Friday, July 28, 2017


as I read my heart
out on the sidewalk,
you won't be listening.

The hunger you have sown in me
no one else could have.
How could hunger outgrow
the void it inhabits so?

In the white curve of imagined skin
I found my thirst staring me with a cleft lip,
lifted slightly at the corner,
eyes wilting above.

The rippled sinuousness of a childish gesture,
in red overalls parted right where it hurt,
was all I needed of summer.

And in their expectant faces, I saw my hunger—
but you still don't.

Here hunger is nameless—
only the slam of a door,
and an absence that lingers—

And here I lay your silence to rest,
step out,
and seek another...

(Edited; posted originally on 28 April 2007)

Monday, July 17, 2017

"Death Will Come" by Cesare Pavese

Death will come and will have your eyes—
this death that accompanies us
from morning till evening, unsleeping,
deaf, like an old remorse
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a useless word,
a suppressed cry, a silence.
That’s what you see each morning
when alone with yourself you lean
toward the mirror. O precious hope,
that day we too will know
that you are life and you are nothingness. 
Death has a look for everyone.
Death will come and will have your eyes.
It will be like renouncing a vice,
like seeing a dead face reappear in the mirror,
like listening to a lip that’s shut.
We’ll go down into the maelstrom mute.

Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), a poet, novelist and critic, was a major Italian author of the 20th Century. "Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes" was among the poems found in his desk after his suicide. Considering the circumstances, it's strikingly haunting.

(Translated by Geoffrey Brock; reposted from Poem of the Week. You can find the original Italian text, "Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi," here.)