Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Erri De Luca

“Still now in the nights when I lie in the open I feel the weight of the air in the breath and the acupuncture of the stars on the skin.”

This is, roughly translated by myself, from "The fishes don't close their eyes" the latest book by Erri De Luca, an Italian author from Naples. It's an absolutely powerful, vibrating memoir set in and near Naples and the sea. Words spark raw and profound in an astounding poetic prose. It's the second book I am reading in Italian in years, the first was always by the same author and it was a short story set on a scree in the Dolomiti mountains: "The weight of the butterfly".

I think that some work by Erri De Luca is translated in English.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It’s the cat waking you up in the dead of night,
rummaging in the yard among the cardboard boxes,
tearing up the garbage bags,
sliding “vibrato” along the bars of the basement.
After a jolt of fear you feel
it’s good having been scared
by the neatness of things in the dark,
the sound of their frank squareness,
in days of terribly bright and blank city stares;
all you need now is just this coming across
with the rootedness of shapes.
At dawn you kiss your wife, get up,
for a moment look at her sleeping
and glimpse a corner of the sheet she is holding on to,
a token of the shore you have reached
in the lock of her arms.

In memory of C. One year after.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Mauve meadow at dusk. Winter silence.
And, around, the mountains’ audience.

You step up from the lower road
onto dry grass, just an instant of a climb

and passing between two trees you enter
the stage, the wing of openness.

Your dog barks and waits. Barks and stares.
You throw the stick that draws

an arc in the dark. At once
paws rush and shuffle in a line of frenzy

that underlines the quiet, those seconds
of a few steps that embrace


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


It was strange and nice
to find at once the place I needed,
a small room in a niche in a stone wall
by walled tombs and on gravel paths
graves with their sea of headstones.
I went in, there was a heater
and a young woman at a computer
asking me at once to close the door.
I told her about the small lamp, switched off,
by my grandmother, she checked,
the screen beeped, payments were ok,
she would see to it.
I thanked and left closing carefully the door.
Small place, a small settled thing
and I felt accomplished. I had already
brought my flowers, lilies this time
and also a red rose.

Once more while leaving
I sensed the need of settled spaces,
small rooms to recognise and the hedges
of things to trim, a few beeps and
a few lines with our names,
on this shore by the enveloping sea.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eliot again.

I must write a poem entitled "The Untold". I know I must. It's a poem that is going to be for me so much as hard as important. In the roots of it I am impressed by a recurring memory of Eliot again, from the Hollow Men, these lines I do not yet know whether to use as an introductory quotation or not:

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

I have never wanted to enquire, reading critics, to what Shadow exactly Eliot can allude to. And I, in a way, do not want to be sure myself about this Shadow. I always felt anyway the power of these lines, the Shadow signalling maybe what man can never foresee about the strength of the "In-Between", life or God or whatever that is always there and can intervene when we are unaware...
Or too aware.