Passeggiata in Linguaglossa

By JUDITH BAUMEL

 

I found the Cyclops and his Galatea

in their shop on Piano Provenanza.

They’d been domestic for a while.

I’d gone for his wildflowers and Ragabo pines.

I’d gone for the wintry July breezes that

dilute the sulfur of his neighborhood.

I’d gone to see the roughened lava of

his searching, the obsidian of his instant grief.

His single lens reflex captured what

his father pitched out of the house. You can’t

imagine how hard it is to raise boys these days,

scoriae and ash, knee deep in hornblende.

October ’02, even old seismologists

were amazed by what the old man still tossed up.

And Galatea, from Ethiopia, strung

for sale the pyroclastics into “et’nic” jewelry.

 

He showed me some appealing color prints.

Asked if I liked Sicilians over Italians.

Full stop. As I saw it, there were three

potential answers—Sicilians (what he wanted

to hear?) Italians (what he thought to hear?)

or neither (true for me, a nohbdy,

a traveler skilled in few ways of contending).

Nohbdy. In the roman mosaics at

Casale it’s a third eye which Ulysses

sees the Polyphemus passing round.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Judith Baumel is professor of English at Adelphi University and has served as president of the AWP and director of the Poetry Society of America. Her books of poetry are The Weight of Numbers—winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets—Now, and The Kangaroo Girl.

 

Julia PikePasseggiata in Linguaglossa

Related Posts

the power

August 2017 Friday Reads

The book’s central conceit is that teenage girls wake up one day with electrical powers, which spread, and suddenly women everywhere are able to kill men with a single zap. It follows four main characters—Tunde, Margot, Roxy, and Allie. The characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways as the book charges on toward its dramatic, violent, emotionally resonant conclusion.

Knots book cover

Review: Knots

OLGA ZILBERBOURG
It felt foreordained to open this short story collection by the Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug and find IKEA on the first page, as in: “…park the car outside IKEA.” IKEA, now based in the Netherlands, originated in Sweden, but to many foreigners, it personifies Scandinavia—pleasant and unthreatening.

clam shack

Twenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

CASSIE PRUYN
I slip my hand under her blouse, which quivers/ with heartbeats, trace/ the silken blade of her collarbone/ lean down to sniff her neck./ Gulls screeching, flapping, battling/ for scraps across the Clam Shack’s pavement./ Traffic rushing beyond the chainlink./ As the