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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 16

Issue 16 · February 2020

Stimulus: Performance of Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

Proxima and Silver Swan

Proxima and Silver Swan

Proxima This, precious demon, is how you caught me the sweetest pricks the pinching of strings lamps slanting their ivory outpour across polished brazil nut skin reflecting a line like a frozen finger of lightning the artist’s finger on the warbling string a bottom...

Hamartia

Hamartia

These are the things they whispered when they said The epic deeds are gone and left here are The traces of the banquet, bones of dead. Before the lightning struck and Fortune fled The women sang with golden eyes cast far. These are the things they whispered when they...

Arthur Waley, of an Evening

Arthur Waley, of an Evening

Of translations of the Tao, it is his I spend time with. He does his patinage on thin ice. For me, it suffices. To the wisdom of the Tao he adds his own wisdom. He interprets a text which survives in a language no one speaks anymore, and which may have been spoken...

The Changing Room

The Changing Room

Around the time the changing room was first established, I noticed that a woman I worked with paused in her daily business less often than was usual. She’d been a dreamy woman, prone to spending up to ten minutes every hour gazing out the window, at nothing more...

Collected Works

Collected Works

The boy sits cross-legged on her faded carpet, surrounded by piles of shiny beads, bangle bracelets and jeweled belt buckles, many-colored catchers of light, cool to the touch, frictive whisperers that ignite imagination, a tiny, sumptuously bedecked potentate whose...

Confession (that you’ll never know)

Confession (that you’ll never know)

Lauren Anaïs Hussey was born in Jacksonville, Florida in '90. She earned a BFA from University of North Florida and studied with Beverly Fishman for her MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Lauren Hussey lives in Brooklyn, NY...

Hulx

Hulx

The tide falls on the sand As rugged seamen wander Onto the shore, holding grimaces Mean-blue eyes scan the land Finding fauna, land, flora, to be reaped From their roots, to be gutted The ships held petty thieves, vagabonds, etc. Highwaymen, whores, etc. The margin,...

Irish Scene

Irish Scene

A vision of Irish castles, obsolete: Ripples of a jade countryside spotted with jewelry of lakes. On the muted arched roof aerial cottons meander. Uilleann Pipes shower the land with righteous cries. Memories of violence boil moderately. Hills relax, thawed by...

Just around the corner

Just around the corner

During a boiling hot afternoon, somewhere in June 2019, I was back in the city of unexpected beauty. Walking around Kallimarmaro, minutes after the sunset, I decided to sit down and allow my eyes to enjoy the pleasing view, for a brief moment of happiness. “Athens has...

Let the demons among them

Let the demons among them

a deer-hide canvas makes its way into my memory and sits there for a while soaking in the afterburn of headlights like silent Sirens I mistook for shepherds I follow spirits instead of turning them into stone let the demons among them breathe from my lungs and detail...

A Liar’s Crescendo

A Liar’s Crescendo

You believe she is fragile and transparent. You fear if you took her in your arms she’d crack. Perhaps you’d spill her glittering shards across the ground and they’d be crushed under the steps of nearby souls. This taking would be too much trouble, so instead you...

Liberty’s Sacrificial Toll

Liberty’s Sacrificial Toll

Sacrifice, Sacrifice, Reminisce and recall- Of liberty's bloody toll Paid for in gloom and doldrums Faceless fathers, sons and lovers Faded friends in tattered frames To come a time; When names leave on whispering winds Carried back to rest But for now; Dear name...

On Truth

On Truth

  As with most (interesting) concepts, truth is subjected to variable definitions across disciplines, and often even within, the disciplines in question. Despite this plurality of definitions, there do seem to be some common ideals that people subscribe to. For...

The Red Vineyards of Arles, Vincent van Gogh

The Red Vineyards of Arles, Vincent van Gogh

The women’s rounded hips brace baskets heavy with grapes, their calloused fingers stained and sweet. Atop a cart, the overseer sits, his whip’s long tongue still coiled. The gray mare turns to see what blinders mask: a peasant crouched to smell an iris. Mistress...

For the sake of some closure

For the sake of some closure

He had not always been thinking about this, but once he started, he was indeed astonished for not doing so earlier. How could a person fail to perceive this vacuum? How could a person not constantly be tormented by the question of whether there is any meaning in life...

Saturated

Saturated

Slickness seeps in beneath us Reaching deeper into soil and soul Quenching. Drowning. Dimmed street lamps languish on a next corner The future has no patience for brighter days Man and beast shake off the yoke of gray Mist inhaled and released in clouded plumes...

Short Days

Short Days

they're cutting down rows of corn at the knees separating pieces of gold from outgrown garments gathering seed and leaving thin feathered battlefields my father’s soft eyes resting in a buried oak box coffined long enough that I've completely forgotten the sound of...

Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation

Without you, I could not have unlearned what night imprints on us. Old musings lumped beneath the eye; sharp teeth where sharper truths had hurt familiar inflexions. What I know of you, I found in friends with whom, for seconds, you would share the muscle of change,...

The Window

The Window

I set the table while Ma faffs about the kitchen, mashing potatoes, carving turkey, and stirring the gravy, licking it off of the wooden spoon and muttering to herself, “more pepper.” I join Dad in the living room. He’s watching Family Feud reruns, casting his gaze...

The World Between

The World Between

Like a moth battering its wings circling a light unable to escape, I lived once where coal dust hung in winter’s lungs, breath a rasping prayer inside sulfurous stench. Gnashing of teeth, guttural growls, snarls, screeching moans, and flung spit, through the streets...

Whereof One Cannot Speak

Whereof One Cannot Speak

One I’d just settled myself down with the two things that always are guaranteed to make the evening pass agreeably – namely, a large gin and tonic and a nicely marked up Radio Times – when all of a sudden, what should happen, with no warning or pre-arrangement, but...

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