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14. Featuring: Alessio Zanelli

+ Brian Blackwell + Joseph Scorselo +  Gordon Scapens

+ Terry Dammery + Zoe Alexandra

 

 

I Am Not Earth

 

It is no use your chiding me

for my being an elusive stuff  

slipping still out of your hand.

 

In vain you keep on grumbling

I had better be more concrete,

steadfast, tangible, consistent.

 

My true nature shuns your senses

every time you think you hold her

after long pursuing my semblance.

 

Whatever you try at my essence,

she vanishes like a sunset shadow

stretching out and out before dying.

 

You are looking for your mainstay,

a ground to rest on to look around

without ever losing your bearings.

 

But what I am is chilly air, I am wind;

I am water and the salt dissolved in it,

yes, please, convince yourself: I am sea.

 

For all you strive you can’t change that,

I am really nothing you can stand upon.

Indeed, nothing you can grasp or tread.

Venomous

 

Sneak up on me

and bite me

quick and deep,

don’t let go

till all that’s

in your glands

is gone.

 

My skin is thin,

my flesh is soft,

my antibodies

maybe are sporting

well away

from where

you’d sink your fangs.

 

Seize

this passing

ease of mine,

do your best

and do it now,

you won’t have

a second chance.

The Gullible Climber

 

You wanted to climb

this donjon of ice—

you never turned back

and never looked down.

 

Arrived atop,

the eyes replete

with frozen tears,

now you watch

the coveted moon,

miserably unable

to either touch her

or climb back down.

 

The lady in velvet—

who instilled pride

and boldness in you,

not a grain of wisdom—

is spying your moves

from a midheight slit

of the facing keep,

a malevolent smile

just pictured on the lips.

 

I am waiting here below,

the face upturned,

the moon in the eyes,

the feet firmly on the ground.

 

Pending your final decision,

any your movement whatever—

the thaw is weeks away,

but I have long arms,

and really strong.

Third Millennium Crèche

 

There we are, back again,

touched, imbued with goodness,

by the humble manger

where God became a baby.

 

All is peace, amazement, bliss.

 

Ecstatic fugitive instants,

then the spark of human bane

shoots up, once more,

fatally punctual, ineluctable.

 

We stand aghast amid wild havoc.

 

Unheard, the baby cries in the crib,

and anon no man is left in the stable.

Our dream of greatness falls to pieces

as the whole shebang is blown away.

 

Tireless hands will soon be at it anew.

The Nowhere-Leading Circle

 

How many nights

spent in the dark

alone in bed

to ruminate life,

thinking about

impossible pasts,

fancied presents,

unlikely futures,

nothings and alls,

could-have-been everythings,

whatnots and what-an-events,

my filled-up little empty room,

the universe and what …

like a would-be puppeteer.

Night after night

the foul daydream goes on,

there’s no way out

since all there is to move along

is an ever-circling route.

Surprise Cart

 

You can never know what you are actually buying

when getting ready to do the supermarket shopping.

Each time you take a chance on cramming the cart,

with both the items that were in the shopping list

and sundry stuff you’d never imagined you’d buy.

It so happens you get back home and only then realize

you’ve just stocked up two-months supplies of everything,

from the latest soft-fruit-flavored chewable toothbrush

(even though you make use of a self-cleaning denture)

to the ultimate electrically-driven indoor mosquitocide

(even though your blood is the best natural repellent),

and to the lowest-calorie cola ever displayed on a shelf

(even though you’re as thin as a rake and drink but soda).

But indeed you find yourself at a loss what to say or do

and feel someone pulling the rug from under your feet

when along the aisle you run into an abandoned cart

with only a little sobbing panic-stricken child inside.

You keep on asking him where mom or dad could be,

yet he doesn’t speak a word and keeps on whining

with his big wide-open eyes begging you for help.

Then you begin to question whomever you see in vain,

till you understand the child must be the latest doodad

of some anonymous collector of extravagant knickknacks,

the unaffordable useless gadget of a shameful consumer,

furtively left in a blind corner reckoning on the confusion.

And so such a lovely priceless item now rests in a crib

in the large pediatrics ward of a metropolitan hospital,

waiting for some affluent foster purchaser to pick him.

 

Screamings

first published in The Journal (UK)

 

She wakes each morning

with spall-tears in her eyes,

the iris the color of rough sea,

a pale moon prisoner in her face,

the weight of mountains in the arms.

 

A deep crevice in her bosom

from which unchaseable demons

yell out all their malevolence at her

heals up through sleeping hours

to reopen at each awakening.

 

They scream it’s just another day,

not too long for her to stand up to,

but she’s alone pinned down by gravity,

no escape from blinding light in sight,

no rest until again the dark arrives.

Over Misty Plains

first published in Avocet (CA, USA)

 

Who ever was this tiny man

who used to run against the wind,

through the fog,

in the rain,

on snow-covered paths,

towards the sun—

away from his own shadow?

 

Nobody knows the truth.

Because nobody keeps clear memories,

each intent on their little deeds.

 

And the ground keeps no footprints

of him who ran this humble scope

for decades far and near,

adding miles to miles

enough to round the world.

 

The wind alone will always bear his mark—

some hardly audible swish adrift

over its continuous subdued moan.

 

The abandoned shadow

roaming forever

over misty plains.