“The bastard – He doesn’t exist!” Hamm exclaimed in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Even those who deny his existence can’t help dealing with God and it is with him that the poets chosen for this issue have dialogued. Gianmario Lucini, Angela Grasso and Eva Laudace asked the eternal question regarding God’s responsibility on violence and they offer three different perspectives. Through a verse-caesura in which the shadows of fighter-bombers delineate, Gianmario Lucini opposes the boundless spaces of the sky and the sea that God has given to our dreams to the torments in the trenches of a humanity that has chosen to move away from him. In her graphic poetry, Angela Grasso suggests a complicity with God that is still possible while asking him for explanations about his indifference towards death, materialized in the carcass of a bird on a windowsill. Any syntony disappears in the hard and meaningful writing of Eva Laudace, who in the abandonment of prayer decrees the lack of communication between mankind and a God that the implacable fall of the skittles depicts as more cruel than careless. The relationship with the divine emerging in the poems by Antonella Taravella and Miriam Bruni is more private. With her rich and dense writing Antonella Taravella mimes an intimate dialogue with herself at night, at home, in search for an inner light and a shelter from pain and grievousness. The union desired by Miriam Bruni is mystic and sensuous, even in the disposition of the verses on the page: in the shape of his son, God takes on a body to love in every detail with tenderness and sweet submission.

They all went down

by Eva Laudace

They all went down
one after the other
skittles
knocked down by the same vertigo.

When she left too
I gave up praying.

We don’t have wings

di Gianmario Lucini

We don’t have wings: in his wisdom
God made us slow bipeds, he didn’t place
Frisian horses between one land and another
except the deep thought of the sea

and we learnt to cross it, the sea
as far as infinity opens wide
we learnt to fly intensely
closing our eyes and listening to the wind

(may we still be aviators of dreams...)

and it is really a dark time, the present,
that forces us to imitate moles
dig ways that are hidden to the falcons’ eye
under borders that God did not impose

we dig the soft sand that crumbles
cutting every bridge with the sun
for a little bread, a gun to kill
and deceive ourselves to survive.

they ask me about faith and love at home

by Antonella Taravella

they ask me about faith and love at home
a day lightened by the hands open wide on my heart
as I beat my chest on that God safely
and I believe in them, the hands joined
in the sorrow that faints down the legs
dissolving the salt until the feet
like a migrant that gets ready for the act
of words to the womb
I become poor when the paper is poisoned
in the blind spots where memory
is hanging – attracted by the faint light of the night

Face to face

by Miriam Bruni

To lie down here,
close to you,
my ribs on the floor.
You can lay  
your foot
on my neck.
On my hair
that I hadn’t cut for years.
You walk barefoot, I know,
but in You I trust
and I love your wrist,
your ankle, and your
moving around the world. And the habit
sown by your mother
with endless devotion.
Cover me, Yeshua,
with the clothes
of pure Light
that you showed
on Mount Tabor. Rest me,
I pray you, lift
my cross
for a while,
whisper to me of love.

I see

by Angela Grasso

I see
life decaying
in the carcass of a bird (any one)
 ᷆ ᷇ [there, on the windowsill of an empty floor, for four months at least]
To the feverish breeze
[maybe February breeze?]
I ask about YOU©
What an Awful Mess,
my GOD©,
is life?

ME >> GOD

Volatile     I

Lo sciancato e Caterina

You burnt the letters
of writings, the only thing that should be left was the beat.

The verses by Alessandro Assiri expand and sometimes seem to border on prose, but this is only an optical illusion because his writing possesses the musicality, the density and the linguistic deviation that are typical of great poetry. Its way of spreading on the wide page reproduces the advance of young people in a square: this last word recurs many times in the book, it invades the time of memory that the caesura represented by the section bearing the title of the book seems to delete as if we should start again from the beginning. So the cripple and Caterina, third persons who, as doubles, come to blow out the I-you chosen since the beginning, declare the defeat already feared: the end of the possibility of an ideal world from which “you don’t move away, you fall” and the failure of poetry itself (“and as a writer I was already worth nothing”). Their turning in on their uncomfortable physicality replaces the almost material intercourses of the previous pages and the limping, crouching and rolling around stop the races that until then had dragged the reader with them. These races are flights from the police during demonstrations but also bursts of life, chased by time and with doubts and tireless thoughts always at one’s heels. Under a visible sky where scarlet flags wave, the fellow-travellers are friends with a name but also artists – painters, writers, musicians – evoked with the same kind of familiarity. In the written words and those that in the plates are trapped inside the mouths gaping in the faces mid-way between Munch and Bacon, the painful tension towards an unattainable ideal takes shape. An ideal that consists of a free but also meaningful life, besieged by social conventions that are mirrored by advertisements against which the language of poetry constantly rebels. What comes to light is an inner conflict translated into a lively and nervous writing, dense with clots of images and thoughts to loosen by reading again and again. A conflict in which – especially those that have a political conscience – can’t help identifying, and suffer.

Alessandro Assiri, Lo sciancato e Caterina, Edizioni CFR 2014

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