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Poemfellas

By Harriet Staff

Read this Boston Herald article about Robert DeLuca, a mafioso-turned-poet. He started penning verse in the joint. Now he’s in witness protection, where, we assume, he’ll write rants on stifling track-housing life and the inability to find capicola.

Check it:

And so farewell, Robert DeLuca, longtime poet laureate of the Mafia and now, apparently, poet laureate of the Witness Protection Program.

The former Rhode Island wiseguy may not have been formally inducted, as it were, into the nation’s largest crime family. But he and his new family have vanished. His house has been sold. When you call his cell phone, you’re told the party “is not accepting calls at this time.”

Odds are, DeLuca will surface sometime next year at a racketeering trial involving some of his old pals and a sanctuary for weary businessmen in North Providence known as the Cadillac Lounge.

But he leaves behind his not-inconsiderable body of work in the verse racket. While he was locked up in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in the 1990s, Bobby whiled away the time writing poetry. He had two major themes — the “rats” he hated, Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi, and romantic sonnets to his now ex-wife, Kimi.

Not for nothing is Bobby known as the Gangster of Love. Here are the last four lines of a trifle to Kimi entitled “Let’s Get Fresh:”

“Then I say to you/ ‘You sure look cute/With nothing on/But your birthday suit.’”

Then there is DeLuca’s greatest epic, “Who’s Minding the Puppies?” a reference to the two French poodles, Nikki and Gigi, that Catherine Greig left behind when she took it on the lam with Whitey. It should be in all the anthologies. It’s a series of questions (rhetorical) about who’s in charge of organized crime now in South Boston.

“Who’s gonna clean the rifles?/ Who’s gonna put out the hits?/ Who’s gonna pull the trigger/Now that Stevie’s hit the pits?”

Awesome. Read the rest. And, given his new identity, which comes with a name change, who knows, you might be reading his work soon (or RIGHT NOW!).


Posted in Poetry News on Friday, November 18th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.