Posts by anthonybotti

Ahab’s Crew

By on Dec 27, 2020 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

  — Boarding School, 1980 October flares in western PA. In rumpled uniforms boys mock each other around the oak table, two chairs lean daringly on back legs. The schoolmaster shows up late on black mornings, the beret tipped wide on his high forehead and a tweed jacket dangling from his hunched shoulder. Twice he clears his throat, a voice more trusted than their own fathers, before reading out loud from Moby Dick. Thin smoke rises from the hot ember at his fingertips. Half-listening, they slouch with their hair hurling round their heads, look up at his moving lips, pausing...

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Walter, Pierre, Tim, Howard

By on Oct 11, 2020 in Poetry | Comments Off

We had a good rain all night, their names crashing down from the past. Thirty years later from up here in this bedroom window, I see across the wide lawn where everything in these gardens goes on at such a fast pace… the lilacs, peonies, roses. The new delight, purple phlox blooming late in the cool mountain air. For some time now I’ve not spoken their names, young men who hungered for the world they were losing, and what in their leaving, they took. They died without funerals. We gave away their clothes to Goodwill, all of them we outlived. At the time did not know how much we...

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Reading My Father

By on Oct 11, 2020 in Poetry | Comments Off

By December with your death not yet a habit, a box of books arrives that you asked my sister to pack up for me. On the top I pull out Raccontini Italiani, open to the dedication page, notes scrawled in Italian in your curly cursive, the blue ink of a felt tip pen now faded. I placed distance between us that last year, not prepared to let what was happening to you reach me, just allowing bits and pieces in, closed my eyes to things I could not look at head-on, controlling the itinerary of my visits to Pittsburgh. The catalog of emotion from your last year disappeared when you died in early...

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August Hymn

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

Let everything remain as it is, the unexpected quiet like the August heat out in the meadow, the sun rubbing the old maples. Look at the black eyed Susans studded by the dirt road drop open as they lose their tight grip. Do not hurry. Nothing about this day asks to be changed, things being just as they are. Come, let us breathe in unison with the cattle in their long stare across the creek on this fine Sunday morning slipping away, this day we cannot hold on to, taking whatever comes like the drifting hawk that rises up in the sky. Kneel down in the tall grass in simple perfection with the...

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K5, (P10, K10) repeat to last 5sts, K5

By on Jan 6, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

(knitting pattern for a baby blanket) Your voice unspools inside me knitting on the porch while bats crisscross the yard. The blow-up that morning at Dad’s funeral is as burnished as a scar on that old elm tree we used to play kick the can under. I’m halfway through a blanket for a friend’s baby, using lopi wool skeins hunted down in Ireland last winter. I thought we had reached a truce in that old family quarrel. Yet my fingers will not allow me to rest, the wooden needles ticking knit 10, purl 10 into a basket weave design. Just now I have lost count of the rows and...

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