Ten Thousand Miles Between Us
By Rocco de Giacomo, reviewed by Kristen Blank
I confess I found myself travelling the world from my own backyard while reading this lovely poetry collection. The whole of it seemed devoted to the great love of the speaker’s life, and even when they could not be together, perhaps even 10,000 miles ( = 16,093 km to the nearest decimal, thank you, Google) apart; they were never truly without the other.
I enjoyed the palpable sweetness and flavor of the poetry and the appreciative nostalgia when a person recognizes that even though someone is gone from your life, you can keep them with you. In this case it is through memory and poetry. While not always perfect ‘sweet enough/ to shatter with a fist/ thrown out of love…the weight of thunder/the slap of lightening/or/whatever/finally/broke us’(28-9); it was the most perfect form a storm could take. It wasn’t about the good or bad, but the acknowledgement that at least it was still time spent together. This feeling seeps through the page and the sincerity can catch you off guard.
I enjoyed the story this collection told and after the love was gone, there was a contentedness in letting it go while remembering it. I particularly liked the poems about the camping trips that were taken after the love seemed to have passed ‘The tent wants to talk about your life/But you lie so willfully against/ the unforgiving earth’(52). Camping didn’t seem to be a far enough place to learn to forget and the end of this collection finds us in exotic locals where the perspective shifts to the appreciation of different lifestyles and the wonders that can be found when you leave your own backyard.