The Native Garden is in Flames

A few weeks ago I went to an Ugly Duckling Presse reading at the Zinc Bar to see my friend Laura Solomon read from her new book, The Hermit, and Will Hubbard read from his new book, Cursivism, both of which are wonderful and you should definitely buy. At the end of the reading, Jeannine Pitas read from her new book of translations of Marosa di Giorgio’s work, mostly from The History of Violets and also from The Native Garden is in Flames, which is sadly unpublished. A particular poem struck me and Pitas was kind enough to share it with me. So, I share it with you below. Enjoy!

1.

I went out from my house to my grandparentsí house, from my parentsí land to my grandparentsí land. It was a gray afternoon, but joyful, peaceful. As the girls of the past had done, I disguised myself so as to pass unnoticed; I put on my rabbitís mask and walked among the old and new farmhands; I jumped across the meadow and reached the old house. I stepped through the rooms. All were happy; it was somebodyís birthday. On all four sides they had placed parcels and jars of syrup and parcels. In the center of the table, an exquisite bird, a delicious corpse surrounded by little lights. Grandpa, who was always serious, smiled and laughed this time, and before evening fell he told me to go with him to the garden; he was going to show me something. And there the air threw down a coin; I saw it shining; when it fell, it changed into a piece of candy, from which a long, flowered gladiolus stem immediately grew out. I stepped out of its shadow, and it grew even more, and it lasted for weeks and weeks.

I am from that time,

the sweet years of Magic.

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