an online showcase curated by Maya Kóvskaya



by James Capozzi



the end is the end

we hate it but for different reasons

a shadow moves over California's open edge

its valley full of people

but you compare the others to this one

filled to the brim with fog and people

I see their fires

the trash slumbers

a blithe slumber, eerie vibe of the beach

where everybody waits it out

strides into the vacant flats

then, fingerlike, lies down

I look into its mouth

its bunch of bodies forming

it wants me to admit that I came here

and was drawn into its story

but no story draws me in

or one that no one understands

or the earth, only


there is a shadow life

it can take you quite literally out of yourself

nowhere to go, no other home, no city

the sea draws back from the dunes'

undulant scoriae

pegged with shells of horseshoe crabs
the mountain is up high, the shore down below

and the yet, and the so, and the or

the second, more revanchist face                                               
it's impossible not to think of it

this other world is so close

this wave that gathers

and answers my house                                      
                                                                                      built from a wrecked ship's timber
this voice that whispers to itself

of a presence in the future
                                                                                                    summer is always coming
coming always to obliterate                                

our history
                                                                       a chord of excessive beauty and duration
in which anything is possible          
                                                                                                    our work, rendering the nude
I supervise my thoughts for years

my old time religion

though it may go nowhere

it may languish forever in the shadow of

the grim brunette                                                        her prison tattoo is unbearably erotic

the muffler rusted through in weeds                              
                                                                                                bees like to balance there
the joint smoldering in the ashtray of

my sister's Sentra, 1994                                                             

these are just teenage things

I watch myself become susceptible to the world 

illegal on a farm all summer                               
                                                                                    in Greece you could live outdoors
inspecting the bay in an open boat
                                                                                    collecting mussels among the rocks
sometimes like an eagle watching                                   
                                                                                                    which was my favorite activity
lights through parlour windows

hollering halloa how are ye                                   painting the sea, repeatedly

through the glaciated valley

conjuring those that flared, eagle-like

and went down under   
                                                                                    flames flowing over the logs
the wave's debris on fire                       

it can be done without the people there

if you have something of theirs
                                                                                                steam off of the horses' snouts
all you need is their body, their face, their hair
                                                                                                              steam of their necks
a voice like a doctor's, anonymous but intimate

flowing through the valley's

open edge

byzantine subdivisions                                               city of the Governess

when it stops talking your house is gone                                    
                                                                                                        merely timber, water, poetry
permaculture obliterated, soil leached                                         

your feet touch the fields they burn

smoke columns where the trees were, only

shamanic                                                                       open at both ends and deep

the elderly Germans have a word for it

which is totally untranslatable

though I can tell you

all throughout the valley people shout

Amen Hallelu

where you been


people push each other along in the same direction

I go mostly where I'm led

the people were with their friends when they were

swept into the water

headmaster, teachers all

were swept into the sea

it took forever

like they were hacking a path through the water

toward the deeper water

my neighbor says he became a monk

to bless my sister's soul

though I don't believe in any of that

so I say ehh I don't really believe in that

and I leave

my dog Geraldine follows me out

her jaws cradling the moon

how it rises huge and green

in the sky each night

over this chain of oval lakes

the small muscles around her eyes and mouth

the survivors

the mutants that succeed us

what they do comes natural

they go back across the dark lake

they hack it

this valley is their house and

they can never leave this house

Geraldine sighs and lies down                                       

the birds begin an hour before sunup

the workers pull their tarps back

start up the saws

you know it's going to go on like this

not a paradise but what precedes it

the sound of the orchestra tuning

squat, ugly, unstoppable



Return to table of contents.