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11

MONDAY

Anybody who’s ever spent time in South Philly knows the place deserves its very own Walt Whitman. Where else are you going to find the Italian Market, the diner where Nicky Scarfo knifed a man over his seat, gaudy row houses, and Mummer clubhouses filled with adults who think the Catholic Church ought to make deceased Mayor Frank I’m-Gonna-Make-Attila-the-Hun-Look-Like-a-Faggot! Rizzo a saint? Poet W.S. Di Piero grew up there; he even titles the opening poem of Skirts and Slacks, his new collection, “Philly Babylon.” But the South Philly I loved is a hazy backdrop for Di Piero’s reflections on the deaths of his parents, and the poems themselves are marred by lots of name-dropping and a college-workshop fussiness. If it’s the real South Philly you’re looking for, get thee to the novels of Steve Lopez or Pete Dexter. Otherwise, you can join me in waiting for a poetic savior to rise from the subway on South Broad Street. Di Piero reads at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. Free. (202) 347-5495. (Michael Little)