Gary De Mattei

What Hump?

I have two favorite books by the smoking hot, Mary Shelley— both of them speak to our time louder and with more clarity today than when they were first published back in the dawning of the age of steam engines, electricity, and gothic horror. I won’t discuss Mrs. Shelley’s The Last Man, which is the…

Paradiso

Many of my Italian relatives lived in North Beach when they first immigrated to America over a hundred years ago. I’ve been going there ever since I was born. And each time I’ve gone— including my most recent trip a few months ago— that hollow muscle inside my chest gives me that first-love feeling. And…

Commedia Divina

When rereading and reciting the 14,000 line poem of Dante’s very sad comedy in quarantine, I am having this strange daydream about palm trees, the clearest of azure blue waters, and a little shack on the sandiest of white beaches that rents scuba diving masks to tourists. Banishment is a theme with a great many…

Inferno

FAUST by Goethe — Part 1 (first published in 1808) I’ve been rereading the David Constantine translation during these dark times and have concluded that we are being ruled by a Faustian character who has made a pact with the Devil disguised as Capitalism. Click on the audio file above and listen to me read…

Augie

For years I had one of those mini-trampolines in our little one-bedroom apartment here in Queens. Caryn used to sit on it in lotus position and meditate. She looked like a yogi figurine by Lladro. I found the mini-trampoline on the street outside our building not long after I moved to New York City in…