repeat mode

Leonard Durso

there you were again
in my dream
and I was helpless
to usher you out
stubborn, as usual
you stayed
long past your welcome
your smile haunting me
teeth everywhere I turned
and that way you have
of asking a question
ringing in my ears
I would like what I feel
to be dead and buried
but it rises from the grave
like in some horror movie
though you would never be
a star in such films
which is the trouble
and I am stuck
in dreams
with you in repeat mode
echoing in my head

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A Story of the Sea by Cahit Külebi

Leonard Durso

We shall always swim together in these blue waters
In this vervain sea that resembles your face.
Beating together, both my pulse and yours
Will strike at death and denounce darkness.

All the fish will chase us from the depths,
Saying Külebi is here now with his loved one.
Like a gull swooping from the vast horizon
The wind will drop shafts of light like pearls.

And the pearls will glitter around your neck,
On your chest and arms, like the words of my verses,
Sea anemone on your hair, your most secret parts,
Like rain, the stars will glide in your eyes.

Our love shall make these blue flames sacred.

translated by Talat S. Halman

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from My Ears Are Bent by Joseph Mitchell

Leonard Durso

While I never drink anything stronger than Moxie, I often go to Dick’s to observe life, a subject in which I have been deeply interested since childhood. This place is down a narrow street near the Brooklyn Bridge; it is one of those places with a twitchy neon sign, a bar which sags here and there, possibly because it was moved in and out of several speakeasies during prohibition, and a grimy window on which are stuck greasy cardboard signs advertising specials, such as “Special Today. Chicken Pot Pie. Bread & Butter. 35C.” There are a large bowl of fresh roasted peanuts and a bottle of mulligan on the bar, and the tile floor is littered with peanut hulls and cigarette ends and bologna rinds from the free lunch. The cook uses olive oil for frying, and he burns a lot of it during the day. On damp days the…

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