Monthly Archives: December 2015

a thousand ways to say no

she was left for hours in the Tuileries Garden/ with the taste of too sweet pancakes filling her world for the years to come/ she waited near the public toilet in Schönbrunn Palace’s park/ she traveled with her knees squeezed on the economic bench in the non-ventilated tourist bus/ among the odds and ends of the western and central Europe/ exactly like her life was/ she found herself only in awkward postures with the window of the third grade hotel opened towards a blank wall/ a white and clean wall/ the back of another building that’s how everything was/ she still remembered because she had been reading book after book until the world became full of palimpsests/ each time she opened another roll the letters ran into one another

she still used to sing in her mind Norma’s aria/ she discovered that she could sing in her thought without words and finally she understood the mystery of composers deprived of hearing/ the secret scheme of naming the big city’s streets or naming different stars/ now that she could imagine the stages of a rose’s blooming like a time-lapse video

she saw herself in the ballroom with mirrors covering the ceiling/ by the arm of an engineer without musical hearing/ dancing tango perfectly and mechanically/ like the tiny wheels of a watch in God’s pocket/ she prepared her steps minutely as if a technical project yet she always made mistakes/ he held her tighter and tighter saying that all women have dancing in their blood

but she knew that it was not so

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of course The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci was for me that room with painting replicas printed on paper inside mother’s dowry house/ my grandparents raised buffaloes pigs horses and different chickens but they did not have yet a tv set in that room/ they still wore their old times folklore costumes on Sundays and on holidays/ on the road between my yesterday’s and my today’s eyes/ the masters’ paintings turned me back home after many years/ when I started to read art history and the past was like a museum/ mother this is your daughter/ the one who prefers now Fra Filippo Lippi and Pierro della Francesca/ the one who found by herself the mystery of The Flagellation of Christ before reading renowned critics’ opinions about it/ mother there are dark mists in your eyes/ look at me and please remember those icons and Easter postcards smeared with candle wax/ the icons that cry tears/ pearls of color layer after layer/ the icons with hieratic gestures from the times when you used to say how masterly are their hands painted/ you with your long fingers just like mine/ you who let gliding between us memories about future that you forgot afterwards/ the way the river flows in its bed and all the other rivers sewn on peasants’ shirts/ leave aside the flagellation of Christ mom/ let’s think together about your cheesecake spread with egg yolks and well colored up and maybe we will save some money for you to bake it at Easter time

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i fear
for the night hour when the clock’s second hand moves backwards one second
for the dreams of the child who counts how the old bed crackles three times
for all the flags or banners with three colors and for all those who say three two one go

yes i’m afraid
of rebellious numbers mad banshees amazons armed with arrows or eucalyptus candies
i fear that saint george won’t thrust his spear deep enough this year
i fear to throw pearls of wise fairy tales in front of those who don’t need stories
i measure the time honestly with the hour three a.m. still uncertain between night and day
through the heat left by poppies in the field
through the number of white stars in the hair of a lonely woman

i fear that i will pull out the silver jesus from the crucifix and i will sell it
as a legitimate part of the saint trinity
for a bit of bread or white soap

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Redemption Street

it was a city where high heels seldom popped
on the daily trespassed asphalt
but when that happened the earth trembled from its hinges
like the tables from the dining car
swirling swifter than toy pinwheels in the children’s playground

couples of lovers with thin shoe soles walked upon kerb stones
learning to step blindfolded eye-to-eye
like in a townsfolk’s facebook
people exchanged their wedding and baptism photos
look I give you my dead ones my past since Adam and Eve
you give me yours
we stay chatting we talk about talks we utter words about wording
some person tried to say something on his own and after that he broke apart
he forgot even about who art in heaven
he shrank water-soaked clinging to the wires
like an odd colored sock

it was in the beginning of the third millennium
when many still believed in Robinson Crusoe’s Bible
up in the pastures grass sprouts were still luscious and that was amazing

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the song under the door

how can I please you my jumbled soul in this stepmother-life
let me draw a poisonous comb against your hair
see you’re black and white now / you got curdled lil’ sister
your sweat begins to smell sour / you swallow without chewing
small dumplings of sunlight / déjà vu from the remains of your youth
with those snowfalls when a man dragged you on the sledge and said
that it snows if he wishes this

…now your life is bittersweet like green wallnut jam
do you still remember that story about the greatest love
let me be here another season / let me be the shadow of your shadow
that waltz with fancied flounces holding the arm of a statue/
chestnut and acacia flowers popping down over both of you

you still care for your old photo wearing a discreet smile
because you didn’t believe that a man can feel red colors
through his fingertips
you even turned around in amazement when men stared at you
and you rarely read sf / that story about the perfect love
sold at a luxurious matrimonial agency
romantic and immense like the horizon over the ocean/
with too many unintended consequences

it was a time with beardless wise men and you among them
you dreaming every day about peace all over this world
a young girl with her soul right in her eyes
and a bit of strength in her fist
both sand and tinder

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