Elizabeth Brunazzi

Native Gifts; Steeple Chase; The Patience of Dogs: Elizabeth Brunazzi

Native Gifts

A malady
born of advancing age,
love arrived by a back road,,
She accepted him
like a native woman
enchanted by colorful beads,
or a crow pecking shards from dark soil
holding the shiny tin in his beak,
black wings spreading against the metal gray sky
flying toward the nest.

Steeple Chase

Young Buddha escaping the sleeping castle, your beautiful young wife, your infant son, your horse’s hooves
velveted, silent over the pavement stones, the cosmos conspiring in your mission,
You ascend on your white mount, charging over rooftops and steeples,

Young Chagall loved his wife to tears, his horse still white riding over Russian rooftops after her death
in Paris he painted her white against the still cobalt sky, the hearts and flowers he offers her still red
as ever, and his cow keeps jumping over the moon,

I’m the dish round as a silver full moon running hand in hand with my spoon big as a house,
you’re the cow jumping over me again while from the ground the big brown dog
and the little black dog are still laughing their heads off as we take off into the sky,

Just ahead in the near distance three white dwarf girls with monkey faces, bound together
like a packet of cigars float in the ether. What are they telling us not to hear, to see, to speak of?

Hold onto my hand, moonie spoon.

The Patience of Dogs

Mexico, March 2018

They arrive at dawn
the fluting, silvered cries
of small black birds
like thousands of sparks
falling from the vines
carpeting the walls of the courtyard
painted ochre and ox-blood red,

They arrive at dawn
the long howls of the street dogs
lying on the pavement of the plaza
near the cathedral
greetings to the sunrise
announcements of the end
of the wait in darkness
for the longed-for return of light
and leavings of food,

They arrive at dawn
the great iron bells tolling
in the belfry of the rose cathedral
in form a wedding cake
marrying night with day
darkness with light
weaving sounds gradually fading out,
the momentary vibrations
felt inside the body
dissipating, extinguishing
with the full opening of day,

They accompany
the flight of dreams
repeated scenes
where I am looking for
a friend of long date, a beloved comrade
an exile like myself
left Argentina long ago
for France, for Paris,
I am still looking for him
on a great boulevard in Paris
where he is looking for me
and I see him driving
in a passing car,
I start to run
I call out to him
running faster and faster
but he always passes by, looking for me,
he never sees me
and I cry out
the silent cry heard in dreams
forever unheard
silence itself,

I am running along the same boulevard
looking for my daughter,
I have invited her to come, to find me in Paris,
and she appears just in front of me,
each time at a different age,
a small child
an adolescent
a woman in middle age
with two sons
but the meeting is delayed
always postponed to another point
for a reunion that never happens,

Suddenly I see my own car,
I have returned to the point
of my departure
where my great red setter
still waits beside the car,
I wonder that I could have left her there
alone in the street by the car without a leash
waiting since when, since forever
and what could have happened to her
if I could not get back and find her there in time
if the wait became too long
but she is still there waiting
always, forever
we still have a chance,

They arrive with the morning
the cries of hundreds of small birds
whose fluting, silvery calls
come to us from the vines
carpeting the courtyard walls
painted ochre and ox-blood red,
the long howls of the street dogs
lying on the plaza near the cathedral
greeting the return of the sun,
the light, the leavings of food
one more day
and still the tolling of bells
inviting us to rise
to come and share this day
the mass of day
among the souls
of the ancient city.

Elizabeth Brunazzi Elizabeth Brunazzi was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and grew up in East Texas. She graduated with honors from All Saints Episcopal College, Vicksburg, Mississippi. She received her AB in French from Stanford University; MS in French and Applied Linguistics, and MA in English Literature from Georgetown University. She was awarded the PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, with highest honors from the Princeton Alumni Association for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; and the Council for the Humanities for the Whiting Foundation Dissertation Award. Her teaching appointments include Princeton University, Pomona College, Wesleyan University, New York University, Rutgers University, and George Washington University. Her fellowships and residencies include the Camargo Foundation, La Fondation des Treilles, Callaloo invitational writers' workshops; and a French government, three-year residential award under the Compétences et Talents program for research and writing in France. Her published essays and reviews have appeared in the journals Les Lettres modernes James Joyce Quarterly, European Joyce Studies and French Cultural Studies ; and in the collection of essays Culture and Daily Life in Occupied France, eds. Elizabeth Brunazzi and Jeanine Plottel Her poetry and prose poetry in English and French are published in the journals Le Nouveau Recueil, La Traductière, and most recently, the online review and publisher, Recoursaupoeme.fr, Recoursaupoemeediteurs.com which published her bilingual ebooks The Beginning Ends Here/Le Commencement prend fin ici, EngIish and French texts, Elizabeth Brunazzi, illustrations Bernadette Genoud-Prachet;republished, Lambert Academic Publishers, 2019; Baby Pictures of Famous Dictators/Photos bébés de dictateurs célèbres, original English text by Charles Simic, French translation, Elizabeth Brunazzi; and Out of the Wasteland/De la Terre de désolation, original English text by Maja Herman-Sekulič, French translation, Elizabeth Brunazzi; and Point de fuite, livre d’artiste, Bernadatte Genoud-Prachet, texte d’Elizabeth Brunazzi, Gravé sur bois + Liège, Sur papier viel Hollande (Koperdrukruk) 250gr, sept exemplaires, Éditions BGP, 2015. Her short fiction was published by Washington Review, her story “The Baby Has Wings” nominated by editor Pati Griffith for a Pushcart Prize; and, her story “Mostly They Have None,” in the collection One in Three Women with Cancer Confront an Epidemic, Cleis Press. Her most recent article on “Tourmente sur l'Afghanistan, Grand Reporter Andrée Viollis and Civil War in Afghanistan, 1929” was published in the February, 2019, issue #1, of French Cultural Studies, UK. She accepted an appointment to teach French at the University of New Mexico, 2019.-2020 She is currently working as the organizer and co-editor of a new multilingual anthology of contemporary Haitian poetry.