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Falling off the Empire State Building is about family, love, and mortality. It can be difficult to say “I love you” in a working class family, but it may be demonstrated in many ways. Our parents often work at jobs that never match up with their dreams. They cook, clean, and toil until they finally get a moment to go fishing or toss a baseball with you. Sometimes we recognize the love reflected in the epiphany of a simple act: a sip of cranberry juice, a father’s gentle wake-up touch, a mother stirring soup, or a sister signing her death. Perhaps the greatest honor we have left to give our family members is to be at their bedsides and offer solace when they arrive at the end of their lives.
Note: Falling off the Empire State Building is included free along with the spring issue to all Rattle subscribers. Visit our purchase page to subscribe for just $25/year.
Other Poems by Jimmy Pappas
• “Bobby’s Story” in Rattle #58
• “The Connoisseur of Canoes” in Atticus Review
• “I Buried You on a Bright Red Tricycle” in Dime Show Review
• “Spinoza on the Seine” in Sheila-Na-Gig
• “Picking up Stan’s Body” in Sisyphus
About the Author
Jimmy Pappas served during the Vietnam War as an English language instructor training South Vietnamese soldiers. He received a BA in English at Bridgewater State University and an MA in English literature from Rivier University. His poems have been published in over 80 journals, including Sheila-Na-Gig, Cha:An Asian Literary Journal, Shot Glass Journal, Off the Coast, and Boston Literary Magazine. The poem “Bobby’s Story” was winner of the 2017 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award. Other poems about veterans are included in Jimmy’s first book, Scream Wounds, published by A15 Press in 2019. Jimmy is vice president of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and lives with his wife Barbara in the small town of Chichester, where they enjoy the state’s vibrant poetry culture.
Cover art by Shakiba Hashemi
Cover price: $6.00
Chapbook: 36 pages
Size: 6″ x 9″