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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 17

Prose and Verse

A Novel in Nine Letters

A Novel in Nine Letters

I (From Pyotr Ivanitch To Ivan Petrovitch) Dear Sir and Most Precious Friend, Ivan Petrovitch, For the last two days I have been, I may say, in pursuit of you, my friend, having to talk over most urgent business with you, and I cannot come across you anywhere....

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A fragment and a hope

A fragment and a hope

Blackberrying - By Sylvia Plath Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries, Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly, A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries Big as...

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The Dawn

The Dawn

I would be as ignorant as the dawn, That has looked down On that old queen measuring a town With the pin of a brooch, Or on the withered men that saw From their pedantic Babylon The careless planets in their courses, The stars fade out where the moon comes, And took...

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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...

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Walls

Walls

A handwritten English translation of Cavafy's poem 'Walls', composed by John Cavafy. Walls Without forbearance, without pity, without shame they built big walls and high, and encompassed me about. And now I sit here helpless, reasoning in despair. It wears away my...

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The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket

The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket

Walking along the tile-roof wall of the university, I turned aside and approached the upper school. Behind the white board fence of the school playground, from a dusky clump of bushes under the black cherry trees, an insect’s voice could be heard. Walking more slowly...

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the afterdark

the afterdark

in afterdark we crawl. cold bee buzz and rotting staircase. we catalogue extinction and collapse. the sky grows flatter, whiter, dwindles into river. knotty ropes of stars slope downwards. lanterns slice through sooty caves. from the bleak half songs rise; gleams of...

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Bank of America

Bank of America

Atti looks at me with eyes that tell me he is hungry.  I unbuckle him from his booster seat and tell him that I will give him some cereal when we get home.  He smiles at me with his long lashes and the eyes of a doll.  I don’t tell him that it will be dry because we...

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The Beekeeper

The Beekeeper

When my father turned 40 my mother planned a party, a surprise, she taped forty shiny silver dollars to a small tree, the large coins hung, suspended from the tips of the branches, from a distance they appeared to float and dance. And that year my father began keeping...

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High Tide In Wilmington

High Tide In Wilmington

I’m sitting on the front porch of the dead beekeeper’s house near downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, waiting for the police to arrive. Beside me, Heather’s African Grey Parrot, Rodrigo, perches on a swing. Rodrigo’s vocabulary consists mainly of the lyrics of the...

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Loss or Salvage

Loss or Salvage

‘Un mot et tout est perdu, un mot et tout est sauvé. You know that’, he tells me. They lie in beds that sleep can’t reach. Can you see them? Their bodies, still. It is against them that life echoes, writhes. Stripped of gaze, stripped of fear. A senseless waiting on...

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Marriage

Marriage

I want to be there when you are gone someone to point out your flowers when they ask What should go in the ground to watch the air creep below your nose as the streetlamp in the window glowers at the cracks in our knuckles listing the ways we lived another delay not a...

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Papa’s Bastard Son

Papa’s Bastard Son

Sometimes you look at the world and you can’t understand it for all you try. They tell you the trick is to adapt, to get used to it, to conform. I know that much already. What other choice is there? Well, sure, there is something else you can do but you don’t do it...

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A Tale of Two Flowers

A Tale of Two Flowers

The Pool of Narcissus There was a pool in legends of old, nestled amidst the glens of Boeotia. Here, the water ran cold and clear, sheltered from prying human eyes. And here did the most wondrous of spring flowers bloom. Daisies and daffodils, and vibrant wildflowers...

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Terminal

Terminal

Here, we all have purpose: You can see it in the way we walk, the confidence, Propelled by one large recycled breath At a controlled and comfortable temperature – In this well tended transitory hive With no need for a queen. Our keepers guide us with screens And...

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On Those Mornings

On Those Mornings

when the sun rolls itself over the ridge and spills out into the coulee sifting itself through the deer tick scalp of trees the thread that connects you as a child and you now is straightened out on the valley floor and you can see the untangled line between the two...

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Valcour Island

Valcour Island

Forgive me. I can tell you now. There is sweet relief in telling. I write to you continuously in my mind. It is in my mind I see you. Towering and irresistible.  For me it has all become irresistible. Forgive the days, the months of silence. The distance I’ve put...

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Lady Samurai: Tale of the Heike

Lady Samurai: Tale of the Heike

Japan,The Geipei War, 1180-1185 BC Characters: Tomo-e Gozen, Lady Samurai, Captain of Lord Kiso’s army Lord Kiso, also known as General Yoshinaka, head of the Minamoto clan Bushi Women: 7 women representing the Bushido Virtues: Honour, Loyalty, Benevolence, Honesty,...

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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...

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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...

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