1 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 … 2 Degas returns to the living depicts dancing asparagus 3 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 4 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 5 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 rejected by those who remain decades later 6 When I’ll be fully believed
Edward Caruso has been published in Right Now, Unusual Work, La Bottega della Poesia (Italy), Mediterranean Poetry, Meniscus, Lite Lit One, Text 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.