Eratio Issue 17




from [ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ]


by Francesco Levato




“[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] is a work based on chance operations (a variation/combination of Bernstein’s Acrostic Chance method and John Cage’s Mesostics) that uses Earth’s Holocaust, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as seed text, and Leviathan, by Hobbes; Aristotle’s Poetics; Humane Understanding, by Locke; and Shelly’s Frankenstein as source texts.”





[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] 1.0b1


of furnaces


That they make us refuse to admit,

to signifie that a word is not the name

of the thing in question; nothing, no man, infinite;

nevertheless of use in reckoning, of probable incident,

so strange that I cannot forbear recording,

for the comprehension of our understandings

comes exceedingly short of the extent of things.





[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] 1.0b2


means for separating the particles of bodies


As for thought, we may assume what is said of it,

that those speculative maxims have not an actual assent,

so general and ready, so manifest,

these sentences read, and subject to exception,

a signe of folly, my departure was fixed

and the day resolved a first misfortune, an omen as it were.





[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] 1.0b3


of evaporation


Whether we can determine it or no, it matters not,

serves little use in common life;

some better, some worse, according to differences,

to quicknesse of memory, and errors of one another.

We were nearly surrounded, closed in on all sides,

this death at Argos, a public spectacle for incidents

we think to be not without meaning.





[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] 1.0b4


the specific gravities of different bodies


I cannot see how we should ever transgress,

with confidence and serenity stamped upon our minds,

yet cohaerence is manifest enough, words

whose significations approach those of good

and evill; but are not precisely the same;

just as in other arts, an imitation of action,

must represent one action, a complete whole,

with incidents so connected that transposal

will dislocate and disjoin, these successive changes in tragedy,

a transitory desire, nothing more taken for granted

than principals both speculative and practical.





[ from kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘to burn’) ] 1.0b5


of combustion in general


Six years had elapsed, passed by occasion of trouble,

of precedence, place, wherein we had neither possession nor      command,

plots simple or complex, their actions this twofold description.

They come then, to be furnished with simple ideas from without,

from the operations of their minds within,

according as the objects with which they converse.










Poet, translator, and filmmaker Francesco Levato is the author of four books of poetry: Endless, Beautiful, Exact (Argotist, 2011); Elegy for Dead Languages (Marick Press, 2010); War Rug, a book length documentary poem (Plastique Press, 2009); and Marginal State (Fractal edge Press, 2006).  He has translated into English the works of Italian poets Tiziano Fratus, Creaturing (Marick Press, 2010), and Fabiano Alborghetti, The Opposite Shore.  His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Drunken Boat, Versal, Otoliths, The Progressive, OmniVerse, Lightning’d Press, Certain Circuits, Moria, VLAK Magazine, Slope, Ping Pong, Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry International, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, Cordite Poetry Review, and LA Review.  He has collaborated and performed with various composers, including Philip Glass, and his cinépoetry has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Berlin, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.  He is the founder and director of the Chicago School of Poetics, holds an MFA in poetry from New England College, and is pursuing a PhD in English Studies at Illinois State University.