Aquarius Rising cover

Invictus. Lux Aeterna. An Author Statement by Bernadette Giacomazzo

Dear Reader:

I write this author statement on November 29, 2022 — my 45th birthday — about two weeks before Aquarius Rising, my first-ever (and, possibly last-ever) poetry chapbook hits the proverbial stands.

And on this day, I woke up and wrote two words, which will set the tone for the 45th chapter of my life: Invictus. Lux Aeterna. It means “Invincible” and “Eternal Light,” respectively. 

Fitting, given all I’ve been through…which is worthy of a memoir, not a poetry chapbook.

Aquarius Rising is but a small sliver of my life — a few pages in one chapter of the memoir, if you will — but it’s one that I’m both glad I went through…and glad it’s behind me. No matter what has tried to break me, I’ve always emerged like a phoenix — and the basis of this chapbook is no different. It’s a writer’s inalienable right to plunder his/her own life for fodder for their work — so what better basis for my poetry than my own life?

Since I was 16 years old — a time when grunge was all the rage, when Daria Morgendorffer was my idol, and when I began experimenting with makeup that made me look like Brandon Lee in The Crow — I’ve wanted to write poetry, but could never write something heartfelt and passionate enough to be worthy of publication. (And believe me, I tried.) 

It’s that girl that’s celebrating today — well, as much as a teenager in the 1990s saddled with ennui and playing Mother Love Bone’s “Stardog Champion” and “Crown of Thorns” ad infinitum until the cassette tape wore out would be celebrating. You might say she’s smiling on the inside.

And, in turn, it’s the 45-year-old woman that’s smiling back at her…on the outside…telling her to keep going, to never give up, to live life in fifth gear speeding down the Autobahn, and to turn tragedy into testimony…and pain into art. It is, after all, her inalienable right.

Invictus. Lux Aeterna.

Aquarius Rising

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