Everyone needs more poetry in their lives and so during April I’m presenting a poem or two by Manitoba poets. “Spring in Winnipeg” by Carmelo Militano could hardly be more timely.
Carmelo Militano was born in the Italian village of Cosoleto and immigrated to Canada at an early age with his parents. The family ended up in Winnipeg, where he still lives. He won the F.G. Bressani award for poetry for his collection, Ariadne’s Thread in 2004. He has since published several chapbooks and poetry collections: The Minotaur’s Keys, Feast Days, Weather Reports, and Morning After You. His latest poetry collection is The Stonemason’s Notebook, forthcoming in May 2016 from Ekstasis Editions. His prose includes the travelogue and family memoir, The Fate of Olives, and the novel Sebastiano’s Vine. Many of Militano’s poems grapple with the tensions in his dual inheritance: the Mediterranean sun versus the chill of a raw spring day in Winnipeg.
Thanks to Ekstasis Editions Canada Ltd. and Carmelo Militano for permission to present “Spring in Winnipeg”, originally published in Morning After You, Ekstasis Editions Ltd., 2014. Photo credit: Renee Beaubien.
Spring in Winnipeg
No quick poems a la Williams for me
written on small medical pads
between choleric babies
and listening about the joint aches of a New Jersey woman
in a deep and cold December.
I am here writing inside the silence of this room
a different kind of whale’s belly
outside the March sun grows with deeper urgency
announces its age with curled hot fingers
but the death of winter is ugly.
Streets are slick with malice
dirty sand and frozen mud have formed an alliance.
The change of light still feels weary
empty trees grey bark greyer
wet a newspaper on the lawn
lies like a wounded and despondent animal
trapped by imperfect snow.
Pooled black water by the curb reflects
a wide sky fast grey and white clouds.
At night between the thumb and index finger of Orion
the slow spin of stars continue to write for the end of winter.