from Issue #8: Poetry by Travis McKenna

Photo (CC) Alessandro Prada @ Flickr

Photo (CC) Alessandro Prada @ Flickr

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I once saw Charon,
you know,
in a cafe, just off the Via Cavour,
stirring lumps of sugar into his blackened beverage.
He spoke
with all the crunch one would expect of a mid-level deity,
of how would you guess that the free market
also can cross the Styx
– one drachma only! Savings passed on.
When I asked if he could feel the sun’s warmth
he just slurped his drink.
Seven sugars, no milk.

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Aeolus? But of course
last time we met
we were bumbling, spilling,
into the gutters of medieval streets
– the works –
small place, behind Navona,
old Od has his wind,
you see,
and little there was,
but to stumble, bumble,
windless
– retirement is never kind on
those late deified
Olympian pensions are small
although he got the next round

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‘Tourists!’
laments Virgil
and bottoms the fourth shot
of red, red rum
– part time at the musei vaticani is
/exhausting/
A guide by trade,
he points me true
to the bathroom,
when I ask
– and when I get back, he’s gone!
But the tab is paid.

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ABOUT THE POET

TRAVIS MCKENNA is a student of Mathematics and Philosophy, who has also taken very recently to the writing of poetry. He was raised in the western suburbs of Sydney, spent some time abroad in Rome, and now lives in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west. In addition to poetry, he is currently working on a set of short stories. His undergraduate study was in Classics and Italian Studies, with a special interest in the Renaissance.

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New Double Issue launch on 10 April!

Contrappasso Double Issue, April 2015

Contrappasso Double Issue, April 2015

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Roll camera…

Contrappasso starts its 4th year with a DOUBLE ISSUE.

Writers at the Movies, edited by Matthew Asprey Gear and guest Noel King, brings together many kinds of artists who have been captivated by film: its imagery, history, personalities and political edge. Across essays, fiction, poetry, interviews and photography, the contributors are James Franco, Emmanuel Mouret, Sarah Berry, Barry Gifford, Michael Atkinson, Luc Sante, R. Zamora Linmark, Richard Lowenstein, Anthony May, Michael Eaton, Jon Lewis, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Scott Simmon, Clive Sinclair and the late, great Richard Hugo.

Companion issue Contrappasso #8 takes the journal’s adventures in international writing further and wider, with its biggest selection of new fiction and poetry, from nine countries.

There’s an interview with Filipino authors F. H. Batacan and Andrea Pasion-Flores, plus stories by Pasion-Flores, US authors Rick DeMarinis and Kent Harrington and, in a Contrappasso first, a long-overdue translation of Argentine modernist author Roberto Arlt (with translator Lucas Lyndes)…

…plus the most poetry in any Contrappasso issue, with work by Nicaragua’s Blanca Castellón (translated by New Zealand’s Roger Hickin), Spain’s Alicia Aza (translated by J. Kates), China’s Lu Ye and Geng Xiang (translated by Ouyang Yu), New Zealand’s Kerrin P. Sharpe and Mary Macpherson, the UK’s Bill Adams and Richard Berengarten, the USA’s Floyd Salas and J. Kates, and Australia’s Elias Greig, Philip Hammial, Travis McKenna, Sascha Morrell, Tony Page, Sarah Rice, Frank Russo, Page Sinclair, Alex Skovron, Paolo Totaro, Lyn Vellins, Luke Whitington – and one of the last poems by the late, much-missed Morris Lurie.

This Contrappasso DOUBLE ISSUE presents the most writers so far, across the widest range of fields.

And… cut.