Accepting our invitation, the poets have grabbed their verses like a mirror which they have bravely turned toward themselves. Showing to the readers – but above all to themselves – their true essence. “What is most personal is most universal” goes the old saying, and that’s exactly how the game of mirrors begins: the courage to look deeply into one’s own self allows us to see our true human substance, the one we are inclined to hide behind layers and layers of habits and decency – and it’s exactly with that very substance that the readers will be most likely to identify. The sweet nursery rhyme by Roberta Lipparini conveys a sense of bitterness: the image of herself like a rag doll torn by a lost love. With her verses, harsh like the sound of a snap of the palm on the glass, Claudia Zironi asks the mirror and the answer she gets back is the proof of the transience of beauty and feelings. Ironic and sharp as she always is, Leila Falà transfers her desire for self-destruction onto the glass bottles, bringing out all the rage hiding behind a mask of balance and depth. Irony results in sarcasm in the sonnet by Vincenzo Bagnoli, who observes his dark side in a place which is particularly appropriate to express self-loathing. On the other hand, Giampaolo De Pietro’s daydream is beautiful and positive: the dream of an authentic humanity, freed from the slavery of work and the tyranny of time.

The malhereux poet

by Vincenzo Bagnoli

Cosa guardi quando guardi quel vetro?
cosa vedi che ti guarda nello specchio?
un uomo ogni volta un po’ più vecchio?
la cosa d’altro mondo il mostro tetro?
E cosa senti dentro al tuo orecchio
quando parli, se poi parli a te stesso?
Un suono sconquassato roco e fesso
come la ghiaia scossa in fondo a un secchio?
Ti chiedi qualche volta ancora adesso
che cosa resta riguardando indietro,
ma alle tue spalle c’è sempre quel muro.
E cosa vuoi vedere, chiuso in cesso,
sempre costretto allo spazio di un metro?
Così capirci qualcosa è duro.

What are you looking at in the glass?
what do you see looking at you in the mirror?
a man that is gradually getting older?
the thing from another world, the sombre monster?
And what do you feel inside your ear
when you speak, if you speak to yourself?
A smashed hoarse and cracked sound
like the gravel shaken in a bucket?
Sometimes now you keep wondering
what is left if you look back,
but behind you there is always that wall.
What do you want to see, locked in the toilet,
always compressed in a square metre?
In this way, it is hard to understand something.

doll doll

by Roberta Lipparini

doll doll
heart of rags
doll wants a caress
and cries tears of blue cloth
for that love
that disappeared
doll doll
eyes of glass
doll falls
with her heart backwards
their look lost in the blue sky
to dream of that love
she doesn’t have anymore
an angel passes by that picks her up
he kisses her
he asks her to marry him
but the doll’s heart
is on the floor
rag tears
the wind will wipe them

Immortality

by Claudia Zironi

In front of the mirror
once again
I ask
Who in the land is the fairest of all?
And this time with your features
the villain answers
It’s you
for the time we are given
I seal the time
with a snap
of the palm
It drips
the red, and stains
the undamaged crystal

(Il tempo dell’esistenza, Marco Saya ed. 2012)

Hubbub

by Leila Falà

Noise, crash of broken glass thrown in the rubbish.
A belly’s pleasure the noise at night.
To smash in order.
Meticulous ruin.
Nice pleasure.
Big Smashing without producing damages.
Thirty bottles in sequence, how beautiful!
and nobody could say anything.
Instead of getting smashed against something myself.
Well, other people have always thought
that I am deep and well balanced.

Today when, since

by Giampaolo De Pietro

Today when, since
I woke up I haven’t felt  
the need
to pass by a clock,
am I dead perhaps?
Or am I living differently,
free in time?
A worker that doesn’t
expire?
A busy man but not
chronic?

Cotone

ny Francesca Del Moro

We happen to us gently
snow from the sky,
leaves from the branches.
(A prayer)

Cool and light is the cotton, as the wefts of words and silences (blank spaces and ink’s black arranged freely) that Martina Campi weaves in this book, elegant in its white rough cover and the minimal design embellished by the drawings of Francesco Balsamo. It is easily burnt by fire leaving immaculate ash, like the human existence which is painted in these pages. The verses lay down colours on the white, like the blue that sews up memories, the red smeared by the sunset on the arm, the green which is embraced by the sun, the yellow of the sheets of paper and the one that is mixed with darkness. Impressionist and surrealist scenes gradually surface, Dalí and Van Gogh. In environments that are sometimes oneiric and sometimes permeated by a sensory realism highlighted by meaningful details, there is a humanity united by a sense of community, closely-woven like cotton’s fibres. This is testified by the frequent use of the first person plural or the equivalent impersonal form, rarely replaced by an “I” generally balanced by a “you”. A humankind which, although constantly besieged and somehow fascinated by death, is alive: the proof is the breath, constantly evoked so that it seems that the pages are breathing themselves. And it’s breath that modulates the landscapes where people meet, as Martina says, the interiors and exteriors filmed according to unusual perspectives, accurate editing and slow travelling shots: the eyes linger on raindrops, on the chairs with the coats, the feet that “apologize to the steps”, the knees that crowd as they go up the stairs, it measures the distances between the curtains and the sofa, stopping before the seven colour surfaces left by the rain on the tarmac. Seasons, heat and cold, light and darkness, as if to embrace the cycle of existence, and within this cycle people move on according to common paths, they have similar experiences. And always tend towards each other with a caressing affection that vibrates, even towards things. There are words everywhere, left in front of the stoves, uttered by the windows’ silence, the same words that seem to have landed on the pages, as after a butterfly flight. While the anaphors, the punctuation set free from every rule, the blank spaces and the polysyndetons release a music of things happening that, as Emilio Villa warns in the epigraph, is an “opening wide” instead.  

Martina Campi,
Cotone
© 2014 Buonesiepi libri