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Short poem

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (1949-)

Flying Deeper into the Century

              1Flying deeper into the century
              2is exhilarating, the faces of loved ones eaten out
              3slowly, the panhandles of flesh warding off
              4the air, the smiling plots. We are lucky to be mature,
              5in our prime, seeing more treaties, watching
              6TV get computerized. Death has no dominion.
              7It lives off the land. The glow over the hill, from
              8the test sites, at night, the whole block of neighbours
              9dying of cancer over the next thirty years. We are
            10suing the government for a drop of blood; flying deeper
            11into the century, love,
            12the lies are old lies with more imagination;
            13the future is a canoe. The three bears are ravenous, not content
            14with porridge. Flying deeper into the century,
            15my hands are prayers, hooks, streamers.
            16I cannot love grass, cameos or lungs.
            17The end of the century is a bedspread up to the eyes.
            18I want to be there, making ends meet.
            19I will not love you, with such malice at large.
            20Flying deeper into the century is beautiful, like
            21coming up for the third time, life flashing before us.
            22The major publishing event is the last poem of
            23all time. I am a lonely bastard. My brothers and sisters have
            24had sexual relations, and I am left with their mongrel sons
            25writing memoirs about the dead in Cambodia.
            26Flying deeper, I do not remember what I cared for, out
            27of respect. Oh Time, oh Newsweek, oh Ladies' Home Journal,
            28oh the last frontier, I am deeply touched.
            29The sun, an ignoramus, comes up.
            30I have this conversation with it. Glumly, glumly, deeper
            31I fly into the century, every feather of each wing
            32absolution, if only I were less than human, not angry
            33like a beaten thing.


6] Death has no dominion: the title of a poem by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1904-53).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Copyright Pier Giorgio Di Cicco 2001
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Living in Paradise: New and Selected Poems (Toronto: Manfield Press, 2001): 59.
First publication date: 1982
Publication date note: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Flying Deeper into the Century (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982): 16.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/8/10

Rhyme: unrhyming

Other poems by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco