4 Poems

By Antonia Zanotto


Black Widow

Working the System in the Soul-ridden Farms,
Looking for love lost in stranger’s arms —
I watch someone who kind of looks like me,
Have their thoughts plucked off in notable reverie.
Needles attached to their arms and legs
Prick softly like the fangs on a spider’s head.
Miss Black Widow of mass eedolisation,
Carries out her job with admirable sophistication.
I stand hopeless — they stand smiling,
What a historic day for pragmatic frying!

Scent of skin leaves me empty-stomached
Remember that roast we had last summer?
A Chardonnay daze of stung, stricken tongues
One hundred eyes gaze and tighten their lungs
From fearful white to powder-hot, blood-shot:
I want a part of this,
do you not? Sign your name and just to be sure,
Marvell in the idea of whose idea this was before,
Little switch flicked up —
10 cents a pop, made a deal with God
That the Dreaming man would be the
Last to drop



On the way to Stratford-upon-Avon


My humorous head is
married to a frustrating memory.
And much like any odd couple,
quarrel over the silliest of treacheries.

But if I remember as so,
there was a neatly trimmed graveyard
where only old women would bother to go,
decorate the tombs -
with white, blue and golden balloons;

the song of Summer trees -
savoured in flowery cobwebs
and polite little fleas,
over looking war heroes who were
you and I when the earth took them in.

I saw a burnt down barn
simmering through its rusty skeleton,
where a boy escaped chores
to lay, in lazy hay, beside restless young boars
out of delicate affection.
And his children,
and their children, tangled with lovers in the attic -

navigating through the wonders of static whisperings,
the soul of secrecy, and the seemingly timeless
murmurings of naïve indiscretions by the crickets.

I felt dock leaves and stinging nettles,
wind blown hair and scratchy skin;
a world far too great to fit the one within —

So I sit at the nook of a tree,
as a final blanket of sun lights with the breeze,
the stars begin their travels with fruitful ascent.
Church bells knoll and pastor lights fade from the
and as fulfilling a day as this could have been,
I seem unprepared to bid England goodbye.



One Two All None


If a grain of sand was to be moved from the multitudes of its brothers and sisters,
levitating in a sweeping dance by the barren breath of the Sahara, floating elegantly onto a wild cat’s sleeping brow; a steady breathing for its rocking cot.

If lightning was to become a greater source of life than that of the moon, if it were to take its place as
Light of the Skies;
bawling his desires into open freedom; a voice shaped of thunder, earthly rattle. A colossal bolt of electric woe. Nothing but dark space listening.

If a melodic note could not only be heard but also seen,
unleashed from the hollow wood and the sharp brass, aroused by the accrual of others to absorb the very infinity which encases them.
The waves clash once. Once more they thrive against the abandoned ceiling of the musical
vault - whilst
Fairy notes play hide-and-seek through cracks under the rows of dusty chairs and into pockets of unused suits; reflecting diamonds on ageing necklaces, then spiralling back in racing, multi-coloured lights, which correspond to their place in the hierarchy of sounds:
each string for a voice, each beat for a thought.

I see the grain of sand moulding onto the shape of the King’s nose, as I step on the soft heap it once lived in.
I see the King’s tears cascade down from black skies as I gently step on the layers that have been shed before.
I see the King come to life as he explodes into several rhythmic constellations of noise, while I gently step on the reverberating floor boards.

I see the pasty area that one would call your face.
I see my face as yours, and am deafened by the silence that comes with the glass between us.



These little sections relieve me


Gently bending the small twig that made up mankind, I sit at the busy bench and wait for the 63 bus, in sunny hue underneath some park trees.


She mellows her hands in tepid little waterfalls, rinsing the porcelain platters made of her grandmother’s bones, and if she turns the right tap two and a half times, it sings out: alone, alone, alone.


He says a sneeze carries one percent of the soul, its fleeting particles dismember you into the travelling winds; and as he sneezes onto her that is when she knows, that is when she knows she will be sleeping with lions tonight.


She seemed delighted when you submerged your ears under the shadowy waters of the darkly blue pool, in an experiment to see if the day would collapse any differently. Twenty-three years have washed and you remain breathing into the waters by the eroded banks; fleetingly floating through our eroded days. If only you could remember her name


You drop your hair long, long on the same earth the lilies sprang from and you smile like you’re used to being told that you’re trouble


They waved their hands in time; in time to see the waves come back; in time to see her skirt is quite short; in time to see the waves had gone again, and then it wasn’t amusing anymore.


Remember the day you remembered you never really spoke to your father, but by then you were too hairy to ask the silly thing you thought of that summer day when the last soap bubble kissed the grass.