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by Davide Trame


The Montreal Review, August, 2010





These words of doubt in the mind
and silence, looking
out of the train window
at the marshland mantled
in familiar, grey blankness,
a silhouetted world
the heart mimics
in self-defence.

Barges in the shallows,
in the still swarm of dots,
stuck in their outlines
of seaweeds and slime;
a seagull's slowly beating wings
soon swallowed by the sky,
you hear a cackling call
and rest for an instant in its wake
and think -in this way
I would like to pass, in a silence
broken and reaffirmed,
I would like to last
for a full long howl
with nothing to insert.

Not these words, threads
that spill over on the silvery damp
and linger undone, in their maze,
having to start all over again,
not these words
when your turn comes,
these lines leaving lines
not these words
consumed in the curls
of their own utterance,

but just this sky-swarm in silence
and, in the strength of blindness,
a cry that doesn't need a why,
like out of the womb's.


Caravaggio's bodies,
alive and dead.
The here-and-now of their nakedness,
their luminous closeness.
Always amazing
what's utterly ours.
The pores and veins' infinitesimal throbs
and a glow, our glow, that transpires.
And eyes, eyes that grab you like cries
and the cheekbones, the sinews,
that dig at once into the moment's marrow.
In the silence and fury
our soul's presence,
which is nothing
but the body's exuberance.
I am trapped now in the normal
marshes' mud and clouds,
my mind crossed by
those flesh and bones' grip and gaze
by which we created the gods and they us,
when we stared and stood still
and nobody could resist
the earth and light's tendons,
our skin,
piercing the mist.


Dirt on the snow path,
a flash that will stay:
the dark spots of dogs'
and deer's droppings
that look like seeds -the latter,
and both clearly reminding
of earth and matter,
splotches of dark
on the immaculate whiteness,
the tearing sharpness
of the snow's glare.

Maybe it's just what we need:
gazing at our dirt
enhancing mortality
that is dark like the soil,
like the tangle of entrails
in everything, the layers of dark
on which we stand.
We gaze at them
walking on, and finding
some familiar respite
from the marvellous estrangement of white.


In the postponed minutes, hours, lives
this is where you have in vain tried and tried
to pass the time,
the sky being no help,
no sky, no blue, no sign,
a uniform pale grey,
no blink even, except for the incomplete
flashing letters on an electronic board.
It would be the same
walking up stranded
on some lump of land,
the same as in this lounge,
on these batches of chairs, row after row,
some of us huddled up among empty seats,
here, in this further forgotten beehive
where it's better to sleep.

And what if you will never know
where you wake up and who you are,
your broken engine at your side
on a lorry on fire in a tunnel,
in a heat that grows in the wait
like in the mother who can't
deliver you to the light.
-I am still here- you say -kept back,
while waves slap and go, currents drag sediments,
I am stuck, hooked in the umpteenth nook
while forces ebb in the stream of the meantime,
undone simply by doing nothing-
yes, you know well this place,
it's yours by now,
but you can't wait without hope
and the best you can do
is gaze out and stay,
soberly stay and soberly hope,
and, if it's not too late,
learn about faith.


It's what happens.
And it can last long, always
rather unexpectedly.
During the blooming, the joyful
gorgeous overlapping of green.
This sloshing and dripping, this grey.
We hear the word "unsettled" in and out
of our minds and sky, while it seems
just very settled the drumming in the drainpipe.
While we are busy and keep going
in these shoals of fish that come with the clouds
while they also keep going.
You say the year's best time, its golden age
just goes in this way, as if it were true
we deserved the settled thing,
the brightening hedge, the glittering grapes
of acacias in the sunlight. And the buzzing
of bees inflaming the silence.
But what we do really deserve I don't know,
what I do know is that
we can just be washed away like this
and pass from shower to shower,
from life to life.

But maybe this month
would anyway seem fast,
one or thirty-one
days of green meadows in the sunlight.
Since we are anyway
destined to run back and remember them later,
in the long and settled winter preface.



Davide Trame is an Italian teacher of English, born and living in Venice-Italy, his poems have been published in literary magazines in U.K and U.S. since 1999. His poetry collection, "Re-Emerging," was published as an on-line book by www.gattopublishing.com in 2006.


Images: Paul G. Oxborough -(b. 1965). Oxborough's Impressionist-inspired works capture a certain quality of light as well as human emotion. "I paint the way I think people see-not with photographic accuracy, but with impressions. I think of myself as an impressionist-painting the impression of light hitting your eyes, the impression of color you see at a glance," he has said for the Southwest Art Magazine. He frequently travels with his family throughout Europe and the United States for inspiration. The range of Oxborough's subject matter seems unlimited and varies from intimate interiors illuminated by flickering candles to laconic landscapes drenched in the noonday sun to a child's face touched by the first rays of morning light. His works can be purchased at Eleanor Ettinger Gallery (119 Spring Street , New York 10012 ) and Albemarle Gallery (49 Albemarle Street, London,W1S4JR).

Oxborough'swebsite: www.pauloxborough.com/


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