J.T. Barbarese

En Route
April 13, 2012 Barbarese J.T.

En Route

—“Whether in fiction or reality, most Romantic poets eventually turned into bourgeois capitalists.” Graham Robb, Rimbaud


All over wherever we are the waves are making

eyes at me as if having some sort of vision.

The waves tsk-tsk against the hull.

The deck rocks like an imbecile,

the stacks are davenning and half-visible

whales with cowlicks spout the way.

The playfulness of the postmodern has a

a vitality that somehow makes my emptiness

a prerequisite to its fullness—I could even say

this feels like a rehearsal of the Seven Days.

The breakers pun on the gulls, the gulls on eyes,

eyes on distant arches, which  is why

nothing is ever one thing, and why

when and if

I get wherever I am going –my

destiny beckons like the tower on the cover

of an alumni brochure—

I’ll rethink everything,

join the smelly mob with its static present

and combo second-person singular-plural,

abandon the subjunctive and become

unforgettable by teaming with the unspeakable.

I will be done with history.  Call me the glare

off the radiant emptiness out there.




J.T. Barbarese‘s last book of poems is True Does Nothing. Forthcoming later this year is After Prévert, a translation of selected poems from Jacques Prévert’s Paroles.