Michael Schiavo Poems



Doctor Giamatti


Strange to pass your red door, green, the contagion          

Still blooming. Your death, ever brighter, did not stop      

Its spread. Especially perfumed were the cherubim

On the knocker, despite their brutal gape. I was not

Received that way. An old movie. Was then I ran

To the mezzanine, measuring the cost of perseverance.

Measuring, measuring. This accentuates our fervent

National identity, that it can sever itself from others’

So casually. Such manly acts of desperation do not

Appeal to our carnival sex. We have a problem

And there are no mirrors in the house. We’ve never

Been innocent, knowing since childhood all things

Can wait for someone else to put right. I think of you

So very often, my heart that was burning burning out.     





Wilderness, or Bust


Quite a brilliant set-up—so rare that one must be  

This naked. But then, it is you; the gods moan                   

With delight, some outside their festival-time.

Turn left or right, the road goes in the same

Direction, myriads of immortals on every curve

Selling the native harvest; and even so, there is still

A place for your executor under the brash lightning.

All over the quarter, people are getting ready.

The colonized man has no hope. Listen to me,

You who still love: I’m only wanting from someone

To understand, to place a bouquet every so often

At the grave of a girl, dead from doubt. That is much

To ask, but is only a moment. If you agree,

Keep your lamplight trimmed and burning,

                                      Let the third man go forth.






Michael Schiavo’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Painted Bride Quarterly, LIT, Good Foot, and La Petite Zine, among other publications. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars and former work-study scholar at the 2004 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, he currently lives somewhere in southern New England.




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