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Image by Joshua Eckstein


the madrigal, volume v


by daniel rabuzzi

The sediment I use
            must use
            cannot not use:

Pebbles, twigs, encrusted diction,
Marled grammar,
Silted syntax,
Clauses beetled, but
Watered by an aquifer of verbs,
Quite some mouthfuls, the means
Out of which to make
Something that means.

Carried on some tongues
              across the long roads of water;
Tasted first by other tongues
              upon arrival here, on sod unknown to us.

Compressed seeds and cretaceous chalk
(Always the tectonic choice of register),
Forebears' teeth, loosened yet still set in skulls that rest,
Wingèd things, twisted yet still whole in amber that floats,
Ancient beans, expelled from a ruptured pod,
               itself erupted from newly friable earth,
               and drained of prior tidings.

Mud-pools, vertebrae, sand-piles, bilge,
The sweepings of a thousand years
From the root-rock, from the marsh-flooring,
From the throats of the dead,
Who offer their bones as
Nouns, the kind to build a new life
In a new place.

Daniel A. Rabuzzi has had two novels, five short stories and ten poems published ( He lived eight years in Norway, Germany and France. He has degrees in the study of folklore and mythology, international relations, and European history. He lives in New York City with his artistic partner & spouse, the woodcarver Deborah A. Mills (, and the requisite cat.  Tweets @TheChoirBoats

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