Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Livio Farallo

in theory

on the floor
is the smell of hardwood
which paints furnace air heavy as a swamp.
the small countries of cold mist
i lay with
have set up snow fences
to contain flame,
to twist shadows
into ash of fallen degrees.
where antlers rub each other,
trees are chafed by the blunt axes
of wind and we write about
heaven as if we know it
as well as we know an image on
primetime and expect it to know us
i can
spend the lottery’s millions
perfectly well all alone,
undead and
and notice heaven
is reserved at a corner table
for a special couple
with money and hallucinations, and
a dream or two.


upon hearing of not enough deathbeds on the street

they are a bank of stones on the sky, past overcoat,
beyond rain while
the flag twists in spotty turbulence, wringing colors,
they could be driving cars
and mumbling over phones,
reminiscing of a summertime love
that scraped its rails over the ground
spilling blood of a raw stream,
long ago.
but they are a flock of unrhythmic tin
bent to soil at the knees, breathing.
and back to back on the bus
going to the same relief –
heads bumped undisturbing,
tobacco and road skin
and the smell of nothing different.
they are not even earfuls in silence,
but they breathe.

in the library,
this is umistakeable:
i am looking out of glass,
out of best intentions
wanting to throw a tome,
throttle a neck.
gargling on a cell phone they
are nudged to leaving
and leave it at that.
in the restroom stalls,
after wiping,
no one can write an ending.


street dead and garden

on the sidewalk,
hot summer sidewalk,
a newspaper unties
its laces and flutters
its feet in the laughing breeze.

its fingers drum against a beating
heat flipping away noisy headlines
to yellow in bushes, yellow under porches,
yellow under the flat back tires of a car.
and, on the street-
hot summer road,
all color wiped off
on the smock of wind;
all pedestrians in sundresses
and glad they’re alive;
all smiles featherless
like wingspans across the glowing
moon: that face,
those skeletal outcroppings;
i have seen your flowers.


wish for you

it is
that fineness
of being there
on a frozen highway

petrified –

of slipping up
or spinning down;

run over by

a horn
in animal free-for-all
barreling through.

it is more than
the lip rest of a flute.
it is the floor catching you as
the coat rack collapses under hand.

in yesterday’s

palms are held up
as a sign to
and are bulwarked

tiny bones
in cold.

dorothy, remember
the straw:
nothing is unsummed
if you scream.

you have a peaceful


     Livio Farallo is co-editor of Slipstream and Professor of Biology at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York. His work has appeared or, is forthcoming, in Helix, Rabid Oak, Landfill. Brief Wilderness, Rise Up, Old Pal, and elsewhere. HIs collection “Dead Calls and Walk-Ins”  traces his work as a taxi driver many years ago.

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