“These poems are rich, loamy, fragrant with life. Unafraid to be playful, unafraid to be understood, they embrace the world as if they want to eat it whole. Read this book if you want to feel a little more alive.”–Thomas Lux, author, Child Made of Sand
“With tight language and concrete imagery Salvatore Marici paints a landscape narrative spanning the Chicago skyline, the meditative soul, the lousy Cubs and working the soil with his bare hands, all to grow the words that are Swish Swirl & Sniff. Marici’s Peace Corps experience has sharpened this poet’s eye to lazar sharp awareness that turns truth into beauty and song.” – Xavier Cavazos
“Whether he is writing about the heart of the Inca empire in Peru or Wrigley Field in Chicago, Sal brings his subjects alive with an earthy swirl of all five senses. ‘Cut these poems and they bleed,’ Emerson might have said. But a few of them–the best I think–use a twist of phrase, a startling image, a bit of South American magic realism to go beyond the landscape to what the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins called the ‘inscape,’ the spirit of the person, place, or event”–Roald Tweet, “Rock Island Lines” on WVIK
“The poems in Salvatore Marici’s Swish Swirl and Sniff hold a humorous and truthful heart as an offering to the world. These are poems seasoned with wry understanding and give us brighter and lighter moments where “…a stem emerges through a topsoil richer than gold.”–Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author, Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens
“There’s an expansive world conveyed by Sal Marici’s poems, examined up-close and with care, even when the mood is frisky. The physicality of the collection’s vivid and momentary encounters urge us inward and out into new landscapes. What I admire most is Sal’s attention to the extraordinary and mundane instants of our precious and ordinary lives.”–Rebecca Wee, author, Uncertain Grace
“Salvatore Marici’s poems are honest, heartfelt letters from a sly poet devoted to the art of seeing. Everything sharpens in Sal’s vision. In one poem, ‘a stem / emerges through a topsoil / richer than gold.’ In another our narrator confesses that, ‘The swinging gait in my crawl / shakes my butt, splits / the leopard pattern sarong.’ The sublime and the comic, secrets waiting to be learned, Swish Swirl & Sniff has them in spades.”—Matthew Guenette, author of American Busboy and Sudden Anthem.
“Marici blends narrative and lyrical style in a way that transports, ‘spanning great distances’ whether it be to Italy, South America, or to the North Side of Chicago. The poems in Swish Swirl & Sniff, break away from the purely cerebral and take us ‘back to the earth’ in a way that is substantive, sometimes raw, but ‘interwoven with love.’”—Gordon Purkis, publisher, Shoe Music Press
“Swish Swirl & Sniff exudes a vibrant life force, paying homage to Sicily, baseball, food, love, the Midwest, music, and travel, all topped off with a little wine or cappuccino. The poems are full of compelling images, sudden surprise, and bright bits of wisdom. Marici, himself, is one of the very writers he describes who can: “blur / reality and imagination / into images / and put them on paper.”—Susan Terris, author, Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems
“Sal Marici is a gifted poet, who sees that the world can pull you down. There is death, and cruelty, and ignorance, yet what saves us is our ability to feel deeply and enjoy the richness of life. Sal describes his experience in bright and clean words, moving us in and through his intense visions, but always remaining witty and surprising. His is a book of earthy Sicilian wisdom. He sees the infinite and the eternal in a clump of soil, the taste of garlic, the loam between bare feet, or the puff of aromatic steam. In the end, suffering but standing, he is renewed by the physical joy of existence, and by revealing the beautiful human spirit in his art.”—Bruce de Gouveia Carter, Host of Art Talks on WVIK
“Swish Swirl & Sniff leads you through the complex steps of a tango of words. Salvatore Marici holds you close and you move as a pair through lines sensuous and sultry. This sophisticated dance takes place in the open air under the stars of the mind, but is as real as experiences encountered.”—Melinda Perrin, author, Winterberries
“In these poems by Salvatore Marici you’ll enjoy everything from skillets to kayaks, the Cubs to weather vanes, garlic to bourbon. Each poem is a down-to-earth celebration of life both lived and closely observed. Savor them as you would a good brandy.”—Morgan Grayce Willow, author, Dodge & Scramble
“Marici’s dug-in insistence on living in the present, his physicality, and sometimes his unusual phrasing are his great strengths. He has an uncanny ability to turn the daily routine into credible, felt art, where every now and then an earthy spirituality breaks through.” —John McBride, PhD, Past President, Quint City Poets
Marici captures essence of compelling poetry in “Swish, Swirl & Sniff” A review by John Busbee, KFMG, host, The Culture Buzz, Des Moines, Iowa
Salvatore Marici continues his creative evolution with his latest offering, “Swish Swirl & Sniff,” a compendium of evocative glances into global experiences as vast as the stratosphere, yet as intimate as a fingerprint. His literary visions captured in this collection can make the reader blush from such intimacies and insights, or nod assent with imagery as vivid as aroma-triggering memories.
The beauty of his sparely presented language, appealingly presented in manageable servings in one and two page helpings, lies in the opportunity to savor each richly selected morsel as the reader slowly immerses into Marici’s delectable language. This is not so much a reading of poetry as it is a seduction of the senses, a sharing of commonalities and a rare brush with the offerings from a world interpreter.
With a diversity and deliciousness as notable as the chocolates in Forrest Gump’s now iconic box of sweet treats, Marici fills the space between his collection’s covers with an irresistible if not often recognizable gambol through a random rambling of artist’s perceptions. This poetic journey is best taken with complete abandon, allowing oneself to drift from one poem to the next with a cerebral leap of faith, unfiltered and trusting in each lovingly crafted structure. This journey will careen from South America to the Heartland to the Middle East, with occasional stops where the impact of a poem matters not where it happens, but in the sensual and bold word play of the poet.
Marici carefully and selectively fills his collection with the brush strokes of a master who has patiently waited until the right moment to share his poetic images, much as a master vintner will wait the requisite time before uncorking an exceptional wine. There is confidence and experience in the delivery of these 56 poems, with the same assuredness a master painter affixes the first stroke of paint on a new canvas, or a concert musician issues the first note of a sonata.
For those familiar with the world of poetry, Marici’s “Swish Swirl & Sniff” is a refreshing facet to thoroughly enjoy. For new explorers of one of literatures best legacy forms, this is a wonderful way to delve into a sometimes enigmatic world of words, and delight in an unabashed lover of life’s lean, vivid language.