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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 19

Prose and Verse

A Wild Guess About Old Writings

A Wild Guess About Old Writings

Heine says that the skies to the Greeks belonged, And in extravagancies they rejoiced Till the Crossed Flag was planted on the heights Of an Olympian peak. They ran in fright And kept themselves namelessly in the corners; Some claim Dionysus, and two more rowers,...

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May Day & Pears Anyone

May Day & Pears Anyone

May Day   And in the time it took you to say my name, I had already strung up the maypole We spent every day turning around. I’m sorry, I should have waited, But I had to see what the colors would look like, One under the other over the next.   Pears,...

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Where Does the Smoke Go & Listening to the Sun

Where Does the Smoke Go & Listening to the Sun

Where Does the Smoke Go where does the smoke of a wildfire go when the wind moves it does it go unwillingly particles massed together in defiant solidarity does it at some point decide it’s every wisp for itself and float off in all different directions not gone but...

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Virgil’s Tomb

Virgil’s Tomb

Today I finally visited Virgil’s Tomb. You know how important he is to me. As he was for Boccaccio, Virgil has been my guide through the labyrinths of a kind of hell. Perhaps you’ll say that ‘hell’ is much too strong a word. But this poet’s life has been difficult,...

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The Countless Elpenors of History

The Countless Elpenors of History

Elpenor By Takis Sinopoulos, Translated by K.D.   Elpenor, how have you come to this land… HOMER Land of death. The frozen sea the black cypresses the shallow shore ravaged by salt and light the hollow boulders the unwavering sun above and not a drip of water,...

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The Adoration

The Adoration

While organizing the files of a certain Professor M last week, I came across a dusty piece of parchment, folded elaborately in such a way that it resembled a flattened leaflet of origami. It was only because I glimpsed the edges of scrawled ink along some of the...

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Astonishment & Dublin Canals

Astonishment & Dublin Canals

Astonishment To which the acute and judicious proposer answers: “Not. . . . .’ William Molyneux, 1689, I do not think, he wrote, that a person Blind from birth who suddenly can see Can distinguish visually Objects known prior only by touch. I do not think, he wrote,...

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Dreaming in America

Dreaming in America

Mrs. Blanco has always known she had a smile, sensed it even before she became aware of it. When nothing else would do, her education, her figure, her presence, that simple pull at the ends of her lips spoke with a language of its own. This morning she knows she’s...

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Divan of Remembrance

Divan of Remembrance

    Faces are appearing again. On the ceiling. During a power outage, as she lies on the bed. Before, it was during an ice storm, in winter. Now, it is during a heatwave, when heatwaves threaten to never break but instead swell and gather over vast spaces of...

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Five Poems of Love

Five Poems of Love

A Poem of Love The first morning they forded the stream, the second morning they hold hands, and the third morning they kissed; their hearts fluttered… the jasmines and the hibiscuses are in full bloom; the bougainvillea scream its intense colors. Does dream has...

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Before the Morning Begins & The Moth Man

Before the Morning Begins & The Moth Man

Before the Morning Begins   To remind myself who I am every morning, I look in the mirror. This morning I see only the reflection of the window at first, its daisy-patterned curtain billowing toward me, then sucked back and away. Nothing about the curtain...

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Question

Question

You could hardly call question a lovely word Although it does make a curious play on the tongue And there’s something about the way that stroke dips Down on the letter q that gives it intrigue. I guess most of us prefer answers to questions Because in the safe height...

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The Goddess

The Goddess

Should I stare? Though my eyes are closed, Her radiance enters, Through the soft air, Her wings cut deep and fierce, Forward, always forward, With confidence in the soft air, “More!” she declares. Of me? Should I dare, to gaze upon her?   Justin Anthony Mann is...

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Come April & Silk

Come April & Silk

Come April If not for the hair caught in the corner where the broom cannot reach, I would never know that you were here. And if not for the corner where the broom cannot reach - if not for the moulding that pinned it - if not for the wall and the ceiling’s crease - if...

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Dust

Dust

It engulfs every inch of this world. Every surface, every face, every bit of once-blue sky. It is infinite. Never ending, never ceasing to cloud the air. Ash and grit from things burned so long ago, reminding us of our failures. Reminding us of why we deserve it’s...

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The Decay of Truth

The Decay of Truth

In The Decay of Lying, Oscar Wilde bases his ‘new aesthetics’ on the principle that, ‘Art never expresses anything but itself’. Some years later, Ortega y Gasset praises, on the same principle, the dehumanisation of art as the defining element of art at the turn of...

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The Crafter

The Crafter

You that with your ancient hands make delicate form in matter wake do not gaze the heights in fear nor taint your craft with arduous tears, for this your talent is the flair that dwells with God not in prayer, It is of faith the golden rod that is but one with the...

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Song: Calm was the even, and clear was the sky

Song: Calm was the even, and clear was the sky

from An Evening's Love Calm was the even, and clear was the sky, And the new budding flowers did spring, When all alone went Amyntas and I To hear the sweet nightingale sing; I sate, and he laid him down by me; But scarcely his breath he could draw; For when with a...

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The Sick Child and Silent the Sun Falls

The Sick Child and Silent the Sun Falls

The Sick Child   You didn’t see her - behind the door, but your mother bowed her head and wept when you left, or Her white knuckles, slim clasped when fever took you down in cold rattled sweats, as she tamped your forehead with the one soft rag left in the...

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All may, none must

All may, none must

The landscape lured the willing feet, the thoughtful mind. It was framed by asymmetrical elevations, sometimes reminding a cradle, sometimes, a fortress. The foundations of man exist on those mountains and it’s men that bear those mountains on their shoulders....

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