The Last Judgment
Santa Cruz: Cowell Press, 2015. Printed letterpress in Goudy Oldstyle on brown paper handmade at La Papeterie Saint-Armand. One of 75 copies, signed and limited by the author in ruby red ink. Fine.
A painter, farmer, poet, rambler, and bon vivant, Natoli is best known for his academic work, with his seminal publications in postmodern theory. He keeps a journal when he travels, which is often and typically by foot. In it he collects the poems inspired by his encounters. This particular poem was written in Italy, copied out on a postcard, and sent to the printer for safe-keeping. The printer had intended to keep the run private but was convinced to sell after incurring a sizable debt while gambling on an island where people are hunted for sport. Fresh to the market, only 10 copies for sale.
"I am in Vermont to celebrate my 68th birthday: I am personally locked into the dark rage of this hurricane, the insistence of the flooding waters, the feel already of Fall in my bones. I am first convinced that none of this has been real . . . that I died and that everything that happened to me in Rochester, Vermont was no more than hallucinatory imagining, extrapolations of last remaining bits of information in my head. For three days I felt as if I were slowly transitioning into the world of the dead; the bodies out of the caskets a bridge to a netherworld, a bridge that no waters can knock out."