I said, “Why ever move, Red?”; Spillway; Aeolian Blues; Infinity; Pink As a Storm

I said, “Why ever move, Red?”

Bitterest foul-rooted mind: closeted Red
all-voiced deep, black searching breast.
He dreams raw widely, washed in field melancholy.

Did I? Boy eighteen recognizes flame
with power born to sweep. I scorned joy stars
but my smiling pleased dawn’s greening fields.

Flame glory silences,
as it used the warmth we lived.
Eyes return studies. It all fires itself.

Ah I have altered the self-flame taken of me,
all truths changeable with mine.
Red pleased that dialogue buried in us.

Deep black eyes searched earth itself
allowed no fugitive wander-glance
to light up any face of the vile flame.

Fear disturbed the bright virgin image I held.
Red waved & waved,
 the lake may have stirred a light breeze.

I regret fully freighted days that weighed the spirit,
that changed past stings while shame’s
harsh bite had little power.

I dream grey spirits, Red—
a low fire burns, pure, unblemished.
Yet I draw no delight dream that buoys me.

Fragrant deserts
arid slopes destroyed
or not, flower adorns a scatter.
I’ve seen empty places, stems
circling the City
silent aspiring witnesses
reminding the passers of light
of lost empires,
electric spheres that lit the world
with faithless hostility.
These fields barren ash
solid trash resound underfoot
as we snake & twist familiar.

Golden corn mirrors
low cattle garden places,
retreating powerful torrents
& fiery mouths all in ruin.
We root gentle flowers,
commiserate loss, send
a perfume-fragranced ram
desert praise on existing visits—
these slopes fully denatured
light-flamed green they estimate.
Harsh nurse-lights move the units,
obliterate part hands we fear
it a little less gentle than depicted.
Aeolian Blues

The ferry chuffed with a lyrical rhythm
but I found myself blowing chunks
off starboard into churning green
and gray. The islands looked like
donkeys in the distance and then
like elephants as we drew closer.
My mouth tasted of squid and a lemon
Lifesaver I popped before departure.
The ironies never escaped me, even
as a tourist with no tolerance for turbulence.

A man with a face by Tintoretto
told me that his feet were cold and that
he wondered would I trade my shoes
for his. Nord Americano, he said, pointing
at my green-piped black Nike Jokers.
I glanced at his delicate maroon scarpini
and scoffed. His resulting anger
dissipated quickly when a second generation
of nausea prompted another seizure of puking.
Meanwhile the islands were dinosaurs now.

And rain had started falling, difficult
to capture as the ferry steamed ahead;
but the gray waters dimpled and mist
glazed the envelope of our continuum.
The Tintoretto man draped a blue plastic
sheet over his head and slumped against
the port rail—a pricked magic bubble ball.
I staggered and wove to the latrines
where men stood like statues around
a gushing trough, holding their equipment.

I am not well, friends. I say it plainly.
I mentally compose this as we approach
the islands—the small one, the big one,
and the one between them where giants
reputedly once ruled though the search
for their artifacts has never yielded anything
and yet has never ceased, despite its futility.
But the same can be said of all searches,
all voyages and all yearning for something
solid and still to rest your head upon.

Contrast the park, a carpet of green
splotched with red, yellow, black—

& a spatial concept in monochrome blue.
What does it mean? The former portrays

insufferable delicacy. To stay there too
long jitters the mind. The latter shouts

at the viewer. What are you? it is asked
& it answers with tautness. Tautness

& release, the slash-vents fluttering.
The little girl in the park in red who

stops you to show the cat she holds
with her pale green worm hands. The cat

looks hypnotized, staring nowhere;
the girl exudes a baleful, knowing air.

What is she pondering? Does she present
an immediate danger? Does the cat?

Off she looks into the high blue canopy
of the sky. Is she reaching out to

her people telepathically? Is she merely
contemplating the marvelous expanse?

Ah yes, space is as important as time.
But time must be respected.

Time to say goodbye to speculation,
knowing less than we knew before.
Pink As A Storm

The way blew out before the whale
began descent into the bluest part of earth.
How we doing with time? Okay, I’ll hurry—
I know how tight you get when things
don’t go your way or when you think they don’t,
though it makes no hay of difference. No way
to rake the dead leaves off your personality.
That season ended & now we wait for snow
but after the snow you are free to have at it.
Nobody talks that way to me, just saying, I
have no idea if this is a form of talking or
thinking, but it can only be a representation
of thinking, because who thinks like this?
I don’t even think like this,. my mind moves
in strawberry jelly. And I’d like to think you
have something on me or you wouldn’t
be grinning like you have something on me.


Salvatore Difalco is a Sicilian Canadian poet and short story writer. He lives in Toronto.