Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Stuck up on the inside of the shutter,
on my fist floor,
it has climbed and climbed
I suppose, slowly up on another
Mount of Fuji carrying with itself
what’s most holy,
the marvel and endurance
of what perseveres, slowly.
Certainly enjoying the damp
foundations, the mood
of this weather and time.
droplets of lines rising on lines.
Now it has been days,
stuck for days, looking like
it has found its own
among the many ways.
I gaze at the glistening
brown of its home,
will it last on the shutter
through the winter?
Well, it’s on the inside,
just  like a gaze staring in
and asking for what
we all ask for:
a bit of lastingness
and praise.

I dedicate this poem to my colleague and friend, and poet writing in Venetian dialect, Andrea Longega,  to whom I have first spoken of this snail during the umpteenth tired and tiring journey on a tiresome train back from school towards Venice.
Half amused, hearing about the snail he exclaimed (in an impossible to describe Venetian tone) : “And now you are going to write a poem on it, we can’t expect anything different, can we?”

Saturday, October 26, 2013


  Now at school everything is digital, no paper registers any more. And the digital legal signature. The absurdity is to call it signature when for a signature you generally need a pen with which you produce letters, in other words you need write! In this case you click. You click-sign on your name, No words for that. Maybe an adjective. Ridicule, And another. Insubstantial. The virtual world is more and more a baseless fabric, a sense of no ground under your feet.

A dramatically increased volatility of being. More than an unbearable lightness. Where are we going, in any field, with the progress of digital dictatorship?

I have just sent this text message to a colleague:

Digital signature and all,
what can I tell?
An endless fall
into a bottomless well.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The house speaks.
Aloneness after lunch.
Ants in between
the tiles above the sink,
the dark and now the light,
the home they’ve found,
a swarming sudden crowd
in their crowding blues,
in this chink of time,
on their own straight line.
I must get rid of them
( what would you do?)
I can’t be covered yet
by crawling silence.
The house speaks.
A leak from upstairs
and drops on the armchair
and the dog leaving it,
just annoyed or scared,
it’s the neighbor I learn,
ninety-six, he has messed
with the shower. Who helps him?
I wonder, in this house that speaks.
I am alone in it. In my beloved
desert lot. That’s it.
And I am still alive.
I didn’t choose to be alone
( and I didn’t choose to be alive either).
Life happens as it happens,
God knows, or does he?
Life happens
like a house that speaks.
In its many leaks.
I listen in the night to noises
that might be unspoken words,
in the pressing of the walls
and a silence of my own.
I’ve grown yes, I’ve grown.
And ripeness is all.
The house speaks.
And maybe I am bound
to love the unknown.
I am perched on my own
edge before the fall.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PLEASE POSTPONE ( after Dylan Thomas)

October, the retreating
into red and orange, into mulch,
into the glow before the earlier dark.
The long, slow story of the spark.
I was born into an orange-red,
twilight entwined in rustles,
stones of Venice in worn
grey that absorbs the ways
of children’s feet in swarms,
the swaying wavelengths of the world.
I was born into this month
whose glow is quickened into a heart,
my print enwrapped in silent turf,
in the swishes of a last undergrowth.
In mother’s anxious whispers
and father’s throbbing shouts
and the rippling washing lapping
of rising tides all around.
I was born into the slow digressions
of rivers converging into
the motherly lagoon’s lap, the soul
that both contains and overflows.
I was born in earnest and in haste
in this long gash of a month
and now, in the familiar waste, on the train
of these thoughts of words like rain
I just stand alone in my own flood.
Let me indulge then, let me say
to the god who well knows how to sway
-go slow towards such a time,
I do not want to hurry towards decline.
Wait for me, even if I sit in fake gold,
let me tap all memories on the threshold
that can be thrilled and slowly enthralled
while I try to distil some eternity in my fold.
Forget me, forget all about my end
and with airy nonchalance postpone my bend,
you know anyway I’ll become bones,
and all time will come anyway,
but now please postpone.
October 13th 2013.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Praise sirocco again
despite all the tiredness it brings
when the sea is an open throat
and perspiration streams
and the waves’ arms grind swarms.
When it comes, this haze like blinding ash,
it settles at once, the slow thick surf
spreading and sinking the heart.
Hear the burying desire of the desert
and the heat’s gaze, the loitering in eyes
of bottomless pomegranate seeds.
Remember the tall skinny dogs
standing up slowly and walking along
and lying back down, whole bodies stretched
on the broken stones of the pavement
of a Sicilian island street, in the heat
of the noon sun and the strip
of an ink shadow of a yellow wall
where chinks and cracks reminded
of simple exhaustion and eternity.
There we bought rolls of rice and anchovies
while sirocco was blowing its huge
sheets from Africa, the multifarious wings
brought to earth, in scratching
blades of light, delivered
by the ever pregnant sea.
I wrote this poem about ten years ago with in mind my visit to Lampedusa in the summer 1986. It's a place of hope and tragedy for many people from Africa now. How different in the '80's :the only person with a black skin I saw there was an American soldier from the US base stationed on the island.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Walking on the street
you pat a dog you meet, sweet…
Much harder with the humans.