by Francesca Del Moro

Invited to draw inspiration from the sky, the poets published here have explored the theme from different perspectives. Sticking to number seven, the Leitmotiv of all the ILLUSTRATI issues released in 2016, Alessandro Silva and Cristina Bove wrote about the seven skies that ancient people imagined as moving orbits with a celestial body mounted like a gem. In his epic lines, Alessandro Silva joins the myth of Allah’s creation and the criminal gestures of faith of those who betray his intentions today, whereas Cristina Bove climbs up the celestial spheres one by one with prayer intentions in favour of a fragile humanity. The Zodiac is the protagonist of the poem by Serenella Gatti, which recreates the mysterious magic of birth as a conflict and fusion of opposites, a constant in human life. The vivid short poems by Gianluca Garrapa and Fiorenza Mormile shine before our eyes, the first uniting in a weighty image the birth and the death, the violence and the peace the sky is capable to express, the latter personifying, through a historical reference and a reflection on love, the Sun and the Moon in its full splendour. The Sun and the Moon are also the protagonists of the poem by Anna Maria Robustelli, which celebrates a momentary loneliness in harmony with nature, whereas the funny lines by Veronica Liga play with two different meanings of the word Mercury, turning the slippery and toxic droplets splashing out of a broken thermometer into bewitching planets.

it was electricity flowing
between an Earth sign and an Air one
      when I was born
a passage in the void
of an interregnum
neither here nor there
and yet both here and there
as between the present place
and the original family
between good and evil   full and empty
joy and pain   light and darkness
       that is life
clothes vertically occupy
less space than horizontally
       sun and rain
in the same schizophrenic day
like us   like society
sadness and restitution
being born at night and the day to recover
getting the balance right
on a boat in the middle of the mist
in a line connecting Taurus and Gemini
and a stubborn Capricorn ascendant
between via Santa Caterina and Senza Nome
        having succeeded
the flash of the light at sunset
before falling into the darkness


by Veronica Liga

I draw mercury in handfuls
crumbling in silver balls
which slip through my fingers –
each one of them glittering like a small moon,
they leave burns on my skin
looking like star-shaped tattoos,
they fall at my feet, tinkling softly
and roll away – far, far away…
I get wrapped in a multi-scented vapour,
I inhale it,
get intoxicated, get sick –
and I don’t resist!


by Cristina Bove

Sun that shine on barbed wire and resorts
sky after sky in glowing trade winds
and snatch us from the darkness of our gloomy heart
come just a little closer, close enough
to burn us with divinity at last
Selene who let yourself be dressed in light
so that you brighten every night
I wish you were always full and round
for those who love _and for those who got lost
and can no longer find their names and homes_
And you, planet that hide
the alchemical secret in the hydrargyrum
free us from the stone that keeps
our very true origin in prison
winged Mercury, give us back the stars
Beauty that remove from the shadows
forgetful Venus: you take us far away
from the deep truth of tragedies
just for once make us ugly, but
sincerely human
Mars of blood and blades
the violence you inject into us mortals
to fight each other armed and unarmed
just hold it in the bellicose centre
just build a cradle and chant into your orbit
God of the fickle gods, emotionless Jupiter
you remain in your Olympus and judge the living
absent to the prayers
of the beings who didn’t ask to exist
but are the true heroes between good and evil
Saturn surrounded by mist
the lead belongs to you: rings are said
to make you a little crazy in the photons
just like we are here on planet Earth
paralyzed and anaemic, sometimes lying on the ground
belonging to a planet that is slowing down

so many things you know...

by Gianluca Garrapa

so many things you know of that terrifying
blue flower that blossoms as it dies

(the sky)

Seven the skies of Allah

by Alessandro Silva

The trees as they drip resin
on the air. The slimness of the grass
in the goats and the strange calm before
the eyes that the thunder covered in blood.
Allah the sovereign of the seven skies is crying:
he made them within two days, one above the other,
motionless and without cracks.
There were ordinary people getting on the bus
the rows of blue houses were long:
this was the country before the crash.
The fool who died in search for his God
screamed about seven skies. He is the enlightened
now and breathing he walks on the lands
that made a dough of every sky. He wants
to eat the lotus in the Eden of the Seventh
    The dead won’t meet the dead again.
Many of them only care about leaving a footprint
in the journey of this circumferent tale.

Full Moon

by Fiorenza Mormile

To be
(even just for
very few nights)
the sun’s favourite.

Feeling Oneself

by Anna Maria Robustelli

platings of leaves
flail about from the walls
beside those who walk.
           After our words
           I was left alone.
Sunday opens up
to the wildness of the wind
and the clearings of the sun
even in my room.
Last night
a passion of moon
was running
in and out
of thick pink clouds.

Piccolissimo compianto all'incompiuto

by Marthia Carrozzo

“Unaccomplished” is the noun – in epic poetry it would be called “epithet” – that introduces Achilles starting from the title of this book by Marthia Carrozzo, a new poem collecting the possible narrations hidden in the folds of Homer’s lines and the inspirations from other works that, from Statius to Von Kleist to Carmelo Bene, over the centuries, have focused on his figure. Unaccomplished is Achilles since when, as a newborn baby, his mother immersed him in the Styx to make him invulnerable but accidentally left his heel out without perfecting his immortality. Unaccomplished is his love, “just a half-love, his love was”, the feeling that from the point of view of the author replaces the anger that bequeathed him to our imagination. As she informs us in her heartfelt afterword, it is always for love that Achilles chooses and makes mistakes: for Deidamia, Briseis, Patroclus, and for love he is a sacrificial victim: for Thetis, Agamemnon, Paris. These are the voices that, together with Penthesilea, alternate in a poem homogenized by a dense texture of references, by the repetition of figures of speech especially concerning the rhythm and the signifier and the use of a dignified and atemporal language. Invisible driving force behind questions, nostalgia and regrets, Achilles melodiously slides into the thoughts of those who have interlaced their destiny with his, or rather goes “through” them, oft-repeated preposition underlining the transience but also the incisiveness of the encounter. Unaccomplished is also the concept of gender, called into question by the female clothes worn by the hero when he loves Deidamia, which are counterbalanced by the squeezed breasts and the arms of Penthesilea who fights against her rival in a bellicose and erotic hand-to-hand combat. Unaccomplished is above all the destiny of a ghost that still wanders between the lives he has left unresolved. The book hints at another possible story, of what would have happened if Achilles could have run away from his own name. This recalls the Saramago’s Gospel and moreover there are several explicit references to Jesus Christ, whereas Paris and Agamemnon hide the tormented figure of Judas. Only the smallest details of the body of Achilles are captured and what emerges are the effects on the other bodies that are united to him in sexual intercourses, touchings and fights, bodies that these contacts have left deeply restless. Obsessively captured in his passing through, leaving and even vanishing, it’s by being missed, as it often happens, that this object of a choral and artistically sublime longing, not the hero but the vulnerable and loving man, proves to be stronger and more present than ever.

Marthia Carrozzo
Piccolissimo compianto all'incompiuto
Besa Editrice, 2016