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RENGATTO

A Rengatto is a nine-link poem using the form 3-2-3, 3-2-3, 3-2-3. The first verse mentions a cat, while the fifth refers to the feline gender without mentioning the word "cat". There are nine links to a Rengatto because a cat is purported to have nine lives. The Rengatto was created by Alexis K. Rotella on the 18 February 1997.

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella 1997

 

EXAMPLES :

THE FACE OF CHAGALL with Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
A CAT NAMED HOUDINI with Alexis K. Rotella and Marlene Rudginsky
GOLDFISH with Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
YARMULKA by Alexis K. Rotella
TAKE OUT with Fay Aoyagi and Alexis K. Rotella

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

THE FACE OF CHAGALL

A Rengatto between Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
Los Gatos, California and London
16 - 18 February 1997

 

 

A cat on the fence
with the face
of Chagall

 

not seeing the tar brush
bride

 

the smell
of stuffed cabbage
at the Russian hall

 

peasant scarves
tinged
with blood

 

In an old woman's hands
pussywillows hand

 

fraying rope
ties
a cheap coffin

 

a jar of pickles
passed
over the fence

 

the weather-beaten profile
remembers Anastassia

 

The man
with Rasputin eyes
a hynotherapist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella and ai li 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

A CAT NAMED HOUDINI

A Rengatto between Alexis K. Rotella and Marlene Rudginsky
Los Gatos, California and Marietta, Ohio
February and May 1997

 

 

Rescued from
a neighbor's roof
a cat named Houdini.

 

The magician missing
from the tarot deck.

 

Buried with her
the crone's
elderberry wand.

 

Under a lily pad
goldfish with
the eye patch.

 

Waking me
tuna breath.

 

Pillow talk -
the child and her
plush dolphin.

 

High tea -
harp music
at the Ritz.

 

North wind
the bride's winter veil.

 

A woman walking
her hedgehog -
tourist town.

 

 

 

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella and Marlene Rudginsky 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

GOLDFISH

A Rengatto between Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
Los Gatos, California and London
14 - 15 March 1997

 

 

goldfish
swimming
in the cat's eyes

 

I look for the crack
in the emptied bowl

 

over the sink
he devours
a pomegranate

 

the red
of sunset
on pale skin

 

sumi-e of a siamese
he starts to sneeze

 

raindrop
on
inkstone

 

four-leaf clovers
finding
thirteen

 

odd sock
the colour or ireland

 

deep
in the back closet
lavender pages

 

 

 

 

[Published SUNDAY AT FOUR, Spring 1997, Louisiana, USA]

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella and ai li 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

YARMULKA

A solo Rengatto by Alexis K. Rotella

24 April 1997

 

 

Yarmulka
for the kitten -
acorn cap

 

a little ghost
nibbles candy corn.

 

yuk yuk
from a crow
high up

 

He pours out
his heart
stranger on the plane.

 

a tiny suede nose
nuzzles me good morning

 

I crawl into
his still warm
pajamas.

 

morning fog
the feel
of flannel

 

dreaming of
white birch trees

 

The phone
rings and rings -
wrong number.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella 1997

_____________________________________________________________________

 

TAKE OUT

A Rengatto with Fay Aoyagi and Alexis K. Rotella
San Francisco and Los Gatos, California
22 February - 4 March 1997

 

 

Take out
tricolored ice cream
for his cat

 

Chinese New Year
       rainbows

 

From a sister city
tulip drawings
and origami cranes

 

On a charm bracelet
a pair
of scissors.

 

Homeless mama
with 9 lives

 

At the pond
teenagers leave
their litter.

 

Ambulance siren
she checks
her son's room

 

Tooth marks
on the steering wheel

 

Skipping
a memorial service
             bitter tea

 

 

 

 

[Published Raw NerVZ Volume IV : 2, Summer 1997]

Copyright Fay Aoyagi and Alexis K. Rotella 1997

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