Venera Fazio (1943-2017)

Today I miss my friend, Venera. If you didn’t know her, you didn’t know the Spring. She was the Spring. If you never met Venera, you never met the best side of yourself, because that’s what she brought out of you. Today I miss my friend, Venera. If you didn’t know her, you couldn’t know charm for its own sake. If you never met Venera, half the light of love is missing from the moon. And having known her, half the light of love is missing from the moon.

Cardinal Coloring Book

Though it prefers the tallest branch from which to sing and be seen, and where it is truly cardinal red, these birds can paint the air anywhere. They’re O’Keeffe red, Gorky red, Chagall red… their beaks are dipped in paint. The magic feathers of the cardinal change tone from tree to tree, depending on foliage and light. In flight, they’re flashing red. In shadow, they’re shadow red or cosmos red. Among red leaves or berries, they dye themselves with the light around them. Even their song is red, and so bright you can easily follow the sound to the source. Now that you know you can paint with a bird, open your canvas and fly.

The Day All the Grownups Cried

After my grandparents died their house was rented to people who skipped on the rent and soiled the house in every way possible. That day, when my mom and dad and uncles and aunts opened the door, they were all crying. Even then, a boy, I understood somehow all our memories had been desecrated, and I cried, seeing them cry. We burned everything that day. The fire blazed into the night. The house was stripped. My grandparents had a small, well kept, farmhouse with a lush piece of property complete with gardens, grape arbors and fruit trees. Sometimes late at night a plum would drop from a plum tree and plop into a rain barrel, like a clock that measured endless time, for me now, in teardrops.

Truth Enough

Last night I dreamt I was talking to Wittgenstein. It was a frightening dream, hyperreal; and later I thought, not only relevant but important to share. I was wearing a blood soaked apron, as apparently we were both doctors in a First World War field hospital somewhere near the front. I marveled at his remarkable sangfroid under fire. I was about to make the first incision into my patient when I saw that it was a young boar and then a fatted calf. “Truth is truth enough for a grain of sand to keep the earth from falling,” he said, while amputating the right arm of his own brother.