Friday, April 27, 2012


Gnats hovering,
criss-crossing one another under the chandelier.
It’s a hot noon, the house walls
are bathed in a blinding sunlight,
in the room there’s still shadow
but it soon will give in
to a patch of fiery sky.
Despite some voices outside, radios on,
it’s all silence, quiet and present
like a thunder beyond sound
filling your cheeks with heat.
The gnats look marvellously indifferent
and steady in their rotating dance,
you gaze at them and don’t want
to go anywhere, do anything,

yes, it’s mainly because you feel ill
that you can let any usual wish go
and be centred with the gnats
in their fragment of eternity,
in the sunlight which is entering
making useless any curtain
and any thought.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


As long as I live I will never forget the silence, in the subtle crust,
that you have emanated and spread around in thistles of dust,
the sour, chary, stealthy light in your gaze like a wing
which revealed what would be missed of anything.

You oozed a grey haze in the end, a dark sky, spangled with brown
with your heel taps on the polished floor where I could drown.
Your eyes, your cheekbones, all the bones of your face
are for me now stone blackened by fire or dust threads like lace,

dust floating around, lingering purposelessly before fading,
well, you too will be soon dust like me and stop treading.
But when my time comes I will want to burn in zest
and there’ll be crimson in my ashes, a crest

of rock, a tongue of flame, of memory
and desire, a gust of fiery wind
spitting into the silence
that you have been.

This poem was born in a rather complicated way: I found by chance an old Italian version of it which attracted me but which I had to revise making some changes. I liked the new Italian version and decided to translate it or rather re-write it in English and a completely new poem was born.
It is a "bitter, angry" work, an unusual kind of poem for me but I enjoyed the determination I felt in myself revising it, the rhymes came rather effortlessly. Maybe it's nothing worth but once more I had the feeling the lines were writing themselves.

Friday, April 20, 2012


This continent often seems
at an inch length from your fingertips,
yes, you are almost there, come on,
you are almost touching it, very little is now
required, less than a step forward, cheer up, go.
Your  toes at the water’s edge.
A matter of a tiny little bit of more courage.

Or it has always been
miles away, you have never
even seen it, let alone sojourned there,
a stretched, relentless chimera,
limpid notes of a faraway song
and you have been nothing more
than dreaming on.
It’s its nature, that’s what you sense, be sincere,
you hardly want to believe, or you only envy,
those who keep saying they have been there.

And find yourself indulging often in the end
in an idle reverie of commonplaces inducing only self-contempt,
trite, strewing postcard images:
a beach, a palm, a gorgeous woman in a deck-chair,
in bikini, by the hot white sand…
and smile at yourself because it’s after all
an image wafting from some glorious film of the 60’s,
maybe one of the first James Bond’s.
Nostalgia, ineluctable sailing.

So you have been nothing more than drifting,
“distracted from distraction by distraction”
and the mermaids have been singing, as ever not for you,
as ever for God knows who.
Sweet persistence, vast deception,
how you love it nonetheless
despite its miles of mirages and no direction.
Stubborn mermaids offer no protection.
But you haven’t drowned, not yet,
you are normally awake and normally digress
and fret.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Hours, ages I spend
commuting up and down.
Train, landscape.
In spring each year
I strew beside fields
( today there are
yellow flowers, a stretch
of joyful fists…).
Time passes, the same,
ages, or minutes
or seconds, but
what actually passes?
Or stays?
You tell me. I don’t know..
We are simply born,
Then we grow.
Then we go.
Why? So simple
the unknown.

Same minutes, ages
waiting in my room
for the students’ parents
to come, and come
one by one.
Ages of different
sorts of hand-shaking
wet palms or parched,
thick, gritty or
smooth and thin and light
like a white feather,
seconds of time’s

And words, the same:
“ could do better, your son,
a bit lazy…well.. he is
absent-minded but maybe..
it’s normal at this young age..”
And it continues, the stage.
How old I really am
I don’t know.
( I am staring at the
yellow flowers,
at the imposing mystery
of their show)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mudwoman ( continued )

The novel "Mudwoman" by Joyce Carol Oates is "growing" in me, the main protagonist, a "mudwoman", mud-shocked, in a way born in mud and almost killed in mud as a child, is a tense, desperate, both hopeful and hopeless powerfully and progressively obsessed individual as most of Oates's characters are; having almost died at an early age drowning in mud, thrown into it by her own mother is what has afflicted and polluted the rest of her life. Her past always present like the shifting sands it was.

Many of us, I fear, have got "mud" in the past we should try to get rid of, our memory festering in a way in it. Mud often like black oil and slime we get entangled in and that makes us painfully and pitifully just shuffle on, dragging our heavy, now useless wings behind us like annoying rags...
Stuff that can assure a permanent job to psychoanalysts...

The extraordinary metaphor of "mud", our soul chocking in mud, our haunting mud-ridden past, is what reminds me of the tragic force of the Shakespearian and Greek tragedies.
And to the multifarious haunted minds in literature and art.
Well and to a conversation I had recently with a friend who told me about the presence in herself of her father who doesn't "leave" her and he is always as he was in the past although now he is dead!

Who and whatever can we ever
really get rid of?

On a just slightly different side we can't forget Wilde who wrote that some of us from the gutter look at the stars, the gutter could also be the mud, the metaphor of the power of land and water together dragging us ineluctably down while we, some of us, keep looking at the stars as long as we can, as long as we can manage to keep our gaze outside, as long as we can prevent the mud from sucking us completely in and down. Our stamina determining in this case, as it does maybe in most cases, our life span.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Dust shines, in the silent clashing
of a sunbeam’s blades, the roaring eye
of a spotlight from on high, the bright
gallivant motes... no, you haven’t
dusted much in this life and so now
these lightest sinews cluster
and wallow in their own glitter.
You sense the spotlight
on never ending stages,
dust’s stamina through the ages,
ghosts in a luminous clamor
blazing in silence’s glamour,
hinted at or howled while strewing
and soon forgotten in time’s
jests, like ever reshaping wave crests;
what gives you elation and hush
letting you sense the burning
stone’s hidden heart,
what you’ll pass over
when you’ll be dust,
when you’ll be, who knows,
maybe also the very fire
of noon, on the hour,
in un-subdued desire,
life after life,

with these motes
that keep staring in shine.

The way in which this poem came to life is very peculiar: I had started translating into Italian for a friend my poem "In this luminous deluge of silence" and I realized that, while translating it, I was, in a way, writing a different poem in Italian that only partially was "in this luminous deluge of silence". This poem in English comes from the Italian new and different version. I didn't even try to translate it this time! I completely re-wrote it in English. Translation is by all means an art for the elected few.

Monday, April 9, 2012


The wounded and defeated sea lion
after the fight with the other male,
wounded and alone and shuffling onward,
bleeding towards wherever he’s going
to bleed until the end, because the wounds
will fester and reach his marrow, the wounds
with the bitter core with a crust of sorrow,
wounds digging in like time’s roar.
Has he got anything more now to stand for?

I have been wounded, that’s for sure,
but I haven’t fought against any male,
how more evident and even brighter
my wounds would have been in that case
and how pure in contrast with these,
poisoned and invisible in the normal
haze of the day, washed in occasional
rhymes, on the world’s cacophonous strand,
my heart shuffling on and this poem my den.

In very humble homage to Robert Frost whose echoes I distinctly felt, or imagined, in me while this poem was taking shape.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


The hour, early afternoon and vast light rain.
In the solitude of the cabin, shingles
rattling in the slightest gust of damp wind.
It’s still going to be a long Easter day, assessing
silence and everything that can’t stop resurrecting.
It’s strangely alluring because it’s so unavoidable
trying to balance one’s own tips, finding
a temporary but wholly satisfactory “that’s it”,
poking honestly one’s own inner peevish gutter.
The shingles twinkle in the light silver drops.
Among the droplets crowding your heart’s view
and the echoes: “after coming this far what
will you ever do?”
The wave crests, the foam, the crumbling
tigers’ ghosts rolling forward, perpetual Prufrocks
looking for revenge, resurrecting in the trench.
Are we made only of fragments?
Syllables and bodies waiting and then transiting?
Various Vladis and Gogoes sitting on shingles
in a lull in between the rush hour and the night?
With the tree so suddenly blooming into spring?
Blossoms blaring and our hearts, as ever, late
shuffling onward after being stuck on our
cobwebs of crossroads?
Or it’s just a lie, the Golden Age, this
lighting of fools to the dusty all that.
Maybe it has always been like this, the bedraggled
director of the orchestra trying to arrange harmony
out of an improvised accolade of violins
while scrutinizing the canopy of rain at the horizon,
the tigers flaring the longing torches of lost reigns…
oh dear me, dear me…how badly I would like
to get settled in longing, accepting
the twinkling lure from down there,
surfing on the Trades, in sleep and prayer.

Happy Easter dear blogfriends.

Friday, April 6, 2012


It’s here the haze
of the grey spindrift of this sirocco day.
Haze and roar spreading on the tarmac
even before the end of the avenue.
The sea in the heartbeat but not yet visible.
A huge breath of damp light into the pines,
the dishevelled branches like many a Don Quixote
in the crowd of the waves’ echoes and fists
and on the hotel white walls an invisible
audience’s uninterrupted clapping.
The swooping clamour of hearing eyes.
A flashing forwardness.
You are going to it, for the umpteenth time
that is always a first time.
Towards the relentless beginning.
You were here once as a desire only
then as a will in the blood,
the river within us meeting what’s all about us,
nodding at the approaching
brewing, foamy gusts
and racing ghosts,
at the swelling, seeping and flooding.
The mothers. Whatever.
The leash now pulls more strongly,
you are almost running.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Some reflections on rhymes and rhyming.

Of course in the back of the mind Frost’s statement that poetry without rhymes is like playing tennis without the net never leaves.

But also this risk of being just a sing-song man slave of this clapping, kissing sounds…

But it happens they come so naturally most of the time so you let them come, it’s even a matter of “democracy”! Every “voice” has a right.

But you can’t deny you often look for them sacrificing sobriety, substituting the pure strength of expression, the stark naked power of a metaphor on target with their lure for an easy success with words and lines that seem to adhere and harmonize with each other in a blink of an eye.

But when they happen and nothing else, you feel, is betrayed, and on the contrary the meaning is re enforced by the kiss of their sounds they are simply triumphant.

Anyway, how more extraordinary a poem is whose sound and meaning reside only inside the words and don't need any kissing of lines with lines. And in which the lines keep a balance and harmony in between them for some unfathomable reason.

Or how great if rhymes and rhyming occur only from time to time in a poem, with a splendid randomness as if they had escaped inadvertently with a marvellous unbearable lightness of being.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Well, I have just caught myself in this ranting spree,
fiery spurs spurring my flanks into nothing…
or you just talking through me… or whatever might be…
but was it you who made me love her
so powerfully, stubbornly and vainly?
The world spins and makes me digress,
was it you who made me fail to confess my own ludicrousness
and kept me chattering about you, her and them in this stark dark?
How many viruses are tossed in this dark? Me the first or the last?
How many rhymes bide their own time? Me in their crimes?
I can’t forget her rejection and then her silence,
while the world spins, indifferent, is that you who
make me sense any indifference as malevolence?
Who, after her, make me fear to ask anyone for anything
afraid of getting only a sea of silence and denial?
As if only waiting for my own trial?
Silence perpetually gnaws…it was meditation once,
was it Eden flowing before it was snatched away by this gnawing?
Yours is the bees’ strewing, a fiery luring and musing.
But is this not the knot in whatever throat, the bitter core,
that has caused the awry of all wars, the lore’s gore?
Is that you behind the spreading force in the words “never, nothing”?
Or “no”, the foe and woe.
I have assisted a dying that seemed eternal because we, you know,
most of the time, keep hoping there could be a stop to the dying
and we sense we are eternally fighting to keep all this going
to stay, against all odds, so badly and bloody alive…thronging,
so we keep the dying going, that bitter, digging
weary consummation despite any despite…
we are life’s exhumation….
but is that you, after all, behind the “ness” in hopelessness?
You who keep me making me spill this sort of puns with no thrill
in my lingering mess?
You, who like her, let me rant, in my own puddles, never saying a word?
The heart of silence simply sounds at one with what is unredeemable,
silence, a gallivanting maze in which everything fades in its own haze.
Is it yours this fire, this burning belly in its own mire,
who, makes me feel, after all, only hypocrisy in consoling?
No truce with the furies. No truce with regrets.
That becomes nostalgia, helped by a little wine, when you give respite.
To soon resume again screwing your screws with their chocking hues.
Is it you through the furies’ wombs who brandish life as an opened wound?
Ok, we know if we know we have never known anything.
But words just thrive.
Have you been killing me or keeping me alive?