Thursday, June 3, 2010

Winning Poem: Gottardo Gabriel DiGiacopo

We are happy to present the Grand Prize Winner's poem of 2009's October 1st through December 31st contest.


In a basement darkroom built under a world gone digital,
where it was thought i'd stay true to my analog self,
i'm lighting a cigarette. I've never made a print in here;
my Cold-light and Dektol dreams are now things of the past.
The shelves meant for archival, fiber-based papers and sleeved negatives
are instead loaded with retired accessories of household necessity.
There's a quiet but powerful exhaust fan over the long stainless steel sink
and a double switch by the door... Both toggles down simmer me in red light;
a blind hand brushing up startles this cave with bright white.
i bring a beer and a cigarette in here nearly every night.
Seated on a high stool with a batting glove on my right hand,
i blow world-class silvery rings into the spinning blades.
In tonight's spaces between the smoke, i think of catching salamanders,
and fishing as a returning the newts from my palm to moist shade
and removing hooks from the stiff lips of fish satisfied me.
The fan pulls the smoke and flicked ashes out underneath the porch.
i pinch the butts into a piece of masking tape and bury them in the trash...
They're secrets of my mortal recklessness from this darkhouse of cellar stories,
where a book of matches rests next to a silent bottle opener, and a pro's glove
stands by to catch the scented evidence of burning...
then waits a day for my hand to reenter...
It all waits for my return and we hide.
i come upstairs and spray cologne before kissing the kids goodnight,
turning a light on in the hall so i can see them in their dark room blurs,
through the focus and ideas, and projections,
in a process where shadows lack detail, and highlights appear, breathtaking.

By: Gottardo Gabriel DiGiacopo

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