Various Atmospheres
poems and drawings
by Alex Caldiero

on the cover:
The quiet of reverie. The smell of warm bread in a Sicilian kitchen. The dissonance of the mind in conversation with itself. The sensation of air on naked skin. The embrace of salt and sea. Heads under clouds and placed in boxes. The jaggedness of a snake’s memory shed among the rocks. These are the various atmospheres that Alex Caldiero conjures in his sometimes meditative, sometimes playful poems that celebrate both holiness and farce.

“Quiet insights / quietly arrived at—offered / shared in simple open speech.” —Cid Corman, acclaimed poet and editor of Origin magazine, on Various Atmospheres

about the author: Alex Caldiero was born in Sicily, raised in Brooklyn, attended Queens College, and now lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife, Setenay, and children. He is well-known for his performance works that integrate poetry with music, dance, and art—and for his appearance in the independent motion picture, Plan 10 from Outer Space. Caldiero has performed at such diverse places as the New School for Social Research, Coyote Gulch in the southern Utah wilderness, and on Brazilian t.v.

Among his previous collections are Book O’ Lights, Lu Latti di la Matri, From Stone to Star, and Toy Blood. Published in Italy and the United States, Caldiero has been reviewed in Attenzione, Il Progresso, the New York Times, and Village Voice. He is anthologized in Text-Sound Texts, featured in Utah: State of the Arts, and included in the Dictionary of the Avant-Guards.

title page:
Various Atmospheres
poems and drawings
Alex Caldiero
Signature Books
Salt Lake City

copyright page:
Many thanks to Scott Abbott
for making this selection and
for midwifing it into the world.

Some of the poems in Various Atmospheres appeared
previously, often in slightly different versions, in the
following publications: Clown War, Screens and Tasted
Parallels, Poor Roberts Almanac,
and Canyon Echo.

© 1998 Alex F. Caldiero
All rights reserved
Published by Signature Books. Signature Books is a
registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Printed and bound in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Information
Caldiero, Alex
Various atmospheres : poems / by Alex Caldiero.
p. cm. I. Title.
PS3553.A394935V3     1998
811′.54—dc21     97-45947     CIP
ISBN 1-56085-101-5 (pbk.)


Contents
various atmospheres
This is not the time to think about
What I wouldnt do to
almost stopped writing …
Bozo and Elvis
You would never know by the looks
The Post Master General issued …
Some people pick their noses
it is plain and simple …
If you count long enuf …
SHNO
One moment reciting …
I miss my computer
SONGPRAYER
he wonders if it was worth while …
When I wanna write …
I want to be a tree
Searching for food had become the other side …
Under the desk there is another room …
TO HARPO MARX, IN HEAVEN
A man kneeling can be
The gorilla dressed as a bellhop
ALIEN
SCHOOLING THE SPIRIT
Every week I read my horoscope …
I ran from my death
I enjoy reading the biographies of suicides
No one knew exactly how …
“I dont ever want to die …”
I want to ask my mother for a sign …
If I were powerful
When I first saw fingers …
FUNERARY INSTRUCTIONS