Alessio Zanelli

Tempus Fugit

Alessio Zanelli

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He who fears death is already dead.

—Carlo Michelstaedter

What will remain is words, the ones pronounced as those

unsaid. And then the rhythm of the former as

the silence of the latter. All the rest is naught,

an utter naught, right now, not after. Like the Moon’s

far side. Or else the very center of the Earth.

Some things do not add up though, facts do not compute.

So leptons, quarks and bosons sure there are, no doubt,

and gravitons perhaps. But why no one descants

on chronons? Would they make the world diverse or change

the life of beings made of empty space? Does time

exist inside the void? Does time exist at all?

I'm sorry, never would I rain on your parade.

I know that nothing I do know, is maybe this

a paradox? And yet I know that death can give

perspective. Not a genius, not a chump, not one

who likes to squeeze the trigger, I delight in my

reflection, be it sunrise, sundown, or just day.

But on a lighter note, the night is also fine.

Lie low, my father used to tell me when I was

a child. I then discovered that I might as well

fly high, for there is no do-over, while regret

is viler than defeat. They say that time is of

the essence. It’s a real frill, the hoaxes’ hoax.

Yet dad’s excused, for he could hardly know the score.

Like every man, I think I’m using time. But can

we make whatever use of naught? I swear to do

all I propose to do, however all I do

is swear. I’d better walk outside, not write. It’s not

how many words, but which. Above all things, to whom.

To round it off, a word is worth its wording's worth.

One day I'll sight a dahlia mid a field, close in

to pick it thinking it’s a blowball, bend my back

to let my fingers reach for it, at which the sky

will pluck my stem instead. A horse-drawn hearse will be

too much, an urn will too. A breath of wind will do.

So after Virgil, let me rage before I die.

Alessio Zanelli

Alessio Zanelli is an Italian poet who writes in English. His work has appeared in some 200 literary journals from 16 countries including, in the UK: A New Ulster, Aesthetica, Acumen, Dream Catcher, Iota and Poetry News, among many others. His fifth original collection, titled The Secret Of Archery, was published in 2019 by Greenwich Exchange (London). He is the Italian Stanza Representative for the Poetry Society. For more information please visit