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for James Gandolfini


I thought it time to put these words into practice:

Live life in the present.

I thought it right to dust off these tools

of moving day-to-day

before the insidious metabolisms of tiny,

ferrous creatures betray my tears

and bind themselves together,

as they are want to do,

in perfect communities

causing happiness to corrode

into disrepair.


I took a moment then, a breath or two,

as much as I had strength to allow,

To live full-time in the present.

To leave the past’s brave fantasies

and the disfiguring mists

of the future alone

for a while. Letting them plot and



amongst themselves as best they can

Absent the encouraging fulcrum of my psyche.


And when I did there was this feeling

of fleeting prestidigitation. Fleeting only

because it could so easily be released.

The feeling alone was euphoric – and greater still

when I put my mind in play,


then all these things went amplified.


I told myself that at this moment

I was alive and in full health,

Sheltered, nourished,

in full power of anything

possible    or even not –

free from creeping thoughts of outstanding balances,

the claxoning collar of nagging ambition or impending deadlines.


There was this warming beneath my rib cage

which stretched outward from the center –

and a humming confederacy of joy

within me, in my vicinity and buzzing

through all the light and dark matter –

seen and not –

all around me.


|  Juan-Paolo Perre