Patrick Barron is an assistant professor in English at the University
of Massachusetts, Boston. He was recently awarded the Rome Prize
by the American Academy in Rome and a National Endowment for
the Arts grant for his translations of the work of Italian poet, Andrea
Zanzotto. His publications include Italian Environmental Literature:
An Anthology, Circle of Teeth: 55 Poems
, and The Selected Poetry and
Prose of Andrea Zanzotto
(University of Chicago Press).


If the tangled lines of my senses
were to extend into the unseen
lurking behind karstic corners,
would all this inevitable
cascading fading
become somehow clearer,
more present and keen?
Would the leaf blades moss hair
beech leaves lichens and boulders
have more to say?
Would they suddenly leap to life
in their temporary dying?


Pieces of frames
or frames of pieces
perhaps branches
or brackets
splittings of
electric lights
suggestions of wholes
parsed, pixilated
spit into squares
with evenuneven edges
broken beginnings
an illusion of spectrum
a careful corralling
of colors.

Unlikely Map

A web of topographies
stitched one within
without the others
a bliss-blemish
a spreading
of plots
in quadrants
an immemorial record
of comings-goings
of here-nether-there
where the human and nonhuman
join phalanges
in a farcical-funeral dance
a celebration of rites
gone bad
an improper-proper burial
a trading of skins

Nearly Familiar

How much of a landscape
is memory
light flickering
in our heads
while outside
the kinesthetic
touchings of place
built on place
insist as they suggest
pull down
as they push out
bring to the surface
a nearly familiar
change of skin
that begs
(from without from within)
to be greeted as kin?

Or is it simply
the usual
sweating of the soil
the daily
rise and fall
of clods within clods
the slow eruption
of forms
we thought
was home?

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