ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue One, Jan. 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

Issue link: http://ardorlitmag.uberflip.com/i/101035

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BLOOD PULSE (THEATRE: OSTIA ANTICA) Poetry by PETER MCNAMARA Seaward across treacheries of time an ancient Roman way runs beneath trees treacle-flecked, rinsed after rain: pine-zest blends salt tang from the retreating sea. Our footsteps chronicle chariot jolts along a network of uneven stones; brick flats--ruins--spill dateless tenancies carved capitals shattered, sea withdrawn distant as memory. Mud-smeared mosaics-- of fish and ship--front shops whose keepers long since stepped away, the only commerce now bird calls echoing in pellucid air. Where is the past? In what lay-by does sense memory cushion its rough, rude jolts? Brows knit, three theatre masks gaze down time. I sit and with them contemplate cold stone raised to a god, mulling the picklock for time's dark heart, where myth and recall merge beyond the agon of Clytaemnestra hounded to her fate, of Oedipus and Ajax stilled. Soft, persistent light threading the umbrella pines leaches out hubris, day freshens etching a new palimpsest, this time perhaps to get it right--walls' haphazard spill--to incise care, rebuild firmer towers raised to the height of clarity from which to peer again at renewing sea. Silence parts history's scrim--if only just. Distance fades; the ear catches chords faint as memory, intuiting more than it hears chant from an ancient myth of sacrifice seductive, sibilant on the air. *We recommend reading this poem with formatting.

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