Two Poems by Mary McColley

On a concrete wall - sanded smooth, but still lightly pockmarked - a baseball cap hangs, soft and well-worn, but also made of concrete.
Was My Father (concrete sculpture 18 cm x 30 cm) by Mario Loprete

Untitled 1

You stick to me as close as beer sticks to
a shoe. Brown barley and
wasted. You hold up your mouth and I
step down.
Your shadows are dark in my corners.
You aren’t worth anything. And your breath
in the mornings and the afternoons when you try to
kiss my eyes.
We have been here for a while now,
body pressed close to body,
growing cold and losing love.

Morning Geometries

Buildings drew line after line
on canal: grey, blue,
silk-thin and sheer as light. There
was too much wind to sit
and love; my footsteps trembled
and refracted all the long of the bank,
all undone lace, all broken sole.


Photo by Anna McColley

Mary McColley is a writer originally from Maine. She lived and wandered around Paris, France for a number of years, and is working at the moment as an English teacher in Bangkok, Thailand. Mary is fascinated by languages and migrations; she loves running, art, and the sea. Her work has appeared in the Paris/Atlantic literary journal, Maine Magazine, multiple anthologies of the Telling Room, and on public radio broadcasts. She authored the mystery novel A Wrinkle in Crime, occasionally boils lobsters, and sells street art on the side.

Mario Loprete, 1968, Catanzaro, Italy. Painting is my first love. An important, pure love. Creating a painting, I start with spasmodic research into a concept about which I want to send a message. Sculpture is my lover, an artistic betrayal of painting. Voluptuous and sensual, it gives me different emotions that strike a forbidden chord. This year I worked exclusively on Concrete Sculptures. I take my own clothes, and use plaster, resin, and cement to transform them into artworks. My DNA and my memories remain cemented inside. These pieces transform the viewer into a postmodern archeologist who looks at them as if they were urban artifacts. I like to think that anyone who sees my sculptures, created in 2020, will perceive the anguish, the vulnerability, and the fear that each of us has felt while facing the global problem of COVID-19. A layer of cement contains the clothes I wore during this grim period. Garments that survive COVID-19 are not unlike those that survived the catastrophic eruption of Pompeii two thousand years ago. They recount humankind’s encounter with the tragedy of broken lives and destroyed economies.