Where Dino Campana once tried to sell his sad poems
Among the tables,
Where Montale settled into his silence and hid,
Disguised as himself for twenty years,
The ghosts of Papini and Prezzolini sit tight
With Carlo Emilio Gadda
somewhere behind our backs.
Let's murder the moonlight, let's go down
On all fours and mewl like the animals and make it mean what it
Not even a stir.
Not even a breath across the plates of gnocchi and roast veal.
Like everything else in Florence, that's part of the past,
The wind working away away kneading the sea so muscles . . .
Those who don't remember the Futurists are condemned to repeat
We order a grappa. We order a mineral water.
Little by little, the lucid, warm smile of the moon
Overflowed from the torn clouds.
A cry was heard in the solitude of the high plains.
Simic e Wright sulla traccia. La luna ammazzata.
From "Chickamauga" by Charles Wright. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $19; 96 pp.) 1995 Reprinted by permission.