Like the Dutchman who hacked out a 2,000-page treatise on the soul
of bees, I was doing my work: Autumn. Winter. I was trying to love
the story of the composer who carried his frail mother from their burning house
at Wolfsgarten, then stood in a scherzo of blizzard
until she perished of bitterness for this world. I was trying to hold
the feral face of the possum like the wild boy of Avignon, moving its slow
lips that would not end. I was Leviticus. I was Revelation. I was
the child excavated from the battlefield at Agincourt, then hanged
a second time, moths in the moonlight of her forearms.
One night I will whisper it, in toto: how I discovered
a river like a suitor, abandoned
my dead to its vigil. How obsession wore his silk-red
kimono, his wine-dark mouth at my table.
How I was neither the falcon nor falconer,
the singer the singing nor song.
13 The Paris-American
Joseph Fasano is the author of Fugue for Other Hands, due out from Cider Press in January, 2013. His poems have appeared in FIELD, The Yale Review, Tin House, The Southern Review, Boston Review, and other publications. He won the 2008 RATTLEPoetry Prize for "Mahler in New York," and
he has been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editors' Prize, the
Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books, and the Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition, as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee. He teaches at Columbia University, among other institutions. About Fugue for Other Hands, Jeanne Marie Beaumont has written, "...this book embodies 'further, deeper, wilder'...it is never timid or tamed, has no easy comfort or uplift to offer but immerses us in the disturbances of living on this mortal earth from start to finish."