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Circa ’67 Montale

by Gerard Malanga

         Circa ’67 thereabouts time is you don’t forget much
on less than one meal a day in Milano
or the check you’d been counting on never arrives. Merda!
So things get a bit hairy
dark night of the soul or it gets even darker
a cluster of shadows fast fading
but it’s mangia mangia you say
and then break into a thrumming aria La Traviata
flashback a career in the opera had not the War intervened
your attention now turned to poetry lucky us
as we emerge into the fractured gray light
arm-in-arm the via Manzoni
the shops sepiaed a tram-shattered silence
when suddenly you stop eyes up to the glass
and I’m a few feet ahead you call out, Viene, viene qua
drawing me close something you said
the future deleted from history
reading my mind that one split second nearly forty years later
and it’s all true your arm gripping mine your eyes sparkling


Gerard Malanga’s poems in this issue are part of a work-in-progress entitled Who’s there? He lives with his two cats, Archie and Sasha, in Brooklyn, New York. (4/2005)

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