Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Alessandra Bava's They Talk About Death

Alessandra Bava’s collection, They Talk About Death, is published by Blood Pudding Press. Her collection is surreal, rich, and thoughtful. Inside these pages dwell iconic literary and historical figures, she dips her pen into their universe and extracts her own thoughts from them. It is my pleasure to share a few samples:

St. Baudelaire

I dream of you at night
entangled in the spires of evil,

tied to a living pillar in the
profane sanctuary of Poetry—

the spores of wild flowers in
your nostrils, the ecstasy of

“the Word” painted on your face
& slowly dripping from your

St. Sebastian-like wounds
in sanguine lines.

I twist the arrows in your flesh,
I dip my fingers in your scars

as you spit out your own
poisonous mythology

into my soul.

I love the poet’s macabre language for dreaming of meeting Baudelaire, the poet who wrote Flowers of Evil which was banned once it was published. I love Baudelaire’s poems and this tribute to him is dark and beautiful.



Salome

She has danced and played all night long with her Madame Sosostris’ wicked pack of cards and now she holds her trophy in a silver platter. John’s beautiful severed head. Salome likes her meat rare. She is hungry. She’ll bite his livid lips awake with her love words. One day, when the head will turn to skull, she’ll make a lamp for her own enlightenment and write chiaroscuro poems.

This piece is as dark as the biblical reference itself: the stepdaughter of the King, Salome, requests the head of St. John the Baptist. Here, a reference to T.S. Eliot’s tarot card reader, Madame Sosostris, is linked to the act and delivers a mystical, clairvoyant quality. Salome’s thirst for vengeful blood is presented in a gruesomely beautiful way thanks to the poet.


Dreaming Arthur
“A thousand Dreams within me softly burn” --Arthur Rimbaud

I take seat at the
Big Bear tavern,

redolent of smoke,
absinthe and dung.

A pale blue eyed
seer at the counter,

in his ruffled scarf,
sells illuminating

prophecies. I order
my glass and he

fills it with green
ink in which

we dip our loaded
pens.

I stare at his
provincial clothes,

at his holsters
full of satisfied

flesh, Christian
mothers’ morals,

deliriums, vowels,
poisons, Ville Lumiere,

Abyssinian darkness,
seasons in hells, pure

monstrosities, burning lines
crows, leg-eating gangrene
suns, Eternity…
We aim
high at
the sky.

I pause, I pant, I shoot,
I write.

He grabs my hand
and cries: “Wake up!

I’m just a ghost
selling false promises

and watered-down
wine. I am only an

extinguished meteor
blazed away to ash.

How can I rest in peace
if even my words refuse to

rot?”

In this poem I picture the poet dreaming after reading Rimbaud and having deep conversation with him in a dank tavern. I personally feel as a writer that my own work sells “false promises” as the writer says above, as every piece of literature takes its liberties.



If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Alessandra Bava’s They Talk About Death from Blood Pudding Press for $7.00 at:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/195494626/new-they-talk-about-death-by-alessandra

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again…

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