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Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems
NOCTURNE FOR EDITH PIAF
The accordionist, the gigolo,
The pugilist surely knew:
It all came down to the lights –
The footlights that fawned over
over your delicious agony.
The lust lights of Place Pigalle.
The chaste lights of Sacré-Coeur.
It came down to the heart.
How it fractures like a thrown vase,
Like a lover’s airplane
for which the sky has no further use.
How, in breaking, it is more of a heart,
more than a heart.
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
We smoked a Gauloise in your honor.
We danced the Apache in your name.
How we envy you, Mlle Gassion.
You had no regrets. But we do.
Implicated for millenia
As an emporer's diversion
While a great city collapsed in flames.
It took the fall for a lyre.
(The Poet’s Press, 2006)
From the publisher’s website: "Joel Allegretti, author of The Plague Psalms, has been up to no good since his first book, and this new book goes darker and deeper still, delving into such delicate topics as the Juggernaut, Mother Julian of Norwich, Eurydice as Greta Garbo, Nico, spiders, the Gallows Tree, the horrors of 9/11, and 'Billy the Whore: An Encomium in 9 Infections.'"
These poems are architectures, webs and prayers. Their volatility and wit never harden into irony. Read 'Anointing of the Sick' and then 'Poem for the Apocalypse' for the range this book travels. 'Father Silicon' is a challenge and a thrill.
--D. Nurkse, author of "The Fall" and "Burnt Island"
The Plague Psalms
(The Poet’s Press, 2000)
From the publisher’s website: "Powerful neo-Romantic poetry evoking the darker side of European history: the Black Death, the Inquisition, the flight of the Moors from Spain. Also includes poems on the Golem legend and The Phantom of the Opera."