3 Poems by Antonio Fusco

Bound Together


Supported in illusion, one-armed one-eyed
with cheerful abyss below
and monuments ground to dust —
build these things up
so time won't wear us down, it erases our works.
And what little they mean.


Spectral visions flooding out in twin
lit by vista of futures passed:
the chrome and silver twist and dome—
not rustbelt decay under sodium flare
or piles of dead cars and other machines
just a hint behind it all—a premonition past
bound together en-masse,
against our wills:
a phalange.
Maybe it's better now—
that wasn't freedom for sure
but was our optimism worse than pre-modern fear?
Better blinded by light than by darkness?

In Transit


Somewhere in England on the road to Birmingham, the sign says
Donnington—a flash of childhood, Jon—en route to Holyhead.
There’s probably a better route. The English they drive better and
drive better cars—a mk. 1 Ford Cortina, some old MGs yield, and
a new Lotus—there’s a history in this road that we don’t have.
When was this? Some time ago, now: France Inter was on
longwave, a signal reaching me across the ground not the sky,
from some red and white tower somewhere in France. And I
decided to forget you, copper hair. That’s history now, too. The
story of history. Was it raining? The sky always open on long road
journeys: up and across Dublin. But things are never extreme, or
rarely in any case.


Third time on a boat, no drinkers this time. No football in
Scotland though walking brings lurching, like too many pints. The
ground beneath us seemed so stable until it was tested. A floating
hotel—this is a strange place, no doubt. A cafeteria (because that’s
what it is) and a gift shop. Don’t people fly now?


Conscious of the yellow plates—and the rear one says GB! My
accent will save me fromgarda inquiries and the scrapper’s threat.
And yetmise Éire! It was all coming to a close. Relief all around.
The front wheels lift when you sink the boot: the rear ones
scrabbling to be free. An indulgence: the East Link. And on to
Monkstown. Too much change, too much to follow.

All Will be Explained

Fragment numéro 1
mai 7, 2019. Vincennes.

A damaged car
a destroyed moto
and somewhere, a corpse
on some cold, grey slab
and perhaps a woman crying
and perhaps a child too
looking through glass
or maybe nothing flows

Fragment numéro 2
mai 7, 2019. Paris.

I miss the clank of the drum machines
it’s all too natural now
too authentic
too woody
and too false.

Fragment numéro 3
mai 7, 2019. Paris.

My nostalgia reserved
for things i never had
things i think i never had
things i think i can remember
i think i could never grasp
never touch what
i imagined would be beside me.

Fragment number 4
some time before. Dublin.

But now we recede to private joy,
followed by the joy.
Or the operational problems.
Marie! Marie! Ma chère Marie!
She came out with a tray and six cups of tea,
for the dead men who guarded her house.
The cold outside
a cigarette, a book and a box of papers.
Listen—the hum of generation.
And half a phone call.
Close your tired eyes
and sleep through midday.
This residue of night,
film wrapped around reason.

Fragment number 5
some time before. Dublin.

He stood in the door talking policy
but it was autopilot really, who cares?
Just stay out, the cold and make
a human connection however frail.
The wheels came off long ago yet
this thing moves still.
an inertia all its own—
movement as itself.
They handed over the keys
So he could feel foreign once more—
in name and nature, after all
the flattening and dead give away.
—Comrade! You'll get yours!
—Don't worry. We look after our corpses.

Fragment number 6
some time before. Dublin.

Spread out before now
cold metal sheen once so new
yet caked in the dirt of life
no matter how we scrub
we wear down, we break

a minor mess, some piles
and spatters of dried liquid
spilt from idiot cup
a plastic wrap around a hat of wings
and an austere message
a warning]
from this and another country.

I never much liked men
who talked in clogged tones of struggle—
of power and strength and of seizing control.
So how then did I become one of those myself?
Even with the curtain choking me?
My struggle with words and with reflex
and with breathing in and out.

Fragment number 7
some time before Paris, in Dublin—and some time after, in Paris.

All will be explained,
whether we want it to be or not.
All will be shamed,
and all will be drained.
Mouth by mouth,
hand by fist,
it will be taken from us:
drawn out.

Antonio Fuso is a writer, born in Ireland and living and working in Paris. He holds a PhD in philosophy.

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