From "Alethia", A Poem From Nathalie Handal's Chapbook VOLO

Suddenly, we remember

time is slanted inside

like statues tilted

after an earthquake.

Suddenly, Ophelia and Sappho

show us our sacred texts,

tell us to take our desires

to different cities

to surrender to them

differently—

how else can

we liberate

what’s been burning

for centuries?

What is real in the world?

What do we find

at the edge of the last gaze

of the heart?

What is divine in our bodies,

what is lost?








About the Collection


Nathalie Handal’s VOLO goes on a voyage to the heart of death and asks ruminative questions born from war and injustice: “Who dies? Who gets to survive?”; “When we walked away / did the sun’s rays on the bench / bend the beauty of the world?”; “How else can / we liberate / what’s been burning / for centuries?”; “What do we find / at the edge of the last gaze / of the heart?” Traveling over continents, from the Mediterranean to New York, over nearly a century of time, traversing the body of freedom and erotic resistances, she returns to poems for resurrection through her litterae to H.D. and Allen Ginsberg: “Death’s stubborn—it never rests. Maybe that’s how it stops suffering,” or “Maybe we will fall into the sea, forgetting that love is a longer voyage than life.” These poems are an act of radical empathy and connection.


VOLO is available this October from the Diode Editions catalog (preorder link below)



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