PoetryIssue 08 | February 2010

Three Poems by Michael Bazzett

A Whole New Vida

The limits of my language
are the limits of my world.


It would probably be a good idea
before we go much further
to inform you that I’m learning to speak another language.

Palabras just keep leaking in,
almost without my noticing,
because I’ve become so deeply immersed in the process of acquiring this new lengua.

My familia are hinting intimations
that I’m starting to become a little
latoso, not to mention aburrido, but I’m dedicated to approaching it

almost como una practica religiosa,
which I enter, as I would a church,
wearing clean and well-pressed clothing, and an aspect of great focus and disciplina,

As you may have noticed
from the idle word that has
in all likelihood drifted into these lines like an ava through the window,

my accent is devastatingly good,
and in the streets I will admit
that there are times when I am mistaken for a Canadian, or even a Belgian.

Yes, it makes almost three months
since that I have studied the Spanish,
and this now has produced in me and my vida an almost meditative calm, una calma

that I attribute to my practice –
because, like a monk buddhista,
I am eternally aqui in the time of the presente – the past and the futura

don’t fully exist for me –
they remain a blank and
unconjugated space, where the tired poetry of tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

is replaced with the rhythm
of ahora, y ahora, y ahora,
and I wake every mañana to enter the day fresh, breakfast myself with a new tongue,

and look through the windows to a changed vista and correctly announce: There is sun.

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About the author

Michael Bazzett’s favorite mode of transportation is reading a book in his hammock. He has new work forthcoming in Cream City Review, Literary Imagination, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, and Prairie Schooner. Read his chapbook, The Imaginary City.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok