Paul Mariani

POETRY: Death & Transfiguration by Paul Mariani

April 7, 2017

Down the precipitous switchbacks at eighty the pokerfaced Palestinian cabby aims his Mercedes while the three of us, ersatz pilgrims, blank-eyed, lurch, and the droll Franciscan goes on about the Art Deco Church of the Transfiguration crowning the summit of the Mount. Up there I’d touched the damp stones of the old Crusader fount, paced the thick walls, imagined Muslims circling below on horseback, muleback, then ascending for the final blow. A decent pasta and a dry wine, thanks to the Fratelli who run the hostel at the site, followed by an even drier lecture in the sun- drenched court, then back down to the glinting taxis, ready to return us now to the same old, feverish, unsteady world half a mile below.  I thought of the old [...]

POETRY: Solar Ice by Paul Mariani

March 9, 2016

The sudden shock of what you really are. Early March. The tentative return of afternoons. Saturday, and Mass again. The four. All about swelling buds on beech & ash & maples. Crocuses & snowdrops trilling. Four months impacted ice at last receding from the north side of the house, and bobbing robins back & soon, soon, red- winged blackbirds strutting on the lawn. Soon too the sweet familiar groundswell of peepers in the marshes. Reasons enough to melt the frozen heart. Father lifted the host above his head & prayed: a small white sun around which everything seemed to coalesce, cohere & choir. But as I raised my head, the thought of some old insult likewise reared its head, and in that instant the arctic hatred [...]