Vincent Francone

Italian Deli, 1983 

The brine of the olive barrel
gave me my first taste of true salt.

I was drawn to and repulsed by
the sight of eels and the carcasses
of recognizable animals

behind glass like atrocities
chopped and sold
to old Greek women and my grandmother
with her basket of perfect bread.

Vincent Francone’s work has appeared in Rhino, The Oklahoma Review, Spectrum, and other print and electronic journals.  He won 1st place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writer’s Competition and will attend the 2016 Summer School workshop at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.  His memoir, Like a Dog, was published in the fall of 2015.  Visit to learn more or say hello.

On why poetry matters, he states, “I read poetry because I am not religious, yet I find in the best poems something akin to spiritual fulfillment.  Poems are often odd, more often bad, but when they connect, the experience is transformational and nourishing.  Reading poems is a risk, but what’s life without risks?  And the risks pay off well enough to make them worthwhile.