Michael Mirolla — Arguments for safe passage

Poet name: Michael Mirolla Poem title: Arguments for safe passage Poem: “Slender reeds whistling like autumn stiff, arthritic in their old age brittle backs snapping in the wind feet puddled in murky water, fluff exploding in hopes of reproduction.” Is that any way to start a poem in the quest for contemporary vibes? Since when have puff balls contributed to the betterment of humankind? Or a willow shedding tears brought gain to the electric marketplace? Without the basinet afloat on its surface you ask: why is the river even there? Can a snake-necked swan crush stone into powder for brick and mortar? Can a mountainside in bloom bring the slave/sex trade to a halt? Can the seaweed’s dancing fronds save an abandoned child from drowning? On the other hand, has a pond ripple under moonlight ever molested anyone? Stood by as a military dictator bombed recalcitrant stadia? Unleashed weapons to spread disease? Hacked software for corrupting nuclear centrifuges? “An aching tree leans into the wind craggy body cradling tender limbs lost hearts scratched into bleeding bark.” Next, you’re going to tell me how wandering lonely as a – don’t say it – will wash away the sludge of sexual assault, grubbiness turned inside out to reveal unctuous poison clinging to systemic matrix. The space so manufactured it feels as if some other species has stolen into us during the night. Has hollowed us out like a phalanx of body-snatching wasps: simulacra marching towards an event horizon to debrief our humanity. “A broken reed rushes down a mountain stream writing itself in the swirling waters: I am creation so watch me bleed I am this poem so watch me glow I am the present so watch me vanish.” End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Michael Mirolla The author of a clutch of novels, plays, film scripts and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include the novel Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, and The Giulio Metaphysics III. Other publications include the short story collection The Formal Logic of Emotion; a punk novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; and two collections of poetry: Light and Time, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, from Red Hen Press in California, took the 2016 Bressani Prize. The novel Torp: The Landlord, The Husband, The Wife and The Lover, was published in 2016 with Linda Leith Publishing out of Montreal. And 2017 saw the publication of the magic realist short story collection The Photographer in Search of Death from Exile. A novella, The Last News Vendor, was published in the fall of 2019 from Quattro. A speculative fiction collection, Paradise Islands & Other Galaxies, is scheduled for the fall of 2020. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. In the fall of 2019, Michael served a three-month writer’s residency at the Historic Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, during which time he finished the first draft of a novel, The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in Hamilton. For more information, www.michaelmirolla.com