Gaetano Aiello

Gaetano Aiello is a legal practitioner who lives and works in Adelaide. He is married and currently has two children. He is involved in Athletics as both an administrator and participant.

Gaetano has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. The themes of his work seek to reflect the relationships between individuals and how those relationships reflect the physical world in which people find themselves.

Spin Cycle

On a beach I smooth over the sand
with the palm of my hand

I mould the shape of your breast
on to this ancient land

The water today is turquoise:
as thick as the lenses of my glasses

and summer salts nearby
I want to see the surfers play

like black seals hand in hand with the sea
But as I watch them fall one by one

into the constant thrush of waves
I find each mammal caught in the drum

of the washing machine we bought last winter
Set on the spin cycle seals mix with jocks

until they are spun and consumed
into the fabric of my shorts and socks

You always said that had you known
you would never have married a man

who couldn’t keep his glasses clean
But sea spray has a way of cleansing

the most stubborn of ground in dirt
I look around for what can be found

The sand at my feet is littered with stones
Dinosaur bones yet to be worn to nothing

by the rubbing fingers of erosion
Long and fat I see your own fingers pinch

the pegs as you hang your jeans on the line
The shore perspires as I search for your face

I see your collarbone lapped at by the tide
Your hip too made of pumice stone

Your pubic hair sea grass in the dunes
Your purple eyes grow close at hand

Soon in the fading light the waves will devour me
and like a sandcastle I too will be swallowed

into the spin cycle where my cotton shirt
and your black skirt will swim in the surf

oblivious to the relics which litter this shore.

From Friendly Street No. 26

Note to Elizabeth Bishop

The voices of fishermen
drift like fishing line
cast out from the rocks
below my bedroom

Their laughter a lure
attached to a hook
caught in my lower lip
as the nib of my pen
rises and falls
rises and falls

Like a fish I want to feed
on this delicate moist treat
of broken speech

‘Shit it’s cold’
‘Have a smoke’
‘How’s things with Anne?’
‘Good, better I think’

The nib of my pen rises
and falls as the line recoils
and the hook pulls at my lip

I have images of that speckled
fish you caught last summer
You were so mesmerised
by his colour and the five hooks
that decorated his lip like medals
of honour that you released him
back into the water

But I worry and my lower lip
quivers as I close the window
not certain that I will be returned
to the water

And the nib of my pen
rises and falls
rises and falls
against my bedroom walls

From Blue: friendly street 27

You are

You are the smell of fresh
sawdust lain on a garden path
as the first drop of rain
presses the imprint
of a toe into the dust

You are a flake of bark shed
from the branch of a blue
gum; a young ring-tailed
possum jumping between gum
and jacaranda

You are drops of rain falling
heel toe onto the back verandah
as you clamber down from
jacaranda to agapanthus
and scurry towards a drier place

You are the last gasp of breath
as the lacquer which envelopes
the shed now begins to well
in the corner of your eye
in the corner of your mind

You are a footprint pooling
with water as the screen door
slams and a child’s laughter
surfs on the resonating wake
of thunder

From Blue: Friendly Street No. 27