Poetry Cure: Class Clown by Pino Coluccio

Pino Coluccio’s Class Clown (Biblioasis) takes classic themes of love, death, and time and presents them in short, witty poems all based on rhyme, puns, and wordplay. We chat with the Toronto-based poet about his collection (and share two short poems from it), astute life advice like “I before e except after c,” and his influences.


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An Interview with Pino

All Lit Up: Tell us about your collection.Pino Coluccio: Class Clown is an 80s teen movie in verse with a 40-something protagonist, but without the Hollywood ending.ALU: Do you have any steadfast writing rituals?PC: I don’t know if it’s a ritual per se, but I do most of my writing on my phone these days.ALU: If you wrote a memoir, what would it be called?PC: Stop Slapping My Face, Please: A Memoir by Pino ColuccioALU: What books are you currently reading?PC: I’m currently reading 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.ALU: What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you about writing, or life?PC: “Be light, but not merely light. Be serious, but not merely serious.” – Marcus Bales”Don’t be purple, don’t be maudlin.” – Alexandra Oliver”Rhyme different parts of speech, like a verb with a noun, a noun with an adjective.” – Alicia Stallings”I before e except after c.” – my brother AlbertALU: If you had one superpower, what would it be?PC: Time travel.ALU: What, outside of other books/writers, inspires your writing?PC: Rock music, darkly funny TV shows and movies (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Peep Show, I’m Alan Partridge), all things Italy and Italian.

The Poems

 “At A Wedding” No drivel-dravel bound for the remainder bin I hope,but a total, bracing classic all the centuries won’t solve.I hope your love is facing pages finishing a self.  “Class Clown”
They’d be all like, never say never
in classes we had, but whatever.
I turned to the windows and hallways
that always said always say always.
 – From Class Clown, Biblioasis, 2017
Pino Coluccio’s poems have appeared in The Walrus and three anthologies. His first collection, First Comes Love, came out in 2005. He lives in Toronto.
During the month of April, you can buy Class Clown as well as  any of our featured Poetry Cure books for 15% off (+ get a free notebook to jot down your moments of reflection).Keep up with us all month on  TwitterInstagram, and  Facebook with the hashtag #ALUpoetrycure.