"Someday Wallis Wilde-Menozzi's work will be sought after and recognized for what it is, a poetic speech that rises like a tide out of language engulfing us."
James Gill, editor 2PLUS2
March 8th, 2021, Poetry reading, Long Island, NY
Heron Songs, hand printed volume, Occasional Works, Menlo Park, 2003
First stanzas of "After a Week of Sightings" published in The Malahat Review. Read the entire poem there.
The blue herons as opposed to what?
The stock exchange?
The history of the civil war?
The blue herons on the Yaddo lakes become
as important as a wind speaking
They become so much more real
than the people I sit with at dinner,
yes, more real perhaps, because my mind
fills up with them
and when I startle the dervishes
from the marsh grasses and they rise, unsettled,
disturbed and winging across the lake,
lurching, looking for another place to hide,
I sense the energy of plan,
their weighing up the nearness that snaps
Studies at the School for Pears, Computergraphics, Parma, 2010
First stanzas of "School for Pears," first published in the Kansas Quarterly. Read it there.
Learn about the clouds
Idle as sheep,
flocking on the downstream
or the upstream current,
unaware of tomorrow.
Learn to hang
in the gathering summer.
Not like bats
who snap open
when night pours out,
who rappel the air
with juice darting
under the surface, rowdy
with earth tastes
suffusing the flesh.
Learn to swell completely
waves of skin.
At Three or Four
"At Three or Four" first published in the Kenyon Review. This poem is complete as is. It was translated at the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam into Dutch.
As if hearing thunder, far off,
I wake up at three or four,
the dark a musty breathed-up closeness
and turn my pillow over.
It's like a voice or voices,
powerful, carrying convincing waves.
Often there's even a tomb.
I feel my heart pounding
as if I were living a consumed dream,
comforter no longer such. Something.
Don't sleep one minute more.
The Man from Hiroshima
Translated by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi
'Then the explosion stunned me momentarily. Hiroshima disappeared under a yellow cloud. No one spoke after that.'
The Plant of Dreaming, Elisa Biagini, Xenos books, 2017, translated from Italian, Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, Eugene Ostashevsky and Gregory Conti
The first fragment in "The Plant of Dreaming"
a page is
"The Oneness of Music," Agni, Best Spiritual Writing 2002
"I don't know if I would ever have discovered music if I had not been seized and taken over by it again outside Moscow in November 1991. I was part of a group of western writers exchanging ideas with ex-Soviet ones."
"Seeing Butterflies," Notre Dame Review, 2006
"The butterfly was as small for a butterfly as I was tall for a woman. What I mean is that the orange-winged creature that zigzagged onto my shoulder on a May day in Parma, Italy, where I was talking to the postman, was not much larger than two of my unpainted fingernails."
"Iris Origo, 1902-1988: An Encomium," Southwest Review, Autumn, 1990
"Over time, in the summing of any deep relationship, who gives and who receives? Where is the scale upon which affections can be weighed? How far do cracks reach in a mirror of water?" Iris Origo is writing in Italian about her friendship with Elsa Dallolio. The portrait--mainly shards from letters--is a rare cameo of an almost invisible genre: a woman putting into words the image of a woman friend."
Life and language are much larger than our autobiography
Published in London magazine:
Once I never thought of knowing
writers, people who filled
pages with adventures, but more
interesting inner life
hearing songs inside the lilacs
penning phrases like 'you must change your life'
now in most astounding freedom
I have shelves of books signed
not in shopping center malls
but by people whose ways I follow
yet it was not knowing writers
that changed me
nor knowing even that I could write
but knowing there were eternal
ways words bring water to a desert.