Daniele Pantano

Fallow Ground & Geometries of Exile (or)
September 25, 2019 Pantano Daniele


your washboard hands
raw immaculate cloths


on a line survival spoils
a squall’s raving assault


not least because you are
what didn’t and wouldn’t


drift from ridge to furrow
at long last you burn into


snow racing across a field
a shadow close to baptism


the windbreakers won’t slip
untethered and reclaimed


it’s not another panic room
a witness to your transience


this moment you fall in love
this flesh near an open fire



every day we peddle
our nameless names


on the sidewalks the boulevards
the train stations demanding


attention this other thing
we cannot name pleading


to speak again as the crowd
watches the idea of a crowd


our labor our soap our echo
beyond the tracks a mule


to the south a white pony
a farm to the east smoke


our fists or lives written
or drawn by a mute child


who makes the color blue
scream all night like a voice


or a sky or nothing at all

Daniele Pantano is a Swiss poet and literary translator. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared widely, and his poems have been translated into several languages, including Albanian, German, Farsi, French, Italian, Kurdish, Russian, Slovenian, and Spanish. His most recent works include Kindertotenlieder: Collected Early Essays & Letters & Confessions (Hesterglock Press, 2019), Robert Walser: Comedies (Seagull Books, 2018), ORAKL (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), Robert Walser’s Fairy Tales: Dramolettes (New Directions, 2015), and Dogs in Untended Fields: Selected Poems by Daniele Pantano (Wolfbach Verlag, 2015). Pantano taught at the University of South Florida, served as the Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Florida Southern College, and directed the creative writing program at Edge Hill University, where he was Reader in Poetry and Literary Translation. He currently teaches at the University of Lincoln. For more information, please visit www.pantano.ch.