‘Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.’
Blue Songs by Gabriella Garofalo
I’ll be honest, I’m feeling guilty,
Take for instance my darling friend Persephone,
So close to my heart:
Well, I can’t help being green-eyed,
Free as she is to dive and hide into the abyss
Anytime she fancies to, the gutsy girl!
See, I always leave the door of my bedroom ajar,
Just a tiny glimmer of light, as the dark spooks me
Despite my lust for waves,
And yet we are great pals, aren’t we,
We chat about his wanderings, my still life,
Funny indeed he left full of blast
Dying to get a kick out of battles and wild sea,
Funny indeed he left with a crew and twelve ships,
Yet came back alone, only to find his flat
Rife with scroungers, an obsessive wife, a dying dog –
And no, don’t get me started with his many gfs,
A lady of mature age who wolfed down the crumbs from his table,
A conjurer who saw men as they are and played along,
A naive young girl so sweet on him –
Was she head over heels in love with him?
O dear inconsistency, such is life –
I know, the warriors who struggle with the sea
Entice us women, how can we resist?
I for one find his sweet talk so charming
As to ask him for lunch twice a week –
Know what, once an ancient light tore my soul to shreds
So I can’t, I just can chase no sky,
Luckily my friend shelters me in his eyes,
If not his heart,
O dear inconsistency, such is life –
I’m a compliant castaway in a shaky truce
The silent hideaway where we hang out,
No waves for me, no shipwreck, no ‘coming home baby’,
Just the words the stars whisper to me sometimes,
Not that I understand them right –
Maybe their fault, maybe I’m tone-deaf –
But mark my words, one day I’ll get the guts
To blame the trees:
They act rude, particularly those twisted
From the very day of their birth –
Takes one to know one, right?
I know, my ambivalent knowledge
Can’t set my days straight, meantime
Draggy balloons are plodding through a steely sky –
Shame blizzards failed to blow in and rupture at last
Balloons, clouds and time.
Nonsense, this ghastly understatement
Is the offspring of a pharisaic mind –
Life is unfair, they say, nope,
She is the meanest cat in town,
And I know what I’m talking about –
Take me, for instance, any time the snakes
Lie around nearby I hide, apples I don’t like,
Yet I’m doomed outside a garden
Where soft-spoken guys speak with a glass-cut accent,
I’m doomed to a place where men drink, play snap or whist,
While women clean up, gossip Or curse the day they met dearest hubbies –
May you too be cursed, white walls, white shelves,
The snow, the firebox where a god forges his weapons
To better crimp my mind, that dirt where
Bluebells grow from distressed roots
And mantises get food for stronger mates –
No way, no need for blue if you hurled
Your words to the wolves
And yet you worry where they’ve hidden,
And shout no one of them stays here –
By the way, where did they get
The days depression blazed?
Dunno? Great! And now you listen to me,
You greedy bitch, my soul, you, God, so gung ho on your infinite:
It’s true, once I asked To cross the threshold of all myths,
I did it, I, my only rewards blackouts,
Fluky loves, plastic smiles galore.
In short, the sop I’ve been stalking from day one,
A lizard who creeps into the cracks of shadows
To hide from Sauroktonos and his needles –
Just a slice of light, some crumbs of strength,
That’s what I asked for –
Maybe a consolation prize when chopped heads
Get placed on the spikes and the ravens patiently wait
For their food-
Foul meat, you think? Maybe, but every bit helps –
Or so they say.
Acting shallow is a most convenient way
When you want to avert your eyes
From slightly unpleasant thingies:
For one, people say to my mind
‘Oh, you are such a gadder,
Why do you leap from parks to libraries,
From churches to art shows?’ –
Can’t they realise my mind is a jobless dosser
Anxiously looking for a homeless shelter,
A bench or a cardboard box –
At nightfall, yes, but she’s never tipsy, mind –
Can’t they realise some glares in the mirror
Act much nastier than they look –
The jerks, the jerks!
Yes, but slow down now, dead children are playing nearby –
And my deadline is looming large,
Shall I breath silence or smash it up?
Too bad it’s errand time, must dash off,
Market stalls and trinkets waiting for me,
I’d better put doubts and queries off –
‘Cept I can’t, my rapture listens to no reason,
So I stand still, dazzled blind:
A swarm of schoolboys is flooding the street with light,
They look like comets, don’t they, but are doomed,
Doomed to be sucked down in lightless rooms –
And I, too, was born a comet from a sky
Where silence the enemy, wisdom the outsider –
See what you’ve done my past?
Now I’ve lost sight of those scantily clad comets,
Oh well, whatever.
Right round the corner
A gypsy lady’s barren eyes are daring men and life,
Nothing to do with those dumpling-faced women
Parroting each other at the cafes –
Some hope at last, maybe green,
Sure fleeting like a soul in the afterlife world –
Sadly, the point is fatsos happen to reach
An advanced age, see?
Their flab always so ready to snuff me and comets,
Children and cafes out.
Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Blue branches”.
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