L’amor che move il sole e le altre stelle


You there – coiled on quiet side street
in Ravenna, your flickering
sabre-tooth tongue barely
echoing now – like that complete

grey gentleman, cornered by paint-cans
in Antonioni’s stony
Red Desert (who is he?)
mutely suffering blessed senseless

Giuliana’s windblown St. Vitus dance...
Maybe he beheld
her triple rainbow, welded
somehow over arctic heavens;

or this winter-silvered river, slowly
inexorably mirroring
its way to New Orleans.
An emblem of continuum (sea-

borne).  All things are moved by love;
thus you conclude your song,
rapt raptor, eagle-prong –
wisdom Minerva signaled Jove

among hard-bitten Romans.  Glancing
blow, ineffable blade-
point (that steely Maid
of Orleans would ratify) – slung

thread-thin from remotest eye
of polar bear (Mama
& Papa Bear... ah, now
I see!).  Heart-music.  Organ-sigh.


*p.s. All things are moved by love is actually a more precise translation of a line from an untitled early poem by Osip Mandelstam, which begins "Insomnia. Homer...")

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