Via delle Ombre


Via delle Ombre

(after Louise Gluck)



Where have the birds been all year?

They’re back now with cross-hatched twitterings.

Even when there’s no sun to wake me

and a sea-fret seems to have blown inland

in its threadbare wet flannel way.

Every morning, dishes. The morning dishes.

Out there’s the place to spend time in.


I can easily forget. That’s my problem.

Amnesiac. Inhabitant of the now.

I think about work: multi-coloured scribbles,

so much feedback. When I get home,now,

out there it’s better than summer,

and this is me saying that, I love summer.


I’d like to wander down a Via delle Ombre

to a bar where the owner understands me

and if we’re alone, he’ll turn off the television,

or at least turn the sound down, or he’ll

pick a film, something sinister, sensual,

(not sweet), the people with red-wine

in their veins. No-body cares how shabby

the houses are; about a dishevelled pile

of crockery; grease film on the windows.


When I walk home, night. The film

will be in my head. I will be in it.

I am following a man. He is not the lead.

Beautiful? I think he is. Is he the hero?

I don’t think so. I am allergic to heroes.

He doesn’t stay long. When he’s gone,

I open all the windows. The room

knows everything it will ever

need to know. In summer you can smell

orange blossoms. But it is not summer.


The camera has collected pictures.

The camera collects different shadows.

It tells me how to move. The guy who

owns the bar said that moods don’t mean

anything . We compared notes.

 Our shadows covered the bare floor.



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