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Of Silence and Solitude By: Devin Pallitto

Copyright Š 2014 by Devin Pallitto. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents: 1. Preface by Caroline Weinbach 2. Last Name 3. The Woods 4. Days Gone By 5. How To Enjoy A Convention 6. To Kansas 7. Just Another Night 8. Friends 9. To my Trilby 10. Headache 11. The Silent Street 12. Alone

PREFACE Devin Pallitto attends Anime conventions, plays videogames on Friday nights, and converses with friends’ chat-room girlfriends. Devin Pallitto is a clichÊ comic book nerd. But Pallitto becomes so much more than this in his writing, chronicling the isolation and perplexity of being a college student. His poems capture the struggle between feeling lonely but craving solitude, like the contrasts in Alone and The Woods. Real life friendships seem to be exhausting, as he narrates in the poem Friends describing the desolation of fighting with his best friend. Pallitto seems more content with effortless Internet communications that strike the perfect balance between being alone and having companionship, submerged in a fictional escape. I turn on skype To see the friends Who are always there When I need them. We immerse ourselves In a world of fantasy, Dice and adventure. His identity is questioned and he strives to make it known, whether it is the pronunciation of his last name or the comparison to his partying roommates in Just Another Night. Pallitto is not your average twenty-one-year-old: he prefers trilbies to baseball caps and conventions to football games. His uniqueness comes across in his poems with a sense of vulnerability but also contentment with who he is. He has the courage to examine his inner thoughts, and the humility to laugh at the silly things he does that make him more eccentric. These contemplations swell in his head as he walks

the streets alone, and can find comfort inside his mind even when plagued with a headache. How wonderful it is to have a companion When I am doing homework Or taking a shower Encouraging me to keep going It’s almost charming in a way Only Pallitto could make a headache seem like an old pal, using his quirky view of the world to find serenity in pain. The author does not see the world through rose colored glasses or sugarcoat what he says, he is aware that the world is a place in which you are born alone and die alone, and that is okay. His thoughts and worries are characteristic of a college senior, but can ring true for readers of any age. The fear of what will happen next and what he is meant to do with his life are feelings that anyone can relate to. He shows this in The Silent Street, while being brutally honest but also comforting, proving that fear of the unknown is useless. What will he do? What happens next? Where would he go? All problems that he hopes to solve. But not now, not tonight. Tonight he will walk his head will clear, and he would be ok. Pallitto gives us a glimpse inside of his head puts his feelings right onto the page, and this allows the reader to not only understand the reader, but to find similarities between themselves and Pallitto. Everyone feels lonely at times and everyone feels the need to alone as well, which is what Pallitto captures perfectly. He also entertains us

with the various mistakes others make pronouncing his last name, the relationship between himself and his favorite hat that now sits in a box, and recounts the story of being stuck in the middle of his best friend and an online girlfriend from Kansas. Pallitto ends his chapbook leaving the reader pondering their own self-inflicted isolation by means of smartphones and social media sites. Even in groups we are alone staring blankly into Smartphones, twitter, Facebook, tumblur, Myspace. “Look at me I’m Here pay attention to me” we say The author points out the things we are all guilty for doing and somewhat ashamed of, but never judges. Pallitto’s poems are anything but silent, and cure the reader’s solitude with a bit of friendly company.

Caroline Weinbach May 2014

Last Name By: Devin Pallitto Pa-light-o Pal-lotto Patato Poll-ito Pilates . For so long the kid, Who’s name was never said right, On the first try. It was maddening. Every year on the first day of school, Or when there was a substitute. They would call for someone who didn’t exist. I would raise his hand and correct them. hoping that I was a proper substitute. But as the old saying goes, A rose by any other name. Right? I did not let those mispronunciations define me. I was not a light for others. I did not bring them wealth. I certainly was never food. I never made people answer a questionnaire. And I sure as hell was never a sport. My name is Pallitto Plain and simple.

The Woods By: Devin Pallitto The Woods Are quiet. Just myself and the occasional squirrel. The Ipod is off. The light crunch of leaves beneath my feet sooths me. This place is my Sanctuary. Overgrown by ferns where a path once was. I see a deer in the distance. I slowly approach. We make eye contact. There is a moment of transcendence as it runs away. There is a dog and its owner. They walk up the path, Breaking my concentration Pleasantries exchanged They ask if I’m on a nature walk “I was till you got here”,

Days gone by By: Devin Pallitto As I walked down the Campground’s Dusty road. The leaves falling upon the cold dead ground. I came across a very small brown Toad. Who moves with not so much as a slight sound. It reminds me of my old and best friend. Now whom since then has moved far far away. We traveled up and down to the old ends. Of the trails where we would play from dawn to dusk. I miss his once joyous bursts of laughter. I miss the loud silly songs that he sang. I know it really doesn’t matter much. I know he won’t be gone for much longer. Yet as I stare down the old dusty road. I see him here just like the little toad.

How to Enjoy a Convention By: Devin Pallitto If you should find yourself going to an Anime or Comic book convention Then perhaps you should keep some of the following advice in mind Do bring a good amount of cash. Do not expect to be able to get money from an ATM. Do expect people to be dressed in costumes. Do not make jokes about it being a little early/late for Halloween. Do not be surprised if you see a few people dressed in animal costumes. Do feel free to dress up in a costume. Do not put zero effort into your costume or wear a cheap Halloween costume. Do ask to take pictures if you like a costume. Do not ask to take a picture if they just got it taken by a large of people. Do try to strike up conversations with people. Do get overly personal with people. Do go to panels on topics that pique your interest. Do expect the occasional minor invasion of personal space. Do not yell at people for this. Do base your diet for the weekend purely on junk food. Do make sure to get a good night’s sleep while at the convention. Do not expect to go to bed at a decent hour sometimes. Do try to have fun at the convention. If anything mentioned above seems unappealing then do not bother coming. Because you wont have a good time. If it all sounded like fun then go enjoy a convention.

To Kansas It’s been a while since I’ve thought of you. The next one that he was “in love” with. Falling in and out of it so quickly in those days. After a while those of us who were his friends, We simply referred to you by the state you were from. Kansas I believe. Not that I’m trying to hard to remember. You weren’t exactly pleasant, And unfortunately you were the only one who I actually Had the misfortune of being in contact with. You started our lovely correspondence. You sent me a text saying you were my friend’s girlfriend And you were wondering why I wasn’t texting him. He had given you my number to try to get in contact with me Since I had been neglecting to text him But it was my freshman year of college I was busy Not like it was any of your business. I thought I’d never hear from you again but, The next time you two had an argument I was your middleman Not that I minded at first. But then you pushed a line and you angered me. You and he had a fight, And you wanted me to be your shrink. At the time I was at a Convention Paid sixty bucks for the ticket and everything. I told you to calm down, And that it would work it’s self out. Then you showed your true colors. You said you were going to kill yourself. I then spent the rest of the afternoon as yours and his middleman again. You spoiled that weekend for me because I had to keep you from doing the deed. If I knew then what I knew now. I’m not so sure I would have made the effort. Because then you did something that you should never do. You badmouthed my friend to my face, You told me how he was stupid, and ugly, and you were only dating him, Out of pity. That you deserved better then him. What you didn’t know was I was already at my breaking point. So I let you have it and I tore into you verbally. Like an angry beast protecting it’s pack.

You were not worthy of him You were a lying manipulative brat, Who used the threat of suicide as a means to get attention and to get things your way. Well I’m not Burger King. You called me out on how I poke fun at him on occasion. But here’s the thing I’ve known him since the fifth grade We are that good of friends that we could do that. You however were just some dumb floozy that he met a month ago online. And I sent our entire conversation to him To reveal you for the lying manipulative bitch that you were. Which is why he dumped you so soon after our little chat. And let me tell you, That was the most satisfying thing I did that year. Because you don’t bad mouth my friend behind his back and get away with it. Sayonara Kansas It was not a pleasure to meet you.

Just Another Night By: Devin Pallitto Every week the same thing. They leave, they come back. Thursday arrives And they drink and party. Lather rinse repeat Not that I notice. I sit here on my computer Talking to friends I’ve never met in person. They return It’s already two thirty, In the morning Time Flies. The alarm hits me Like a ton of bricks. Get up, get dressed, eat Classes fly by Now they are gone I return and they, Have already started drinking. I go to my room And immerse myself In videogames. I turn on skype To see the friends Who are always there When I need them. We immerse ourselves In a world of fantasy, Dice and adventure. I laugh and enjoy myself.

Even stealing a drink, From the roommates Who do not care A door slams open They’ve returned, And start blasting music We continue our adventures. Just another night.

Friends By: Devin Pallitto You used to be, The foundation of my sanity But every night, We seem to fight I can’t help but snap. My mind is starting unravel. When you keep making me feel like crap, My thoughts constantly travel, To the dark places And empty spaces. Where I am alone with myself In thoughts of my wealth And how my failures Have caused my sadness to amass And how all the indicators Of my lack of mind have made me spiritless And there you are Raising the bar Of trying to help me but not As my sanity begins to rot You say that you are listening But you don’t hear my plight Regardless of what you are hearing All we do is fight

To My Trilby By: Devin Pallitto Old Friend, signature item, I am sorry For what I have done to you You were always there. Ready to be placed Atop my head At the drop of a hat. I wore you All the time During that summer Before I came to college. Then you sat. On the wall, In a box, In a closet. After all the times That we shared. I abandoned you. For that I am sorry. But at long last I took you out of that box. That was shoved In the corner of my closet. It’s high time That wore you again. Like the good old days.

Headache Hello old friend Tapping away at my temples Silently reminding me that I am alive Helping me focus While simultaneously distracting me Like a friend who is the class clown You show up randomly Without so much as a hello And begin your day’s work How wonderful it is to have a companion When I am doing homework Or taking a shower Encouraging me to keep going It’s almost charming in a way Please forgive me when I take something To make your annoying pounding cease As endearing as it was at first It has now overstayed it’s welcome I’m sorry

The Silent Street By: Devin Pallitto It’s dark, not a soul to be found anywhere the streets are quiet the clock strikes 12 footsteps fall on the concrete. He is walking alone solitude and silence things that help him think. School, work, life the thoughts fill his mind. What will he do? What happens next? Where would he go? All problems that he hopes to solve. But not now, not tonight. Tonight he will walk his head will clear, and he would be ok.

Alone Again we exist in a world in which people exist that are alone. We get told from when we are young that there is someone out there For everyone, but could that be a great lie told to keep children Silent and content in the night to stave off the crying. Until we are grown and do not burden our parents with the soft sobs In the cold lonely nights. Even in groups we are alone staring blankly into Smartphones, twitter, Facebook, tumblur, Myspace. “Look at me I’m Here pay attention to me” we say We refuse to make connections to people that sit next to us On subways cars and at bus stops or even in the grocery store With the cashiers who ask how you are doing that day Only to receive a gruff muffled response. Back to the Smartphone Back to Facebook Back to Twitter Back To Alone

Of Silence and Solitude  

A chapbook of solitude both good and bad