Michael Prihoda

from The Festival of Guns


days concentric,
true essence
awakens desires.
the city appears
whole, content,
malignant, benign,
eight hours work
gives form its slave.

you walk the eye

you walk the eye,
a recognized thing
as sign of passage,
a vein of winter,
all rest interchangeable.
the journey thick
with images: a tankard,
the barracks, lions,
stars. a tower signals
what is forbidden,
what is allowed.
from statues,
the hourglass worshipper
can address his figure.

suffice the prison,
the brothel,
the vendors
valuable as
other streets.
believe the names
may be discovered,
the empty horizon
a sailing ship.

disappeared earth

beyond six mountain ranges, other cities, the succession of beauty altered.

this city a honeycomb of famous men, classifications of battles, constellations between each point of contrast.

in vain i set motionless the same disappeared earth.

by ship

by ship or overland to sea,
the chimneys of a windjammer
swelling yet unfurled,
a vibrating in the foreign docks
where haze discerns the form of oases,
palaces half-revealed,
a border between deserts.

zodiac of phantasms


the city
the outline.

two forms
of religion:
gods, streams.

the gods
over water,

twisting reservoirs,
the aqueducts

the city

the eyes
in languages opaque.

of drought

with gestures, cries,
horror, barkings.
arranged chessmen

to interpret,
one city depicted

escaping to fall
through fire.
places remained

an adventure
of prophecy
confused the desert of data.

the seasons
detailed curiosity
of meaning

from emblem to emblem,
nothing but zodiac
of phantasms.

relive a mirror

ambassadors warn of evening, on the steps of a slight breeze. words evoke a vantage instead of a village, the stench of man in thought never moving. objections proceeding questions in retraced journeys. home imagined the past, the foreignness of what you possess in you, the opposite hypothetical future to relive a mirror.

Michael Prihoda is a teacher, editor, and poet living in the Midwest. He writes: "These poems are all redactions from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, and form a part of the larger redaction of the entire book that I'm working on titled The Festival of Guns.
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