Edward Caruso

light a blaze from kindling
silent canopy
in this dry, hot gale
that showers us with desert sand
which flays our eyes
with needle-like heat
a desert of my own
infirm elderly
who cannot raise the alarm
of interlocutors
who vanish from memory
as the planet will vanish
before we learn
what it means
to us
Hopes that …
Degas returns to the living
depicts dancing asparagus
mummified in clay soil
you sleep soundly
what you scratched
across this surface
despite furrows & failed attempts at gardening
even the sun hides from you
when most of us recall humour
to protect laughing grass
from coastal towns
that mow it without notice
memoirs of surf
& filling notebooks
with laughter & sparing
pencils of any blame
for your attention to enigma
you no longer tolerate the moon
& pray for starless surf
idealise rhetoric on your soil    stay awake
learn its damp     thuds across the surface
are obituaries     but they let you in
they are universes
annihilated each moment
rhetoric is metallic
& I pretend the lines I forget
will make this piece exist

clouds that impart sofia to the visually blind
(everything I don’t say is true)
if I’m real, these works will choose
not to come back
though I expand them
some images are tourists
others are slaves
I hang window frames on my wall
photograph clouds & iron shirt collars
The coarse material I’ve stitched together
gloats over who I am
is who I am
I enact this uniform brilliantly
no claims are made
when depositions are curated
in a last-ditch exhibition
of an abandoned caravan in flames
by an obstreperous far-from crepuscular poet
whose rooms have been painted
the colour of desert
to connect with voices in the open
     With more windows
shadows fall across my wooden floors
as my silhouette departs     This time I follow
then I ask: whose land is this?
     Potted cacti & succulents
          fennel surrounding rows of broad beans
& other divine presences
     Basil that’s survived winter
My language is this:
     woven reeds     rolls of paper
from artisans whose DNA forms transplanted
     syllables stitched into cursive script
     salt & sea water rippling
          The bathers who
live inside my window frames
     caravanserais     crossings
     & words from breezes
by those who remain decades later
When I’ll be fully believed

Edward Caruso has been published in Right NowUnusual WorkLa Bottega della Poesia (Italy), Mediterranean Poetry, MeniscusLite Lit OneText and A Voz Limpia. His second collection of poems, Blue Milonga, was published by Hybrid Publishers in January 2019. In August 2019 he featured on 3CR’s Spoken Word program.

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