Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
 print version

[The shutters close slowly in the camera]

The shutters close slowly in the camera
Da letto, siphoning what light there

Was into the dark room, a sleight of hand,
An ampersand when we had thought only of

Subtraction, the function that form follows,
Such as the junction between what we’ve always

Known and what we still don’t, those who would
Kill to win some kind of sack race or the other sack

In the trunk, full of live chickens, then piles of
Guts for cats, and it’s not that we feel at

All gypped by light, as if light were only
On a plinth and that plinth were only

In the middle of one piazza and we were
Only in that one piazza once, then,

Then, then, then, and then again, in the sense
That what came before, the big roar of sound

Down the ravine that we still talk about,
The image of light as phantom or

Sacrifice to something we’ve forgotten by now,
As if someone could win a prize for inventing

Fullness or kindness or happiness, smack-dab
In the moment for which we had thought we had

Prepared ourselves, the four hours it took us to swim
From Sestos to Abydos, for example, what we had

Thought we would find there, for there is nothing
Besides love, inside and outside, whereupon, whereupon.


what we’ve read; to read, leggere, leggo; sine loco, anno, vel nomine: without place, year, or name of publication, s.l.a.n.; remember s/he?; saber rattling; sachet; sack race; sackbut: trombone; tromba: trumpet: trombone: trombone; sacrifice: to make sacred; sacrifice fly; sub rosa; small time vs. big time; prize for discovering fullness, happiness; snappy dressing; lie detector; defects in plumbing; the lay of the land; lonesome, somewhere, whereupon; smirch and besmirch; sgraffito; sexual orientation; setaceous, bristly, setose; Sestos, where Xerxes built a bridge of boats to cross the Hellespont and invade Greece, 481 B.C.; in 1810 Byron swam from Sestos to Abydos in four hours, like Leander  

return to top