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Global Voices Radio Spoken Word Lab American Sentences
American Sentences
Organic Poetry

Tuscan Sonnet Ring

I

Drunk on a New York accent he speaks
not stopping conversation somehow
I had only the pepperoncini
in Davidís hands, there can be
for he is alive at five hundred
and the sky remains biblical
or cigarette scarred wind
in the tunnel near the Fortezza
though thunder etches the air
above the Tuscan night.
and yet not one Grappa ambulance
or thunder of scooters
when there is no rain
he is alive at five oíclock
no other sculpture after this
I forgot about, but the veins
gulping down the same dish
of Spring Herring chewing on pasta.

II

Too long for a sonnet
we must be content w/ sex
much sweeter than at home
may be the walking, or the wine
with every meal. Men kissing each other
and a macchiato for the American,
somehow out of step with his
generation and their war. Life
after empire in the land of Dante
we create our own inferno
of teeth-gnashing and affirmation
from without. John Spike
declaims a miracle in wax
and gold leaf what might have been
the sky centuries ago, but
the sky is biblical and Chicago
Blues is a basket w/ a giant horn
pointing to one lost angel.

III

The blues may invoke an angel
or the general onslaught of fear
we know none such here
but walking Fierenze streets
fearless cab drivers, scooterists
vias so narrow, Via Guelfa
operatic Ukrainians in Plaza Repubblica
singing Summertime as if forgotten
angels had borrowed her tongue
Summertimeinto the thick
Tuscan night air accordion music
between ribollita and seared beef
or more tortellini, lasagna
and a life cut out of marble
sling in hand, which David is this?

IV

David a lover or a giant slayer?
David a miracle in stone
and the benefits of a lifetime
of dialogue with light
re-experiencing borders
shaping the spawn of
imaginations ramblings
or lost in a still life
of the public function of the heart
made mute made in wax and hues
of green as in a rainforest
canopy reflection in Spring?
An anarchist Spring of no concern
to the cat or the still biblical sky
somehow captured in the hot
glass of another Tuscan memory
shimmering, no, trembling
like that last star on which
we wished for this never to end.

V

This never ends this backward
catapult into the jewels memory
makes from lovers holding hands
shopping for rabbit fur-lined gloves
eating ribollita or vino rojo
within an American song
of Il Duomo and the lost
sculptures of Michelangelo
who saw them there trapped
in marble just as you saw in wax
and black plasma the divine
spawn of your deepest desperation
food for us all. Charlie has your
medicine and if it tastes
as good as the tiramisu
we may never leave. We may
develop a taste for Grappa
and set our bed on fire
high on what Michael called
the drugs of our glands.

VI

Drunk w/ a New York accent he speaks
of Spring Herring chewing on pasta
not stopping conversation somehow
gulping down the same dish
I had only with the pepperoncini
I forgot about, but the veins
in Davidís hands, there can be
no other sculpture after this
for he is alive at five hundred
he is alive at five oíclock
and the sky remains biblical
when there is no rain
or cigarette scarred wind
or thunder of scooters
in the tunnel near the Fortezza
and yet not one Grappa ambulance
though thunder etches the air
above the Tuscan night.

VII

An African in New York
adjusting to the Dutch housing
and the energy ripples
insinuating themselves
in glass, or wax, or prayer beads
murmuring their silent plea for peace
or another Tuscan vegetarian meal
how many Euros is that Millicent?
Bill wonders aloud beard biblical
as the sky is again. You
almost expect a swimmer to jump
out at you comparing yourself
to Pollock or the coming of another
Tuscan dusk with a chance of rain
and a Grappa ambulance and an
improbable salad or potatoes
with fur these blatant Americans
and their espresso with milk
and their puny wars and torture
and green rainforest lake paintings
in wax and gold leaf miracles
which might have been the sky
or an Indian Paintbrush Memory
lost on this crowd.

VIII

Too long for a sonnet
much sweeter than at home
with every meal. Men kissing each other
somehow out of step with his
after empire in the land of Dante
of teeth-gnashing and affirmation
declaims a miracle in wax
the sky centuries ago, but
Blues is a basket w/ a giant horn
pointing to one lost angel.
the sky is biblical and Chicago
and gold leaf what might have been
from without. John Spike
we create our own inferno
generation and their war. Life
and a macchiato for the American,
may be the walking, or the wine
we must be content w/ sex

IX

The prizes are won
only in the imagination
where we add up the mechanical
Santas and laugh at the folly
of our ardent expectations
forgetting the biblical sky
and the miracle of veins
in marble and alive eyes
a train ride to the Tuscan countryside.
O memory, make me a dancer
to your deepest rhythms
of divinations and ancient
fields of the play of lovers
heating up each otherís skin
leaving a stain lovers
a thousand years hence can taste
sweeter than muscato asti
after the last meal
even if Roman gypsies may
steal all the lost touristís
money. Even if Fred laughs
drunk mouthful of pasta
gulped down with chainti
even if three rings sing
out the essence of an African
experience in New Amsterdam
while we become American
refugees of the blues.