Richard Zola


Richard Zola 17 June 1949- 22 October 2005
Richard has been a vital contributor to Blackmail Press since February 2002 - BMP 3 Guest edited by Christina Conrad. Richard and I kept in contact over the last 3 years, featuring in Issues 5, 6, and 8. I have placed links to all of his special guest spots, and link to his web site - Dances of zola.
We dedicate this issue of Blackmail Press to our dear friend Richard Zola, we love you.
Doug Poole
Poetry Editor

seduction number 21...

I began that conversation on poverty
to watch your lips say

I broke that vase
to watch your lips say

I threatened a dog
to watch your lips say

I planted stones in furrowed rows
to watch your lips say

I hid your bracelets
to watch your lips say

I removed drainpipes from significant buildings
hid them in a loft in a different town
walked on cobbles in minus thirty
set fire to my shoes near the town hall clock
to watch your lips say rain and fahrenheit

I didnt realise you were in a different town
out of control with a bicycle and a mandolin

if birds gave permission...

I'd hang my boots from a tree
watch them move in air
remember where I'd walked in them
remember the day I bought them
at that market near the cathedral

I'd walk around the tree
see the boots from here there
the left heel worn more than the right
the pattern on the soles distorted by steps
the left sole more than

however theres the matter of appropriate dress
greek military ceremonial uniform
an old shirt italian gloves
a coat of coarse weave and a peacock hat

what time of day and for how long
noon on a wednesday for thirty seven minutes
nine am in snow for as long as skin can bear

should there be spectators
invited or cajoled

this kind of internal dialogue
causes insomnia anxiety a lack of nutrition

some would say be spontaneous
choose a tree and do it

theres the matter of an appropriate tree
an appropriate location
a park
a wood
a bavarian forest

I've considered painting a tree  on a wall of this room
hang the boots from nails hammered in

what colours to use
should there be leaves

an option but restrictive
the boots not  being viewable from the back

not seeing them from the back
would create fretfulness
and an endless ridiculous flagellatory stripping of wallpaper
two hours before dawn

some would say why concern yourself
but they dont know I once wrapped a fish in a table cloth made of lace
decorated it with feathers
sent it to a business address found in a magazine
dated seventeenth of june 1921
you cant imagine the relief this brought

there go the palpitations again:
I need to go to a room where waltzes disturb air
ask this:
would shrapnel curve away from flesh

seduction 94...

rhiannon offered her body on a low wooden bed
explained her dislike of candles
patterned walls and comedians

she said talk to me about your scars
and that accordian you threw from a ship

I watched her buckle her shoes
walked with her on shaped stone
she said touch the skin of my face
talk to me about saints and bonfires

I watched her cut fish
she passed me bread
said do you remember this that
and when you wore my hat to entertain an infant but she cried
and the infants mother made a sound like a horse
her mouth wide and dead birds falling

I said yes and the cherries that spilled from her basket
when she stumbled into a dog

there were silences
some days I didnt see her
I missed her on those days but said nothing

she stayed until november ended
until everything had been remembered

requiem 2...

she was at ease in damp rooms
and in the company of plane trees

one time in an alley in amber light
she left a cup newly bought
amongst weeds
inside the cup a word on paper:


she could be sanctimonious
comfortable with her mouth on the mouth of another
but was easy to forgive
her head inclined that way

if a bird flew across glass
its shadow on polished wood
she might say
see how the shadow of a bird leaves no scar

she said such things to seduce
to annoy

she was at ease beneath cotton
her skin against skin

she was at ease in frozen fields where earth curled
and broken birds hung from wires

this is the bracelet she lost seven times
blue and a lighter blue
a circle in dust on a sill to show

one time in an alley in amber light
she left a cup newly bought
amongst weeds
inside the cup a word on paper


she placed the word in a cup
in an alley that leads to a red bridge
to a river where lights move in air

i wanted to cut a word into something...

the last time I saw you
you were walking on the coast road
the edge of the sea high above and falling

go then with your  yellow hair
your interest in skin
your painted face
your farmyard scar
your lace and diatribes
your accidental birth

the air was cold enough for breath
cold enough to shrink words
to make your coat feel brittle

where were the gulls
the thin sharp flowers

there were flying stones
sheep wool caught in wire

where were the kelp gatherers
the penitents and their obligations

go then with your bracelets
your catechism
your fifteen apples in a hand made bag

an october afternoon become evening
see how that happens
how aspects of rock of thorn change
how a wind becomes embroidery on flesh

I should have gone before that moon appeared

Dances of Zola

Richard in BMP 3

Richard in BMP 5

Richard in BMP 6

Richard in BMP 8