Issue 14 • 2011



from Symphony No. 2


by Ric Carfagna







Assign this presence

a theoretical perspective

as those who have lived


in doorways

in silent daguerreotypes

those who observe

the amber graves

before there was light


gods of dross

or fleshless bones

those who have lived

erecting structures

beyond the means

blood can relay

invariably the equation

lengthening interminability

as one is tasked

to invoke omens

from granite mirrored seas

mottled past (identity)

refusing repose

sleep here   in absentia

closed eyelids

rooting the goldenrod

silent wake of dream    ebbing

orchids against sea wall swale









Say there are

many faces

seen through

the sparrow’s eye

those who hunt

the sands in isolation

those near the mirrored

exile of autonomy

those who alter perspectives

without thought to transform

the naked veined wintering heart

those of countless hands

who cross themselves

refusing absolution

those who live within

the steel walled

cavities of thought

the rain of abstractions’


bleeding through the leafless trees

the sawdust of alphabets

buried by years

cloistering words

in a sword’s granite trace

the meatless bones

disinterring their past

the glare where light fails

to inspire

the lark’s ascent

at evening’s approach

a shroud of belief

secreted    blind

immortal wound —









Derision in light

rendered mute

whereas she occupied

a space

between the voice

or the orchid’s image

in the lyre’s note

not knowing

the hour of death


a crossroads emerging

retracing this threshold

here   a nightingale

across nine dimensions

a veiled bridge

to ford

a callused seascape strand

wherein her mind is

engaged with mortalities’


clarities liquid atrophy

morphing     a reality


at a window

a desert

burning sun

of limbs atomized

in the eye

the sparrow

the exhumed crow’s entrails

the scythed trough leavings

the scarred talus landscape

the worm of empty eye caverns

the reticent abraded light

the guttering sublimities

impermeable opiate









He dreams

in an enormous factory

a Hopper’s Sunday Morning peace

unsullied by another’s speculation

but no more naked thoughts

to dislodge the dogma

there are iron bars

at eye level

there are trembling joists

from subterranean worms

there are oil pools

in asphalt gardens

holes where a pavement recedes

a rusted gate

a crow’s broken wing

but to understand    isolation

a torn net in the sea

snagged barnacle-encrusted


all is of one thought

diluted distilled splintered coruscation

a hand moving

above the cloud cover

an unseen tongue

in voiceless mirrors

a metronome


a time signature’s presence

his belief in the hourglass

of eternity

of theories measured

by palsied limbs

mutated foundations

brine sifted

through ocean sand









He questions the ocean

forgetting what exists

within the mind

or elsewhere

in a field of dust

an unwritten book

desiring misunderstanding

then thoughts of symmetry

to deny

subjective dualities

or a nomad

splitting the atom

in noiseless hallways

deserts fused to glass

a music of structures

liquefied atrophy

eroding     indeterminate edge

now   the window

the blind sparrows entering

at nightfall

an omen

a garden

a thousand dead

an infusion of wounds

to determine

an archetype of sanity

a question of imperfection

lingering    hours

to approximate

distance to galaxies

distance to years

below the slender azure

contours to obliterate

singularity     of faith

eroded          indeterminate edge











Ric Carfagna was born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently, Symphony No.1 (Chalk Editions) and Symphony No.2 (Argotist Press).  His poetry “has evolved from the early radical experiments of his first two books, Confluential Trajectories and Porchcat Nadir, to the unsettling existential mosaics of his multi-book project, Notes On NonExistence.”  He lives in rural central Massachusetts with his wife, cellist Mary Carfagna, and daughter, Emilia.