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Daniel A. Rabuzzi




Mourning-Market: Rending


Stop here *


Grey crowds,


Your grief with me-

I will give fair trade for it.


Turn away from the ruffs and reeves of lugubrious fortune,

Whose wares you finger.


Turn away

Stop your grief here,

Barter with me.


Over there:


Smoky glass, eglomise, hold blurry pictures behind


In trilobyte mansions, and

Shadows ooze in courtyards filled with too-short graves.


The king sits in the winterhouse

In this, the last month,

Surrounded by murates and learned doctors,

Dry-veined, lean-lipped,

A school of mandibles

Gumming at bake-meats, sifting entrails 

To divine our nativities.


“Bleak the marrow, but sweet the bone,” he says,

His mottled cricket-skin jaws working and

Grinding and

Crushing fibulae like elvers. 


Come away friends,

Leave the king in his court

Under their cinders.




Mourning-Market: Repairing



In the cynthian tower

At the far edge of the square,

The bells are


Ring     ing

Ring     ing

Ring     ing!


The fair of Saints Simpronian and Adelsina begins!


Come into the workshop of acronical desires,

Take your ease with me.


Wine we have,

Dark Cahors and Montrachet

(First your grief to soft allay),

Pibales, larks on spits, beef en daube,

Almonds honied and silvester-peels,

Ginger bread and speculaas,

Maced warm cider by the glass.


Alciander and Rosalinda, 

Io and the pale Thalestris

Bring poetic engines 

From Atalantis,

Ludovico comes with whimsies, 

Trabeata and sweetbread scherzi 

To warm a lunary world.


All the merry little santrels of this place arise,

From unwilked Crommercie and golden Berecynthia,

To dowse the beetle milling in the walls,

To mute the raven as he calls ,

To stop the cold-drake as he mauls.


Stop *


Listen to our tales,

Sing these songs with us,

Be grey no longer.




Mourning-Market: Recalling


We, the tertiaries of the Sleeping Mother, 

Oblates of the serene Saint Adelsina,

Invite you to join the

Congregation of

Grave but Joyous Contemplation,

When next we gather.


At the mourning-market of St. Marnix,

As spring advances,

Find us in the garden

Bound by the oundling brook,

Where, discalced, we’ll dance 

On the green

With the Buccine Knight and the fierce Fiona,

Wearing blue bixwort flowers in our hair.


Pale-eyed Zephyretta,

Pausianas far-walking,

Ianthe so lithe,

Polyxena the bride of rainbow weather,

Await you-- don’t delay.


Dance we shall, to

Spite the ones in their closet-court,

The spiders of your dismay.


By Greifswald's Virgin Martyrs,

By the Clerks Regular of the Palmyric Order,

Evurtius, Eudelme and Fraucke of Gran,

And humble Adaucta, ever last in holy van. 


Join us, mummers and pace-eggers, 

At the mourning-market

Next Marnix day!

Daniel A. Rabazzi ~ I found Danse Macabre this spring, through a meandering Internet expedition that started with a reference to Claudio Magris' Danube (one of my favorite books) and led through discussions of where precisely Mitteleuropa might be, and so on.  I lived eight years in Germany, France, Norway - among other things, I earned my doctorate in European history.  I have had two novels, nine poems and four short stories published (details at  Most recently, my story "Monologue with Birds and Burin" was selected for the Best of Shimmer anthology.



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