Poetry from Gabriella Garofalo

And that’s how she sees the East:
The blue hunger where a child fell asleep,
A theatre actor drank himself to stupor, maybe death,
A teacher misplaced his tablet, mobile and life,
A silent man gazed at her through fear and rioting cells –
Water, mist, who cares, it happened
When she was waiting for light to get a move on
And jet her branches, for days to disperse
In white hunger or nipped desire –
Do come in, please take a seat,
Shift branches from the table,
Shift fractious lights, I know, it’s the prophet’s fire,
Don’t ask ‘Souls get lost in blue, is it fair’,
Don’t ask ‘Are mothers risk or Lethe
When averse limbs and snowy manes invade’ –
Demise, the wind won’t listen if you run
Through white pages, through life tearing apart
Words, grass –
Even the moon halts in a truce wonkier than sunrise,
Green hunger where women sport
Sharp features or white doughy jowls :
Do they look like vipers or pancakes?
Whatever –
Each sunset deserves a long wild wake.

 

*****

I said ‘Go, naked soul’
To the night silence fading in blue
Where hunger led her and her likes:
To crave a Cyclops, a freak,
To surprise chimera parties, over there
You can see words, the freaked pedestrians
Opposite traffic lights: waste, loss, demise,
Or dawdlers lost in a maze, the only signs being
Babies ravaging mothers or teats,
Butterflies asking spent flowers for more –
So, did you find them in a junk shop?
Nice, ok, but what are they for,
Look, it wasn’t that bad when I was a child
And stared at them for a long while,
Their eyes swamps of blue tenderness
As they said their name, life or demise?
Whatever, handle with care,
Such bloody high maintenance!
And you don’t fret, soul, if your eyes
Scare the beejeesus out of them,
Stay here and let Cassandra hide –
I know, wasn’t he lucky with such friends
Who tied him up to the mast
While the song went unfazed –
Mind, we are not, too much time on their hands
Those three guys or that light
Doesn’t call it quits, who knows,
More power to her, we’ll make do
With a merry parade of bright-coloured
Bedding and words –
Things changed for worse? Maybe,
But colours we’ve got and a vagrant light:
Enough for a shelter? I dunno –
Oh, so sorry, dear soul.

*****

That sticky love of mothers?
Thanks but no thanks,
Time kindles himself through his offspring,
No one knows his father –
A bastard, but stick to him
And you’ll dash to death like a child
To windswept spring grass –
Flowers and butterflies, hopes?
No, lest she go wild,
Ban out the silence,
At best cast some embers –
Blessed abundance went missing at last –
To think you saw the harshness of flowers
As a force, to think you arranged rituals
For the goddess of harvest –
Look at you now, helpless in a maze
Of pomegranates and misleading oaths –
Who’s to blame, blue or demise?
Nonsense, blue came to help,
Stones didn’t sneak off
And where’s the point in music, cider,
Sweet gifts from your friends –
She falls asleep out of the blue:
End of books, end of packed rooms
As the tangled veins show you
Her true gift –
Deep silence at night
When colours sell themselves cheap,
Yet stars insist on a sky blank of zest
And blue light says “to every night its moon”,
Yes, yes, but get you fruitful, fear,
Dig graves, dig words,
Forget wintry souls:
Even fire skips them when diving
Through roads, squares, signs –
You’ve given enough –
Stop it now.

Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Blue branches”.

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