The Poetry Page / Alessio Zaneli
Anyone who believes exponential growth
can go forever in a finite world
is either a madman or an economist.
—KENNETH E. BOULDING
the age of the Earth
is about 4.5 billion years.
hasn’t yet entered its tenth millennium
but has already fucked up the whole of it.
the generations to come,
the preservation of life,
the health of the planet?
To put it bluntly:
who cares about the future?
All that occupies our mind is today,
tomorrow morning at most.
Who bloody cares
the species reduced to extinction,
the savage deforestation,
the toxic air we breathe,
the sea reduced to a dump?
All we want to be concerned about
is the latest in next-generation mobiles.
To hell with all the rest!
Why should we care?
Why us and why now?
It’s our turn to spoil the world!
All in all the Earth is only a fleck of dust
revolving around a gigantic furnace
and liable to incineration any moment.
Who fucking cares
this doggone solar fart we inhabit?
A Dispute On Modern Physics
Fairy hands at work—
unwavering realm of perfection
claiming room, bliss is what it brings.
Blank night, after the journey, the price
to be paid. And the trivial stands as high
as the peaks of thought. The yardstick’s
different, as is what’s sought, restyled,
displayed on stage. The mundane.
Invisible divide. Cosmology.
The key to cognizance,
to all that out of darkness
can’t be accessed. Light appeared
over one life ago and you’re still blind,
no … deprived of eyes! More snow collecting
on glacial basins, new ice forming, but you don’t
belong to ecstasy. The realm has plenty of time, if
not enough to rescue you from the platitudes of
certainty. So—Boltzmann, Maxwell, Planck,
Einstein, Dirac. Their true identity and
what their blood was really about
I strive to grasp, wasting ink
and hours away. I won’t
succeed and—I believe—neither
will fairies ever speak to me. Yet what
about your grounds? Is there a point of yours
or anything consistent beyond what little I can see?
Indeed, anything you trust in or your erratic soul is after?
She has fled.
Gone like morning breeze
suddenly dying out
at the rising of the disk
above the horizon.
All she has left
are fragrant silences,
a speckled looking glass
and a vintage bottle of champagne
forgotten in the fridge.
What is taking her place
is faint light,
soaked in mugginess,
through the shutters ajar.
And heavy air,
smelling of heated water
exhaling from the scorching tar.
Her killing scent
killed by the miasmas
of the mushy streets,
and by sugary forgetfulness.
first published in Main Street Rag (NC)
After one has walked in the sky
higher than the highest clouds
glorified in the purest light,
it’s hard to find oneself squashed on the ground,
floundering about through soggy black earth,
groping in the dark in search of a way,
whatever way away from shame.
Now that such glare has been your undoing,
you clumsy beastie puffed up with pride,
don’t swear at the soil you’re worming on!
That which is sticking to your hair,
lodging under your nails,
slipping into your eyes,
well—that’s no filth at all,
but your only possible salvation.
So don’t despise what may appear the direst place,
indeed the nastiest one for you to fall onto,
as from such empty height
there’s nowhere else where you could stop.
And from the earthworms you touch
feeling around enshrouded in blackness,
from the tacky grains teeming with secret life
that cover your body throughout
have yourself obtain your nourishment.
Now you have to place your trust
in your most pristine senses and basest instincts.
And be sure,
once you and this mold are one,
you’ll no longer wish to bask in that infinite light.
Nevermore—in the misleading purity of heady altitude.
Here you landed, here you belong.
So weak, so blind, so lost,
and yet—you still don’t know—
so unprecedentedly strong.
First published in Chitron Review