Massimo GezziItalyWriting2010
The Linden Tree's Seed

As I waited for the bus I watched
the tides of linden tree seeds
splashing on the pavement after a flight
of a few feet: they won’t take root,
car tires will crush them
in a fine powder that the earth
will swallow with September’s rains.
I was stupefied by their wits, by that slight
natural aircraft they use to hover,
in their descent towards a time
they’ll never witness.
Driving home at night
I felt something slipping down
from my hair, and one of those seeds
landed on my arm, its
wings beaten and its stem creased.
Too bad I wasn’t
a prairie buffalo, or an antelope
crossing mountains in a leap:
with a swerve from my hurried course
I’d have dropped the seed nestled in my fur
down into fertile land. But I’m a city
man, and its short passage
was of little use, if now
I relinquish that seed on my terrace,
placing my hope in something more useful
than myself, some wind, for instance.


If you want a brick you should get

a brick, to mend a wall

or to fill up a hole

in a herringbone floor.


A brick: a solid that lives in three
dimensions, it's heavy, it feels
rough or porous, and, if left piled up
with others long enough, will become
a nest for centipedes, spiders, and earwigs.


A brick that exists, that if split by a hammer
will sound tack just once, a beautiful sound,
brick-sound, snappy, precise.


A brick is worth more than the words
that imitate it, resting
one on top of the other.


With poetry, I would like to make bricks.




Translated by Damiano Abeni and Moira Egan