Topografia nord / 1: di Luka Stojnic

La manica di questa giacca è lunga. Il braccio si protrae verso un ramo di ciliegio come per indicare un fiore rosa. Consumata ai polsi, la stoffa, scura, svela le due lancette di una delle quattro. Quante volte ti sei accorto delle quattro? L’attenzione per un fiore rosa alle ore quattro. Petali fibrillano nella brezza dell’aria: un soffio che nulla vuol cambiare. Il rimedio per una manica troppo lunga.

Topography North/ 1

The sleeve of this jacket is long. The arm extends towards a cherry branch as if to indicate a pink flower. Consumed at the cuffs, the fabric, dark, reveals the two hands of the one of the four. How many times have you noticed the four? Attention to a pink flower at four o’clock. Petals quiver in the breeze: a sigh that would nothing change. The antidote for a sleeve that’s too long.

If you would like to read more of Luka’s poetry on this blog, click HERE.

SEKISHU: by Gilles-Marie Chenot

Caresse de soie torrentielle
Coup de foudre neuronal
Dans le silence abrupt
S’illumine la montagne endormie

Tonnerre de feu aquatique
Sur une terre dévastée
Et resplendissante

L’été étreint l’hiver torride
L’obscurité ensoleille la clarté

Une nuit meurt, un jour s’éveille



Caress of floodly silk
Neuronal lightning strike
In the abrupt silence
The sleepy mountain lights up

Aquatic thunder of fire
On a devastated land
So bright

The summer embraces the torrid winter
Darkness sunlights clearness

A night is dying, a day awakes


To read more work by Gilles-Marie Chenot (1963-2104), click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.

RIEN N’EST QU’UN MOT: by Gilles-Marie Chenot


Le cœur qui bat
N’a nul besoin de mots
Pour ressentir la clarté de la nuit
Et le chatoiement de l’étoile
Les mots sont des parures volatiles
Que le dénuement enjolive
Mais ne ruisselle dans leur aura
Que le fil de tungstène
Porteur de la volupté
Des caresses intérieures



The heart that beats
Has no need of words
To feel the night’s clarity
And the star’s shimmering
Words are volatile adornments
Deprivation embellishes
But in their aura flows nothing
Other than tungsten wire
Carrier of voluptuous
Internal caresses


To read more work by Gilles-Marie Chenot (1963-2104), click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.

Language’s Power: reading the code

As we near the start of IPM 2017 on Feb. 1st, submissions are arriving and I’m getting excited about presenting them to our readers. I was thinking about communication networks, social networks and neural networks. While looking for images of neural-network maps, I ended up with a bit of a headache from trying to understand what is and isn’t understood about how these cells function in the brain. It turns out there are hundreds of different types of neuronal network maps. I finally settled on one that reminded me of a Gustav Klimt painting – it’s from the sound-processing area of a mouse brain.

A two-photon microscopy image showing a calcium sensor (green), the nuclei of neurons (red) and supporting cells called astrocytes (magenta). Credit: John Issa/Johns Hopkins Medicine
Credit: John Issa/Johns Hopkins Medicine

The number of neurons in the human brain is enormous, estimates vary from 86 to 100 billion, but the truly fascinating thing is that each person has an individual ‘neural map’ that develops over time, formed and annotated by personal experience and varied input. One of the many jobs these networks do from the very beginning is process language – expanding our ability to express ourselves and to understand one another. One of the tools we use to achieve this result is the word; but words must be set within a structure to be understood. Some languages are now unreadable – such as those of the ancient Indus Valley civilizations: the words and their supporting structure are there to be read but, frustratingly, we can no longer decode them. As I mentioned in my previous post, others, such as the Sumerian and Akkadian of the Gilgamesh epic, are thankfully still communicating across the millennia despite the challenges of decoding them.


As this makes clear, despite its power, language is limited – it needs not only a transmitter but also a receiver. As Andrea Moro points out in his book I Speak, Therefore I Am: Seventeen Thoughts About Language:

“We don’t actually see light, we only see its effects on objects. We know it exists because it is partly reflected by the things it encounters, thereby making visible what would otherwise be invisible. In this way nothing, illuminated by another nothing, becomes, for us, something. Words and sentences work in the same way: they have no content of their own, but if they encounter someone who listens they become something.”

Submissions are still open, so if you’re a poet please send your work to be considered. If you’re a reader – get ready to illuminate with your gaze the upcoming 28 poems and transform them into the splendid ‘somethings’ they were meant to be.

IPM 2015: Where do we go from here?

Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It's called the "new" bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.
Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It’s called the “new” bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.


“Poetry gives us the opportunity to offer our observations to present and future readers, be they from the perspective of one standing on the bridge watching events or of one standing below and taking on the current. I’m looking forward to a month of editing and I know that my IPM readers are standing on the bridge waiting for the flow of poems to begin…”

So began International Poetry Month 2015 and the flow of poems was fascinating for me to edit and I hope that both Readers and Poets enjoyed getting their feet wet. I offer my most sincere thanks to the participating poets and to the more than 1000 readers who came from the United States, England, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Luxembourg, Singapore, the UAE, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Switzerland, Israel, Ghana, the Philippines, Belgium, Peru, Romania, Serbia and Portugal to read their work.

Today is the fourth of March and Spring seems only a few days away here in Northern Italy while I know those in other places are still slogging through the snow. Regardless of the temperature, here the snows have begun to melt and these poems will begin to erode away, disappearing a few at a time and leaving only the voices behind. Some you will still be able to find on the web, or in a book. Some will be gone for good. Where do we go from here? Why across the bridge and in search of new images, new experiences and new poetry. Following is an alphabetical list of the participating poets; each name is also a link to the poet’s work posted at IPM where you will find additional links to individual blogs or published works:

NOURRITURE: by Gilles-Marie Chenot


Mais c’est souvent des terribles naufrages
Que surgissent les plus beaux paysages
Que le voilier sur les rochers se soit écrasé
N’implique pas qu’il soit arrivé malheur au timonier

Quand un cavalier monte un cheval
Il ne mange pas la nourriture
Qu’affectionne sa jolie monture
Des délices plus raffinés sont son régal

La caresse frissonnante du vent astral
Au beau milieu d’une pluie d’étoiles
Le tendre enlacement de la Lumière
Dans un velours de dentellière



But from terrible shipwrecks it often is
That the most beautiful landscapes arise
That on the rocks the broken sailboat lists
Misfortune to the helmsman this does not imply

When a rider mounts a horse astride
He does not eat the provender
Of which his mount is fond
But regales himself with delights more refined

The astral wind’s caress shivering
Right in the midst of a rain of stars
Light’s tender intertwining
In a lacemaker’s velvet swath


To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.


*Editor’s Note: I was heartbroken to find Gilles-Marie’s obituary in La Voix du Nord. His pointed, poetic comments and his generous spirit will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. I am thankful that he left me the archive of his poetry last May and I have chosen to present the work that was previously selected for IPM 2015.

VUE D’UN PONT: by Gilles-Marie Chenot


Pointée vers l’infini
Ouverte sur le néant
Tiens on dirait la Vie
Doit-on trouver cela surprenant

« la Vie est un pont soyez passants »
a dit un homme de l’ancien temps
rien n’est figé tout est mouvant
un seul point unique est permanent

dans les ténèbres et l’obscurité
le chemin est toujours balisé
nul moyen de s’en échapper
le plus tôt possible est recommandé

prendre la route ne demande rien
que de laisser tomber ces espoirs vains
on trouve le péage exorbitant
alors qu’il ne coûte pas un franc

dans le Népal on trouve aussi
d’autres cimes de cet acabit
elles sont néanmoins beaucoup plus abordables
et terriblement moins redoutables



Pointing towards infinity
Open to oblivion
Holding to what seems like Life
Must one find it surprising

“Life is a bridge, be as those who pass by”
said a man from another time
nothing is fixed everything is shifting
only a single point is permanent

in the shadows and obscurity
the path is ever signed
no possible exit
as early as possible is recommended

taking the road asks nothing
other than letting fall vain hopes
one finds the tolls exorbitant
while it doesn’t cost a dime

in Nepal one also finds
other summits of this kind
nonetheless they’re far more accessible
and awefully less formidable


To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.


*Editor’s Note: I was looking forward to the exchange of ‘jeux des mots’ with Gilles-Marie that we’ve always had when I work with his poems. I was worried that he did not answer my mail though he had mentioned having trouble with his computer early this last summer. While searching for an alternative way to contact him I was heartbroken to find his obituary in La Voix du Nord. His pointed, poetic comments and his generous spirit will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.


D’anonymes formes floues s’enlacent dans la tendresse du pont d’un souffle clair et limpide. D’immobiles sarments de cachemire pourpre enrubannent des ébats incolores, spiralant des ellipses de chaleur oxydée, redéfinissant les contours de galaxies encrées dans le serein. Une aurore humide perle sur le contour des lèvres du temps, des monceaux de caresses ourlent les abords de l’infini, la ruralité nomade dévergonde les urbanités mercantiles. Corolle qui s’épanouit en fleur d’obsidienne dévitrifiée, une orchidée soupirante émerge de la poussière, ébroue son cristal de fraîcheur dans une inondation de pollen souverain et entonne son chant de murmure insomniaque pendant que l’amour formule une nouvelle fois la recette intangible du plaisir.



Anonymous fluid forms entwine within the tender bridge of a crystal clear sigh. Still vines of purple cashmere beribbon the colorless rhythms, ellipses of oxidized heat spiral, redefining the contours of inky galaxies within the serenity. A humid dawn pearls on the curve of time’s lips, mounds of caresses hem the edge of infinity, nomadic rurality debauches mercantile urbanity. Corollas spread out in flowering of obsidian un-glassed, a sighing orchid emerges from the dust, shakes off crystal freshness in an inundation of sovereign pollen and bursts into her murmuring insomniac song while love formulates once again the intangible recipe of pleasure.

To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.

COMME UN CHARME: by Gilles-Marie Chenot

Danser sur la brume
En cercle et pointillé
L’étreinte de l’écume
Comme un déshabillé

Le sel s’écarte
Sur le passage d’un vent
Aux textures incolores
Qui scintillent gaiement

Sur les touches d’un piano
Une voix s’écartèle
Dans l’incendie d’un contralto
Au rythme fou qui s’ensorcèle

Une mousseline de lave
Irradie ses faveurs
Dentelle d’éclairs
Qui balise la plaine

Charme des forêts
Quand elles soulèvent
L’or de leurs jupons
Sur une odeur de source

Danser sur l’écume
En point de cécité
Etendre cette brume
Et la déshabiller

Dancing on the mist
In circles and points
The embrace of the foam
Like a lingerie lace

Salt discards itself
On the passing breeze
Colorless textures
Sparkling gleefully

A voice breaks across
The piano’s keys
Within a contralto fire’s
Enchantingly mad rhythm

Lava-flow of muslin
radiates her favors
Lightning lace
beacons across the plain

Charm of the forests
When they arise
Their gold slips
over the scent of springs

Dancing on the foam
Into blindness’ vanishing point
Expand this mist
And undress it

To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.

Jasmine : by Gilles-Marie Chenot

Le vent s’assoit
Sur un espar
Que le temps charge
De caresses
Sans qu’un instant
La nuit ne voile
Un zeste ému
Dans la respiration
Qui s’abandonne
Fragile et claire
Fleur d’ouragan
Larme tranquille

The wind sits upon
A spar, which
Weathers’ charge
With caresses
As not even for an instant
Does the night not veil
A touching zest
In the breath
Abandoning itself
Fragile and light
Hurricane’s flower
Tranquil drop

To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.

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