coming out – again

Always coming out, always coming out.

I wonder sometimes if it’s worth mentioning, for – in the main – I don’t think it is.

But in preparation for the upcoming Page vs Stage battle/slam/rage/WWF Poetry Smack Down, I have had the pleasure of reading Rosanna Licari’s work. She says she likes Robert Lowell. I like Robert Lowell. Oh no! WHAT IF I LIKE ROSANNA. This will make for a terrible battle. Have a little looksee at her poem from her 2010 collection.

Oh yes, what was I coming out about again? Oh yes, I like to READ poetry. Other people’s poetry. Can you freaking believe it?

Mediterranean mosaic           

Today neither Mother’s story

nor Lowell’s ‘Sailing Home from Rapallo’

brings the azure

of the Gulf of Genoa to mind.


I remember squatting on a balcony floor,

a doll under my arm, as my fingers

trace the grout slowly.


A circle of vermillion flares into petals

of yellow and white. These coloured tesserae,

a contrast to the dull sea of roof tiles below.

A train rattles in the distance and then Rapallo

fades from my memory.


Mother tells me Zio and Zia lived

in a small attic near the centre. Adamo

zigzagged the streets, delivering meat

door-to-door on a bicycle.

When we visited, I called for Daria

as I clambered up the steps of the tenement,

holding Mother’s hand.

She concludes

the balcony was the best thing

about the place.


Memory is made of fragments or perhaps

lies in the interstices?

But I try to make meaning of the pieces,

and rack through tile shards in this half-light of doubt.


© 2010 Rosanna Licari. From An Absence of Saints, University of QLD Press, 2010.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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