Callipepla california by Stefano Bortolussi

Stefano Bortolussi is a poet, novelist and literary translator. In his native Italy he has published three poetry collections (Ipotesi di caldo, 2001; Califia, 2014; I labili confini, 2016) and four novels (Fuor d’acqua, 2004; Fuoritempo, 2007; Verso dove si va per questa strada, 2013; Billy & Coyote, 2017). His poetry has been also published in magazines and webzines, both Italian and international, such as Interno Poesia, Atelier, and Ink, Sweat and Tears. 



Callipepla california


There is surely a method, a system

or at the very least an intention

in the way the quails appear as soon

as the fog tentatively clears

and my first word alights on the page:

first the male, appointed as a lookout

possibly because of the black periscope feather

with which he seems to explore the future to come;

at his signal the rest of the diligent covey

follows with the exactness of a genetic order

or with the trust, volatile but in this first sliver

of the day as firm as on any other sunny morning,

in the call that leads them in a world

of corners and unexpected obstacles — one

of which, discreet, occupies my place.


Stefano Bortolussi