Remarks about this section: This section
will feature contemporary poetry -- and accompanying poetics / essay / journal
writing, when possible -- translated into English from other languages.
If you are translating work, please propose your ideas to our on-going translation
coordinator: Cole Swenson, <[email protected]>
poems by Patrizia Vicinelli Translated by Carla Billitteri
Vicinelli (1943-91) joined the predominantly male avant-garde Group
'63 at the La Spezia Congress in 1966. She was previously involved in
the experimental theatre of Aldo Braibanti and first published her poetry
in EX, a magazine of multimedia and experimental arts edited by
in Italian cutting-edge literary magazines (EX, Quindici,
Marcatrè, AlfaBeta), Vicinelli was active in the field of
visual poetry and sound poetry. She exhibited her visual poetry at the
Finch College Museum New York (1972); Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Torino
(1973) and Bologna (1974); Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Tokyo (1976);
Biennale di Venezia (1978); Italian Poetry 1960-1980, San Francisco (1982);
and Spazio Suono Viareggio (1984). Her albums of poetry collaborations
include: .à.A, Futura and Baobab.
posthumously collected in Opere (1994) include: Altre prose, .à.A (1967),
a mix of sound poetry and phonetic poetry; Non sempre ricordano
(1978), an epic poem; Apology of schizoid woman (1979), experimental
poetry; and I fondamenti dell'essere, Messmer (1980-1988), a novel.
poetry challenges the reader with a stunning combination of multisemantic,
asyntactical playfulness and witty polyglottism, often presenting a seamless
interweaving of five languages (Spanish, English, Italian, French, Hebrew),
different Italian regional dialects, street jargons and local idiolects.Vicinelli
is bitter, satirical, pervasively political, but also melodramatic, fascinated
by the urban mythologies of W. S. Burroughs' junky underworld as well
as by the arcane quest for the Holy Grail, and by Greek archetypes and
a do mani yes he said
and he says yes, it was something between inside and you
rather the world and myself and yourself
abba, dors, maintenant,
abba do mani he
said the sculpture ahj,
come m'endorme exquisido, como
iaculatoria, abb a do
mani, yes, sleep now,
what matters the world between me and youc'entra c'en tra
the evangel of languages
idiomes èvangèliques elle dit abba do
main no to day after the world
now the world
surrounded in the present ab ba he says
yes como me gusta el mundo says
me deca decame, en nel mundo
abba in and out within and without
will not return
will not return.
the bridges in flames
the winter their neglect
time could indicate
under this climate sense
will never return there.
in the mind
used up time
are on loan
solitary night adumbrates
sound that is already
are the little pearls doing
every pore sadness
would be another course
key notes all of them
air is scorching
it burns you
bitter sun in black.
the sandal incense rises
flowers in line
their ascension the height
"I AM INTERPENETRATED"
de la mame
(la mame n'a pas
have an in-terview
suck up this
panful of béchamel
RUMP, o, o, o
JUM (P) o, o, o,
= linkage with the superior)
t AH OH AAHH
in its dream
à cul de
For my father Giorgio (1978)
is my life"
first time was in Florence, and it remained the last. The blood
on the heart never tried
the adepts and the scared neophytes
find out and catch the sense.
the dark house, so underground,
light is on even during the day
windows are covered with oriental curtains
barred, a basement, made for
he said, dearly bought,
the Polish man added,
in the soaked bed twelve hours
"my legs, señor,
legs!" are you sleeping?
YOU STILL SLEEPING? A stinking agony,
the known castling dust
the mirror on the walls blotches
cappuccino up to the ceiling, but
in the fridge, caviar from Ostia
prosciutto, thanks, crudo,
AM NOT HUNGRY
I AM NOT HUNGRY
I AM NOT HUNGRY
all wanted to go there, away
the blotches on the foul mattresses
sweat and blood, this judgment we
conformed to the apocalypse,
she said centering a point of silence
perfect absence emitting a cry
was heard up in the skies
a successful meditation
lord, want you buy me a color tv . . .
want to fall into the sun
that not a trace will be left
deepest motivations, yes,
will tell everything" in the crystal cup
keep the pearls I want to give you.
formula goes like that: open door
the shadows' reign.
was full like a stuffed pig)
had thought of keeping it all for himself .
the ice, got there with the idea
sailing, a kite is enough
that, he was a man
had forgotten his origins
only after his desires,
Egyptians led by a dolphin
the barge of the snake with the egg
the prow, in the gelid waters of the river
with golden makeup on the mind,
dream that had revealed to him the dead
PRIVILEGES," he would have liked
not step back" the girl said
Orpheus, but what sacred mountain,
Queen condemned many
year as well:
NOT TO BE SAVED? he thought, wishing
dilate his pupils to see
image leaning against the images
some remote time with worn out borders
an eclipse swallowed
his selves or him self
chased each other endlessly
saw HIS CONTOURS DISTENDING
must go" said the friend
came in to have coffee
he corrected himself saying "hail mary oh"
that woman who overheard him
stopped in her walk, etc.
big dick of a knight"
arrived in Jerusalem when it was
the ruinous midst of the falling of a thousand towers,
on the other side or nearby
remained intact and shouting).
was an epic transition.
mother would have liked a mercy
generous but from the body it died
the soul to hope itself,
who sustained her, recorded everything
stored the stories in the safe,
who did not try to elevate
own god myths some as
tried to escape when it happened
others sitting in a circle on the remains of fire
a round grove
already many were killed
the taste of vengeance
the slow osmosis that prefigured
by climbing he
not manage to progress,
shouted, soaked in blood and sherry:
YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF IT?"
heard her, slaves Aslatians Moors
of borgogne, Tyroleses camping,
players with loaded guns
OR I WILL SHOOT THE SEVEN SHOTS
I HAVE LEFT."
was such a great reunion, like
time at the corner of the desert,
sailors hamlet and marylin
others who will return outside
of their resplendent passage
were and are pursued by a herd
those who want to know at any cost
will never know
heaven! with the refrain of light
slides every morning from my window
looked at it incandescent reborn.
let it go down hoping the putrefaction
over, he set off.
yonder there's some people who never dreamt
will tell everything everything if there's need
not torture me, officer, I do not know anything
do not know anything, I will not speak, will not speak)
we need hot water?"
we need incense,?"
WE NEED a good runner?"
the meanwhile some others had woken up
this appointment everybody remembered.
tried again in vain to transcend the circumstances
knowing the inevitability of a certain ending
step almost dance moved him
sucked him backward
by a potent trumpet of iron.
the plane of elements
cried some did not
procreated between one ring and another
the trunk marked
passage each for themselves,
a chant began
insinuated itself, carried by the echo of that absence
sounds that favors it tripping
on the metallic barrier
out of spite was building
solitary walker lover
something in particular.
plums, and by chance purple violets
to his feet,
meaning that color for his mind
the sweet smell like boiled sugar
his space, surrounded him.
met with winners and losers, whose aim
to tell what had happened.
I do not fall asleep thinks the soldier,
could be anywhere."
placed himself waiting certain he could enter
some other reality more qualified.
circle, so that the fact could yield good results,
not easy to build, after all
presence of a slave para-ionic
indispensable, and that time
not missing: he ought to unveil everything
otherwise . . .
too, in a desolate world, AFTER
war of avarice and privilege,
a woman, the only one left
her blond hair, toward the goal.
SHALL WE DO WITH YOUR BREAD, MONSIGNOR,
AND SALMON WANTS SAINT GEORGE
TO KILL THE DRAGON AND SAVE
THE PEOPLE FROM THE PLAGUE.
beyond the cableway, Joe Nab
in a gilded palace.
women laugh and are pregnant,
have little shoes of lunar metal.
I ever enter there I want to be king, of myself
blind the crippled the gluttons
NOT HELP THEMSELVES AT ALL, ONE ENORMOUS
A CLOAK, who already made the pass
year to year, governs,
IS HEARD DECLARING THE NEED
the knight, refreshed by a fountain nearby,
nightmare escaped and the knight was really glad.
said: "if I find a sword I can free
earth from the magic of THE DOUBLE."
he said it is not good for you."
goes without saying that swords were no longer made;
there was one in Sidney in a safe.
is always possible to find somebody ON COMMISSION
is willing to do SUCH A JOB.
appointment was founded on the tendency
some to go there.
time we can make it" said
with the feeling of participating
an arcane alchemic process
and excessive credulity,
spring of their action.
many questions, clear answers in such manner
were put in motion,
with the same method they were halted.
a light sense of triumph wafted
the examiners and the examinee.
meteorological angels, municipal policemen and
collectors, confounded ideas
a precise design signaling
reasons of inattention
the moment gravitated of truth and urgency.
gathered with nonchalance small pebbles
the foaming soil and hid them.
bikers around the Bavarian
suddenly touched their tights
delicate points around the groins
transcended in libidinous acts.
first nobody noticed.
could have anticipated it, they
some skaters with pink-and-white tutus
themselves and threw their
in round holes dug for the occasion
led to the water
which the skaters immersed themselves, naked.
hissing immediately young sirens
pricey songs to the sailors who will be
at once a sorrowful lament provoked a
sadness. LIKE IT HAPPENS WITH
ONE WHO HAS JUST REALIZED.
TOOK ONLY A MOMENT.
smile idiotic and stereotyped so
in California and then all over the world
its place again on those large stupefied faces.
we want to see is the king!",
cried (on the wrong track)
we want to know is God!"
threatened "we want everything!"
were some of the most widespread slogans.
actors artists musicians poets
a few architects of museums, a few
of old cemeteries
turn up to get the news
wanted to be updated.
the auction of the spies combined
the necklaces and flags provoked
commotion, the green striped spy
two hundred kilos was sold to a breaker
horses together with a small jazz orchestra
order to go live in Texas, watch
corrida, eat roast beef Indian-style
sitting at night in a drive-in
spy who had lived as lady companion,
BOYS, PEACE! WE HAVE STUDIED
JUST FOR YOU! TO GIVE YOU
he had announced "our creation" perhaps
would have felt disoriented. But not
chelsea boys, however full of vitamins
astral taste as advertised,
to compute algebra and profit
only cared about staying in New York.
arrive to the central point the point
the point" you could read this slogan
black bomber jackets with shining studs.
I WERE TO ASK YOU WHERE IS OUR CULTURE,
WHERE IS IT?" said the top ten single of that day.
Carla Billitteri teaches in the English Department of the University
of Maine, Orono. She has recently edited, translated and introduced the
Italian section of 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium,
published in Boundary2, Spring 1999. Her other translations of
contemporary Italian poetry have appeared in Rif/t; I am a Child:
Poetry After Robert Duncan and Bruce Andrews (Buffalo: Tailspin Press,
1995) and Private Arts.
Cole Swenson --
is a poet and translator of contemporary French poetry. Her translation
of Olivier Cadiot's Art Poetic was published this year by Sun &
Moon Press. Recent volumes of her own work include Try (University
of Iowa Press, 1999) and Noon (Sun & Moon Press, 1997). She
currently directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver.