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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 15

Prose & Verse

327 Brightnesses

327 Brightnesses

A summer child, I was born silent. Contemplative of the firefly, which I knew I would [as we all],­­ sooner or later, become. Aware of the awful of jars, the fright of cupped hands and cheesecloths, taut. The inexorable luminarias of us. Flightless–– A negligible...

The Burnt

The Burnt

I burn in a twirl of words, O, voice of Fire, voice of Love, voice of a language of Destruction, O, voice of a Seal that could kill Death, O, wreath and wrath of Word, Speak of thine spinning, Spell round me that I may in petals on the wind enjoy the sound’s...

Carving Out A City

Carving Out A City

I – A Dawn Rises Dawn was breaking over the mountains, its first sheen glancing off the peaks, and then slowly rolling down the slopes, washing over the forests. Below, a city lay asleep. And the dawn swept out across the sea. Rushed clear over still waters, spooling...

The Conquest

The Conquest

i. your mind is incapable of grasping the silence at the gate. your eyes are incapable of catching the lightlessness of this land. your strong legs step over the broken pots and stump-filled crag as if it were nothing. ii. something eternal is gleaming among the dull...

Hermits Silent Retreat

Hermits Silent Retreat

Lonesome dampness cavern dark; The hermits encompassing matriarch In Silence he ruminates his day- The weathered philosopher thinks as he may No distraction of humanities loud progress; To deaths tranquil door he makes egress.   Sean MacDonald when not working...

More than a Moth

More than a Moth

Sometimes, you cry for the very things you hate. This was the case when I—not older than ten, not younger than seven—watched my cat devour a moth. It seems like a pointless, unimportant moment, but it has always struck me with a demand to be explored. It begs to be...

Morning Likeness

Morning Likeness

Dawn creeps forward, a scout wriggling silently toward the edge of an enemy encampment. The yellow and orange that begin to bleed into the pale blue are the yellow and orange of memory, so that something utterly novel, a new day unlike any before it, raises tiny hairs...

Small Bodies Thrash On Cold Parquet

Small Bodies Thrash On Cold Parquet

You know a summer’s day when the bees come indoors only to lose their way. The walls are blank, unforgiving. Baffled, they start their death dance many miles from home – to the tune of clinking cutlery and voices from the patio and then the dinner bell. As if...

The Truth

The Truth

when the mirror was young and the skin around my eyes was taut I figured most things that stood to be true had written themselves into the teeth of time like a tombstone a tablet carried under the arm of Moses statues carved into white marble staring forever at museum...

The Ultimate Triumph

The Ultimate Triumph

One day he finished with the pitchers, the planters, the cooking pots. Some clay
was left over. He made a woman. Her breasts
were big and firm. His mind wandered. He returned home late.

Bar-Tabac at Saint-Jean

Bar-Tabac at Saint-Jean

for Luna   Today, the stars will fall out of their sockets. A stain of grease has sparked a bearded lip; the flustered face implodes with bread crumbs. “I am the universe!” – a brazen voice reveals, too bright for our blind confessions. You tell me that the stars...

The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo

I imagine him sitting inside the ruined buildings on his straight-backed chair, his white shirt shining out from beneath the dark of his tuxedo. He leans forward into his instrument, draws his bow across tensioned strings--notes tumbling out into the streets in ten...

Excerpts from ‘The Church That Is Not There’

Excerpts from ‘The Church That Is Not There’

              '...there should not be one single church left within the borders of Soviet Russia,               and the idea of God will have been banished from the Soviet Union'               ~ Joseph Stalin   The ice wagons are nailed; even the windows at the...

Many Voices

Many Voices

An attempt to replicate the voices of three authors in the same environment and scene. Patrick Rothfuss The wind howled past him, driving up a stinging sheet of salt. Below, the sea toiled black, and heavy waves of froth churned against the hull. He stood in silence,...

Ossian and Malvina

Ossian and Malvina

Ossian sets down his harp By the crag of the woods, And his sheaf of songs Beneath the strings, his shoes. Turning to Malvina, he asks The way: “I do not Know this country,” he says. Is there a moment For the dog to find the stars And point the way? The songs scatter,...

The Phoenix

The Phoenix

I have been pleading for the fire to come For a long time now; it springs up from the ground In a shining, shifting arabesque and paints My world in sweeping strokes of crimson. It crawls up old and weary features masked By a net of scars so ancient Even they have...

The Yarn of Your Young Life, 1923-1956

The Yarn of Your Young Life, 1923-1956

[A Letter for You in Your Second Childhood] My sweet grandmother, édes nagymamám––a memory for you is a splintered reliving. Now at 96, you exist as shards of yourself. I wonder if inside your mind, is a prism. You think sharply of a small city, at the center––a...

That Burton MS

That Burton MS

I could begin, for instance, with the day on which Isobel Burton consigned the manuscript of her late husband’s revised translation of The Scented Garden of Sensual Delight to the bonfire. Or I could begin with my growing interest in Burton himself and his final years in Trieste.

The Pintlers

The Pintlers

The first time I became aware of Jeanette was at the Black Sands Art Show, part of Anaconda’s annual Summerfest. Local painters, photographers, ceramicists, craftspeople, and merchants had set up awnings, tables, and booths throughout Washoe Park, with walkways looping and meandering among the stalls and temporary galleries.

Remembering Bologna

Remembering Bologna

No one taught me how to forget. I wanted to remember, each detail: descending from the train, arriving into the station, the porticoes, the distance to the hotel, strands of fog kissing the streets, anointing our heads, our arms locked together, the bag over each of our shoulders.