Poems and Texts

“MY FOOLISH HEART” by Paul Vangelisti


for Thelonious Monk

The truth in the tale, the tale and/or teller,
here now, speak up, in the wind carving time,
ever lost is everything you couldn’t find
or found and lost again to that flame of words,
loosing it one more last time in the name
of growing older, here there, now and then,
neglecting to hear anything but that shame of rime
in the world, words whistling in time to wind
under the fine dazzling bone of something
somebody might care to lend a whisper to.

Mostly time was when it wouldn’t be said
or wasn’t spent in the wind winding up
now like a world in those stark hands that
know whose lips are much too close to mine

Paul Vangelisti

Paul Vangelisti is the author of some twenty books of poetry, as well as being a noted translator from Italian. His most recent books include Wholly Falsetto with People Dancing, an older man’s not-so-divine comedy, and a book of poems, Two. In 2016 a new book of poems, Border Music, is forthcoming from Talisman House. In 2006, Lucia Re’s and his translation of Amelia Rosselli’s War Variations won both the Premio Flaiano in Italy and the PEN-USA Award for Translation. In 2010, his translation of Adriano Spatola’s The Position of Things: Collected Poems, 1961-1992 won an Academy of American Poets Prize. From 1971-1982 he was co-editor, with John McBride, of the literary magazine Invisible City and, from 1993-2002, edited Ribot, the annual report of the College of Neglected Science. He worked as a journalist at the Hollywood Reporter (1972-1974), and as Cultural Affairs Director at KPFK Radio (1974-1982). Vangelisti was Founding Chair of the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and is currently a professor in that program.

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