Lee Cataldi

Lee Cataldi: New Poems with an Introduction by Joanne Burns

In this selection of poems, Lee Cataldi writes in a spare, lean, direct way, steered by an aesthetic of restraint. She often uses internal spacing and short stanzas to re-enforce her measure. A sense of loss inhabits a number of the poems.

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you should have died much later there would have been a space for such an event you could have been properly translated to a star magical mysterious a new inhabitant of heaven not in such complete silence we did not …

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mourning is women’s business

for Tjama 1 with a gesture as large as the planet you call up the spirits of women tonight you can see them thousands filling up the country so it is no longer empty and lonely as it will be …

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the opening of the children’s centre in Balgo

a smell of frying meat drifts across the scene and steam from bloodwood leaves assists departing souls to leave a tiny child hurls a rock across the yard some skills die hard it is as if the language centre that …

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c’est l’homme

for John Forbes you develope a style until it can say what you want you need it may take years and years of need a style is a bit like a life and then it comes together style book life …

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on breaking things

a clumsy movement of the sleeve sweeps the blown glass puja bell to the floor and breaks the handle one in a set of such moves hasty uncontrolled the snarl the snap the gesture of impatience and irritation that breaks …

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the sky is falling in

I drive along in my car destroying the planet towing a horse listening to the cricket the world does not look as if it is about to end but I know it will here it will burn

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michelangelo 107

my eyes wild for beautiful things and my mind have no other means to get to heaven except these blow them there from the highest stars a splendour descends which draws desire in their direction this is love only this …

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michelangelo 27

you who kiss run from love’s burning tongue his flames are savage his cuts mortal he fights to the death after the first rush nothing neither effort nor brains nor leaving the country will do any good go you see …

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mallarme: sea change

the body complains unfortunately and I’ve read all the books shall I run away to where it is warmer? I believe birds get drunk on the void between spray and sky nothing not the familiar gardens seen on gazing into …

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mallarme: innocent breathless beautiful day

what does not fly is not remembered a sheet of ice a hard lake these you could free with one drunk flap of your wing the fabulous hopeless out of date swan can never escape the shining places the useless …

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sometimes you crap in the bath worry about children with baseball bats think of getting a gun just for the noise even if you’re prime minister you’re in the nuisance class everyone thinks it unfair you have anything at all …

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michelangelo 143

as pieces of my life fall away each day smaller and fewer remaining compressed into this shrinking space the fire burns more ferociously and the sky has never been known to lend a hand to an old lag in a …

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