Alexander Booth



Summer slows down at September’s edge 
       The city silent
& in the sloe
                           scapular of twilight 
A thin, crisp seam of smoke
You can almost hear the crack & splinter

Of summer’s gold aflame, see the sunburnt shell 
     Man beside it strange
        But what if any is

              The negative nature of shade 
They used to keep an empty space
                       Should a god or their beloved

Come. What you’ve left is raw & will stay
                                A setting. It’s there for you, it’s ready




Quiet city colder now 
   Straw-like the lazy air

   Bronze, then burgundy 
Then another red called lust

When not wine & all 
   The country autumn

   Clothed. Lazy the bronze 
Like air lay burgundy, then ash

But disquieted of all hands soon 
   You were & weary, restless

   The sleepless nights swam 
Away caesuraed, islanded

Abroad by echoes to further & 
   Such mourning songs

   Where shall I take my love
She sang, when you won’t have it, where


ALEXANDER BOOTH lives in Rome. A recipient of a 2012 PEN Heim Translation Fund Grant for translations from the German poetry of Lutz Seiler, poems and translations have most recently appeared online and in print at Asymptote, Dear Sir, FreeVerse, Konundrum and Modern Poetry in Translation. In addition, he keeps a weblog on (mostly) Rome in literature and Roman literature, Misera e stupenda città. Work can also be found at Wordkunst.


Read more work by Alexander Booth:

Three poems at Konundrum
Two poems at FreeVerse
Five translations at Asymptote