by Guido Monte and Vittorio Cozzo
Translated by Maria Patricia Mastruzzo
(Swans - July 3, 2006)
To Mario Turrisi
For a long time I had collected
what Vittorio was telling me on the phone
about his dreams—
and I scratchily wrote,
through immediate inspiration,
according to my long-wrought way.
then I read Kirimura, Ikeda
T'ien T'ai's Ichinen Sanzen:
I found the title ready-made.
Here are eight microcosms.
In that world there existed
three prototypes of men and women,
then multiplying to infinite
in millions of copies.
Women were the hypocrite, the sensuous,
the apparent tame—men were the drunken,
the violent, the slave.
2. THE WAR
Anselmuccio had promised to be a good boy—
Try again and try, he succeeded one day.
Just then, his sister, smiling
murmured to his ear: the war!
Didn't want to believe it—went to the window
and saw a crowd of people running away.
His father, in front of the laid table
hopelessly cried: it's the end.
Anselmuccio again went to the window
and shouted to make his throat bleed.
In the end one found himself alone
under a bridge at night,
with the fear the river would overflow.
The day after he wandered again
the place where work in obsession,
went up the stairs of a building,
one of a thousand,
got to the top and jumped down.
4. AN OLD RAP
A man hid in the carriage of a train
and listened from the radio
to an old rap of a few years before—
It was the story of a penniless terminal-operator
who never managed to get his old age pension.
He saw images clear and images more internal,
he was unable to recall—
then he woke up and went to work,
thoughtful. One morning he got up
and saw a kitten peeping at him
bewildered, from the kitchen calendar.
Two, friends since their childhood, aged together,
sitting on the steps near the town hall.
A child gets near, scorns them and runs away.
One of the two old men rages and runs after him,
gets him, gives him a kick:
the boy falls to pieces like a crystal bowl.
A mother, crying, picks up
The crystal bits, the pieces
of a son too soon grown up.
Among the losers in that town
faceless, someone had dialled 999
thinking of a riot in the neighbourhood.
Just arrived, their lights all glimmer
the bored policemen asked: who?
7. A NON-EXISTING WORD
He was a middle-aged man, on a bus,
complaining of a theft he'd just witnessed.
While he was getting off, a young girl
pointed a gun at him
and shot him right into his face,
under his eye
shouting a non-existing word.
8. LAST WORLD
In the last world there's a kind of paradise,
the essence of pure bliss
in which you are oddly conscious you exist—
you can't see anything.
Not even there it's possible though
to speak to God, not even as dead men—
each manages his own light.
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