ETRUSCAN FRAGMENTS



The obscure red corpse of the wine
breathes sleeping in dark, cool bottles,
dreaming of the sunlight on the vines
kissing the fat, sweet grape.

*
Agony pools, cooling in the scar,
searing sight screwed into two balls
of tormenting vision, ripening in
the golden cataracts of the sun.

*
Into the vacuum of the air,
the rim of the world where corkscrew vertigo
of space is Nature’s adamant rebuke
that all things die eventually.

*
The shining pebbles of the sun:
from shadow to sunlight is a knife edge.
Suicides hide in the wood.

*
This is a cooling planet,
it yet grows cold.
Men outlast gods, they cool.
In turn, we cool –
the planet outlasts us all.

*
The dove is the bird of Love,
it doesn’t come to flutter
around the goddess and coo,
it comes to roost and brood.

*
Infinitude:
the oil-bright upper zone
bounds the fringe of trees
(there are no straight lines in Nature)
severing the hemispheres.

*
What haruspices
from the semantic bowels
of poetry?

*
The religion of compass
knows one thing
exists outside of it

and not: Oblivion.


An earlier version was published in Poetry NZ 20 in 2000.

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