FERNANDO ARRABAL

When I was in my early twenties, I did what I almost never do: I walked out on a film. It was Spanish-born French filmmaker Fernando Arrabal’s Viva la muerte (Long Live Death!, 1971), and I left after ten minutes. More than thirty-five years later, its appearance on DVD moved me to give the film […]

LAND OF DREAMS

We trekked for hours. Why we were going no one said. The sun left us dazed, and the moon: a rink of ice. We bore impedimenta like Christs. We lugged our shadows. No voice found shelter with us. Carrying our homes on our backs, we had no earth in which our music might flourish. (We […]

BIRTHDAY POEM

The war over, tall grass clings to the sun. Arms full, wounds idle, we surround an old roller-coaster of love, go home, claws in our pockets, broken brick and glass amidst our eyes. In this city, tongues of bells are cut out right before winter. In hospital, nurses dance when we come in laughing. They […]

FOUR CLOUDS

Four clouds on the verge of grief (edged in dark cloth) gather slowly. Something has passed away. We drift to lawns and cold, gray stones. The procession fills skulls of rain. I open up a black umbrella. Torn, crippled leaves soak the smooth toes of a garden Christ by a church down whose crumbling walls […]

THE RECRUIT

At the price of sixteen, a host of strangers moved baggage into the big closet in his room, announcing they had come for hire. They said a war was going on behind the wall that sounded empty. He said Yes— to what, he still doesn’t know. They coaxed him to drop his clothes for those […]