Mar/Apr 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 2 Poetry |

La Vita Nuova

A flock of them that day took to the sky, The paragliders, harnessed loose and slung Precariously to fly The steppes of air, those empty replicas Of paddocks, where their shadows warped and swung Like a windborne attack. Above them, though, began to magnify In roiling folds what was About to take her life, and give it back. From all that flight of dozens, it plucked her. A miles-high mass, it snatched her parachuteAt the perimeter And sucked it in, and up the roaring siphon Of pressure, hail and black light in dispute To grapple and transformHer body to a frozen armature, Which lofted with her life inSuspension up to the ceiling of the storm. Almost an hour she hurtled in ascent. Unconscious soon enough, with eyelids sealed, She missed the main event: The luminance, the lightning-ravished capsOf clouds. The parachute would likewise yieldAnd, long before the summit, Froze rigid as it bore her upward, bent Around her in collapse,Then, spat out at the top, began to plummet Down a

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Head Wound

By Clive James

A flock of them that day took to the sky, The paragliders, harnessed loose and slung Precariously to fly The steppes of air, those empty replicas Of paddocks, where their […]

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