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Trigon for an Old War: Three Drafts

Islands, Inlands


   . . . or Corfu first
   before they all began to enter one another's tales.
   While Karaghiosis raised the dead in shadow-play
   to thrill an island's children torches lit
   the carbide lamps for men with tridents waiting
   in their circles of illumination for the dog's-head eel
   and squid. On cat's-back streets they'd cast out Judas
   on their Fridays good & bad &
   spit black ink or red and yellow feathers
   firing pistols in the air and banging pans all bottoms up
   and lids with wooden spoons――
   and fearful as the lights at sea
   becoming lights in air
   the flare and tracer flash-lit wing and tail of aircraft
   that Apollo's maker cast in upward
   parabolic fall all down and dawnward pilot splayed
   and child's work his wreck
   while in their boats the patient fishermen all night

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Raised the dead. From Durrell's Prospero's Cell p 51: 'The drama reaches its peak with a faked election, in which Karaghiosis, in order to win, manages to resurrect all the corpses in the local cemeteries, who pass in a grisly single-file across the stage to the polling booth to vote for the hero'.

Carbide lamps. Prospero p. 23:'At night the fishing boats put out; they carry great carbide flares to attract the fish to the nets, and the dark bulk of the Albanian shadow opposite is studded with their jewelled fires. Dark, red and smoky, occasional fires glow on the hills themselves; yellow and small along the sealine shine the lights of the solitaries who hunt alone in boats with tridents'.

Dog's-head eel. Prospero p.22: 'There was a sudden convulsion among the seaweed and the head of the eel emerged; it seemed to our terrified eyes about the size of a dog's head and infinitely more senseless and wicked'.

Fridays good and bad. Prospero p.95: "Yet where does the ceremony of casting out Judas originate? At eleven o'clock on Good Friday every year, the unwary visitor is terrified out of his wits by the discharge of masses of crockery into the streets, pots, pans and cauldrons, while the air is made hideous by the banging of pistols. This is supposed to be a ceremony for the casting out of Judas; and the banging and yelling continue (with pauses for refreshment) throughout the day".

Upward parabolic. From "Icarus" by Erik Lindegren, translated from the Swedish by JM and Goran Printz-Pahlson.

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