
© 2007 Balancing The Tides:
A Newport Arts Journal


(for Maria Morreale)

It is hard, sometimes, to see you
Squinting eyes, walking the Foro Antico,
Combing piazzas, looking up-
Passing the bright, blue days…
Trying not to notice the fragments of you falling away,
Yet fixed upon your crumbling pieces of eternity,
Just lingering long enough… to savor you–
Then losing the ways to recognize you, again,
I don’t know what is trickier; your face or my memory?
I slide down off the Lungotevere and hide out in the via Giulia
Hoping you won’t see me puzzling at your fading visage.
The gurgling fountains, your steady breath-
Remind me of the ancient times
I try to recapture in the hazy gaze
I call my memory.
     Will you remember me?

I want to see you again; the way you were,
Without the stultifying buzz of electricity…
You glow better by gaslight or a lantern’s flame.
The great luminous beauty-unmarred by vapidity
This backward haze and these unforgiving days
Show the lines and ravages of modernity,
That bring you such undeserved shame.

The chariots have been replaced with Vespas
And the fiats that once fell from Cesar’s mouth,
Today hum along your serpentine streets, blocking your veins.
I wander through you -feeling the pulse that has pumped-
All these centuries,
hypnotized by its beat, contemplating the change.
But I cannot escape you…
These vias and viales are somehow still the same,
Still holding secrets filled with joy and pride
Passion and pain.

© 2001 Franco D’Alessandro from
SUPPLICATIons: Immediate Poems of Loss and Love,
Finishing Line Press 2009.

(or Il Colosseo di Notte)

(for Lidia Vitale)

Standing serenely sun-baked, exhausted yet imperious.
Or are you on one knee; a weary warrior,
The gallant gladiatrix seeking shade?
          ’n core d’omo dintro ’na bella donna,
a man’s heart in a beautiful woman

The day is not so kind to you,
But, night is consoling in its velvety veil.
The strokes of moonlight illumine a perfect arch,
          where an unknown god once stood;
welcoming me with its comforting curve,

And I could crawl up into eternity.

© 2000 Franco D’Alessandro from
SUPPLICATIons: Immediate Poems of Loss and Love,
Finishing Line Press 2009.

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Poetry in this post: © Franco D’Alessandro
Published with the permission of Franco D’Alessandro