You’ll be here tomorrow
for the end of the world
or the new year
my skeleton is dancing
dressing up again
in its suit of flesh
its wig of fire
I go out to meet you
halfway

Lhasa de Sela

Almost a job, almost a performance: at the thought of the fateful evening of December 31st, many of us get caught up in anxiety since the beginning of the month. Obviously we can’t be on our own, let alone go to bed when we feel sleepy. Whether we are in the mood for it or not, we usually feel obliged to do something special, to have fun if possible, or pretend that we even enjoy the countdown in front of the TV star on duty and the train dance to the same songs that have been haunting us for decades. With his peculiar humour and imagination, Ugo Rapezzi launches verbal fireworks to say goodbye to the last day of the year and at the same time demolishes its grossest rites. Silvia Secco uses her typical abrasive style and pictorial effectiveness to draw a lonely person against the white of the upcoming snow, a person who is absorbed in an elsewhere, far away from the vulgar context typical of New Year’s Eve parties. In a softer and more melancholy scene, Claudia Zironi tenderly remembers a few familiar figures and a beginning that is immediately turned into its end. The last night of the year doesn’t only mean compulsory fun, but marks a neat temporal boundary that may suggest a balance of one’s life and the idea of a new start. The zeroing mentioned by Elia Sampò recalls the zero on the clock that strikes midnight: it is a tabula rasa that, in spite of the many negative words in the poem, offers a possibility to change.

Muffled

by Silvia Secco

These are not the places
of horrible pyrotechnies.
This is not the noise
of tricks, the tumult
of the bystanders-eyes-up-to-the-sky,
festive streaks, ending
in “Oh!” of wonder!
They die elsewhere, the heroes
sea shells on seabeds.
Carnations by the crosses
now, here are their remains.
They stay awake, unaware
bleating women. Fuddled.
I consent as well.
But dolefully. On the brim
of nothing, alien to the chorus  
of the wealthy. Muffled
in my deadened inside
towards blurred hillsides.
Celestial muttering
is heralding a snowfall.
Nocturnal zero-degree:
higher above (elsewhere) a candour
comes undone…                      Silence,
                                                   please... It snows.

31st December 1999

by Claudia Zironi

We have wished away the end of the millennium
wearing black clothes and sliding on ice.
Even on rice we slided and on flowers
too white as your cousin’s
front teeth. Bingo, dances, kisses,
the many emotion-driven applauses: hidden
in a drawer, in the album. They are there
with Marilena and her too light
coat, with a relative
of whom I can’t remember the name
with uncle Antonio that was laughing,
and died the year after. When,
I see him, snared by chance,
I have a lump in my throat:
what madness? That day
made us say I do for life – save for divorce.

It is not true that we are tired of novelties

by Elia Sampò

It is not true that we are tired of novelties
with our sickness
our long-winded rambling
They are not enough, our velleities
lights
walls
our limits
let’s set everything to zero

It is not true that we are tired of novelties
we would have never thought about it
about throwing away our wastes
our dull expressions
our false steps
our wrong measures
It won’t be enough, the willingness
of listing the things we haven’t done
of hoping that we will manage to overcome
the sickness
and then be late in saying
I’ll do it tomorrow.

SAMBADISCODIGGÈI

by Ugo Rapezzi

Bòunci bòunci bòunci bòunci
4-beats electro-rhythm
120 vibrations yeah
superquickkkk wagons
single files in total freedom
and locomo-Tav happiness.
Pè pè peppèpeppè
oh Brigitte Bardot
obà obà obà
tropicking exhausting
necessarily amusing
nananannananà nananannananà.
Charlie amigo you are so cool
my friend I do not write you
but I play the sambadisco, my dear,
and I whistle, I exhaust you
and don’t care about the upcoming year.

La raccolta del sale

by Alessandro Brusa

I judge the world
that hasn’t accepted me
thanking the fate
for this fallible distance,
for this private malevolence.

The salt that with patience and humility Alessandro Brusa gathers in this collection of poetry is the salt of the sea and the tears, which suggests an identification between the individual and the surrounding environment. An identity that materializes in the imaginative richness of Alessandro’s writing, packed with metaphors and synaesthesias, where thoughts and emotions are mixed up with wood, gold, sea, clouds, streets... The effort of extracting salt from tears means above all to be ready to accept the sufferings that have marked our life journey, as clarified in the poems “Too hastily we delete wounds” and “I wish I had a wineskin”. Alessandro’s poems have an existential meaning and the reader, who is explicitly summoned at the beginning of the collection, is invited to fill the gaps and relive his own personal experiences through the poet’s words. Attention is often drawn to a series of conflicts, embodied in the dichotomies order/disorder, precision/imperfection, solidity/evanescence. The poet seems to place himself nearby the negative pole, voicing the refractoriness to borders, the eagerness to satisfy expectations and the feeling of inadequacy that are likely to catch us in several occasions during our life. There is a steadfast effort to measure the distance between himself and the others, his family, his fellow poets, that are in turn quoted at the beginning of each section or evoked without naming them in several poems. What comes to light is the self-portrait of a writer and a man that attempts to define himself and in so doing creates an amazing first work, winner of the Orlando prize, with an outstanding stylistic expertise and thought-provoking contents chiseled in flawless and melodious lines, without a single discordant note.

Alessandro Brusa,
La raccolta del sale
Giulio Perrone Editore, 2013