Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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La Strada

This life & no other. The flesh so innocent it walks along
The road, believing it, & ceases to be ours.

We’re fate carrying a blown-out bicycle tire in one hand,

Flesh that has stepped out of its flesh,
Always ahead of ourselves, leaving the body behind us on the road.


Zampanò, what happens next? The clown is dead.
You still break chains across your chest though your heart’s not in it,
Your audience is just two kids, & already there is

Snow in little crusted ridges, snow glazing cart tracks & furrows
Where you rest. And then what happens?

One day you get an earache. One day you can’t breathe.
You notice the old nurse wears a girdle as she bends over you,

You remember the smell of Spanish rice from childhood,
An orphanage with scuffed linoleum on its floors.

You sit up suddenly, without knowing you have.
Your eyes are wide. You are stepping out of the flesh,
Because it now belongs to Zampanò, the Great.

Zampanò, I can’t do all the talking for you. I can’t go with you
Anymore. What happens next?


“Always what happens next, & then what happens after that.
It’s like you think we’re in a book for children. What happens next?
What does it look like is going to happen? It’s a carnival.

It happens on the outskirts of a city made of light & distance.
And well, it’s just my own opinion, but . . . I think
It’s a pretty poor excuse for a carnival, torn tents, everything

Worn out. But I guess it has to go on anyhow. And I guess

Death will blow his little fucking trumpet.”    

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