CHIMES

Arranged in front of me,

to me and my steel hammer

everywhere in this room as vast as a desert

the men

they are like tubular bells

metal cylinders arranged

motionless like a terracotta army

Similar and dumb

but not one the same as the other

similar cylinders

but not one the same as the other:

black iron

bronze

stained copper

reddish gold or fine gold

there blue silver

pure platinum

brass of tuba and handle o

industrial cast iron

Similar bells

tubular

standing waiting

but I know: none the same as the other.

I know every mouth is the same

but before singing.

So them.

Ritual bells all the same distinct not by shape

but from the toll.

It is not them I am looking for, but the sound.

And here under my hammer they sing each of a different song.

Each releases its own reverb

concentric aura of possibility and splendor

violet vibrations

and gilded

that ripple and innervate

the emptiness around.

I'm not looking for men

but stories

each precious

none ever

the same as the other.

THEY STOLE MY BYCICLE

Six years ago a friend of mine gave me his bicycle as a gift and he is gone forever. For three years the bike has always served me: I loaded it like a mule to do the shopping, we went a couple of times away and then around this green area, for months she and I, her bike. For months and miles, it was my car. I remember that she was waiting for me on the last sidewalk of the station when he left. When I left for London it was brought with great difficulty to Padua and when I returned from London I went to pick it up from Padua. It was raining heavily that day, rivers of water lined the streets and the Paduans found a girl in the rain who splashed water everywhere and sang the Christmas song “Jingle bells” in the middle of summer. I was very happy to be able to ride a bike. When I arrived at the station, the track for the bike was the last one, outside the station shelter and so I had to forcefully fit the bike onto the wagon and then pull it up, in the midst of a thousand curses on that last wagon before the locomotive. Unlike the one I have at home, this one was called “Little Mermaid” because during the winter rains of a cold and merciless reverse, I always emerged from the waters on her saddle and stayed afloat. I walked around in sub-zero temperatures and warm socks under my pants. Then one day I went to the library, serene as always, and when I go out I haven’t found her. You took away not only a bike of questionable economic value, and of fundamental practical value, but you also took away a dear memory and a piece of my life. The Little Mermaid was the only memory I had of my friend. Thieves assholes!

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