Monday, 29 December 2014

from Blackwater Water Quartet, selection 20

I’ve been dreaming again, in English.

I acted in the Carnival Theatre in St. Petersburg,

indicating in this direction the sea,

and anchored near the shore,

end fastened to pegs or roots on the bank

the boat,

Christ gazing at the assembly

whose laughter was repressed by his cool replies.

Waking, I found

nothing had happened, nothing’s likely to happen.

I thought I had already answered the question,

a stupid one, I admit, but it does in Rome,

this high summer sweat of dead emperors

bubbling up through the stones.

You might as well attack the bronze statues,

the portrait busts in the Palazzo Nuovo,

the grass and flowers
and rumour of older voices, and I confess
it's true, I recognise my own

first among these others, its insistence.

I pass my captivity writing verses, unchallenged

through falls of fluted marble, the sprigs of Julian sunlight

just so.


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