Wednesday, December 29, 2010


È come se una nube
arrivasse ad avere
forma di nube.
(Valerio Magrelli)

I don’t have a face or a name.
Don’t expect me to churn out
from my pocket a greeting card
after delivering the same speech
in the middle of an empty street.

I don’t deserve the constancy of a faithful name.
To be perfectly honest, I never bothered to be the same.
Though I seem to keep
running after my tail,
I never keep us on the same trail.

I’m not the grown-up from my own child,
nor am I the guy I left behind ten minutes ago.
The very same time which creases my features
and bends my shoulders
builds me up once more.

I am my son and heir, shaped
out of nothingness after my sheer unlikeness.
The same naught that gives me stuff and meaning,
for I realise that I just keep on living
as long as I serve as fodder to oblivion.

But they think me as a point to pin down
on the Cartesian ground,
and ask for my credentials
from the union of clowns.
I who am only where I ain’t or where I still can’t:

as that ship which can’t be seen from ashore,
but drifts onto us wrapped by the distance,
a rough bulk deprived of form,
it is, so as to say, a mountain of mist,
but a thing, no, it still isn’t;

or as love before love,
betrayed in a whim or shiver of hand,
squeezed between conventions and machinisms,
but, once enquired, you promptly deny it,
because love, no, it can’t still be it.

No word could fit me, since, as those of my kin,
I am solely made of flesh and bone,
and have never known
anyone composed of sterner stuff,
of ideals and high-flown goals.

we can only deserve when
we grow mute so as not to need them,
as soon as we are finally through
with all the things we're long overdue.

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