Aracelis GirmayUSAWriting2013

My time at Civitella granted me days unpunctuated by telephones and alarms and traffic. The gift of being Away. I was, again, returned to the long days of my childhood--when an hour was spacious, full of discovery and play. Inspired by conversations with fellow fellows, by their work, I experimented with sound, video and images on my walks. I ate well, and laughed a lot. New projects, new dear people to know and know. The long, unruly poem I arrived to Umbertide with is now radically distilled. And yet, the news continued. People crossed the sea in search of asylum. Many more drowned off the coast of Lampedusa. It is difficult to accept the fact that this is all one world. If it is possible to both buckle and bloom at once, then that's how I can best describe what has been happening to my work, to me since my time there.

sea near lampedusa - in memoriam

for the eyes we closed for
the freedom we wasted
on things


the terrors our acts lit
into the wet retina of
your memory if you should
call it that


for the years you behaved
in a distance that was not
quite distance as we burned
our fires each other & you

handless please—the silence


is what we feed what burns
in the bright absence of The Living
they were swollen in flowered

shirts & in boots
meant for the earth
but not for you