Monday, November 29, 2010

At Via Castellani #14

i'm living in dirty socks
listening to the metronome drops
of my soaking wet laundry
hit the wooden floor
paint cracks
on the ceiling below
the loft above
my clothes haven't been clean
in months
only wetly drenched
by a frenetic washer
hidden beside the stove

i'm sitting at the kitchen table
eating from the same fork
in some variation
(recycled through
soapless piles of
dishes and pots
remains of spaghetti sauce
and canned corn)
wearing worn slippers
writing reaction
as nights and days
in an unfamiliar time zone
rain comes quickly and stays long

finding passion
worth challenge
love lost
surrender found
a pale moon
seen through
open shutters
three stories high
where songs repeat
keeping pace with
friends: the beginning
of what comes next.


  1. Excellent re-write, Emma. Upon a second reading I might still make a couple of emendations. Perhaps move the comma after "reading" and put it after "writing" and change "reaction" to "reacting." Feels to me like you need a "The" before "rain comes..." Perhaps that line could be a stanza all its own. Maybe a "The" before "Challenge." Perhaps a meatier verb in the place of "seen"--i.e. glimpsed, spied, caught... I would replace "high" with "up" also. All very minor stuff.

    I think that many former students will find this very familiar and effecting. The mood you catch here is so indicative of these rainy days; i love it. Have fun in Paris and write some more of these for us!


  2. Emma,
    This poem feels like you were somehow secretly following me every minute of my time in Firenze. I can definitely relate to everything you say here. Nice work.
    I, too, wrote a piece about the washing machines in the student apartments. If I recall, it compared the washing cycles to Dante's circles of Hell. Perhaps I'll dig it up and post.