Implied subject || sottofondo: by Bonnie McClellan

It is the thing that lies under
……..under    lies
below the foundation
……..like a time signature
……..signalling in silence:
there
there
there
there
……..we are.

È la cosa che sta sotto……..
sotto    stante
sotto il fondo.…….
come il tempo quaternario
segnalando in silenzio
ci……..
ci……..
ci……..
ci……..
siamo.

SISIFO: di Luca Maria Antonini

non so più quello chepensa il mio pensiero, non capisco più cosa vuole pensare, se quello che il mio pensiero pensa sia giusto o sbagliato, o buono o cattivo o qualcos’altro, io non posso più controllare il mio pensiero, penso senza sapere pensare, il mio pensiero pensa quello che vuole e io non posso più pensare a quello cui voglio pensare, penso solo a quello cui pensa il mio pensiero, a quello che decidelui, e non decido quello cui il mio pensiero debba pensare ma il mio pensiero fa quello che vuole, non mi considera, non so più quello che pensa, o come pensa, o perché (perché il mio pensiero pensa senza che io possa pensare), il mio pensiero pensa a quello che vuole indipendentemente da me, e io non ho controllo sul mio pensiero, il mio pensiero mi sovrasta, è avanti, è laterale, trasversale, compiaciuto di se stesso, incontrollabile, e io non so se quello che pensa sia vero e sensato, perché pensa solo lui e perché il mio pensiero non è mio ma è il pensiero del mio pensiero, e io non penso il mio pensiero ma è il mio pensiero a pensare me, a osservarmi con sufficienza, dall’alto al basso, e il mio pensiero mi controlla e giudica mentre lavo l’insalata in bilico sul lavandino.

 

Ascoltare una lettura qui sotto, la musica è stata composta e arrangiata per Sisifo da Igor Sciavolino:

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An English translation of this poem can be found below:

SISYPHUS

i don’t know what my thought thinks anymore, i don’t understand what it wants to think, if that which my thought thinks is right or wrong, or good or bad or something else, i can’t control my thought anymore, i think without knowing i think, my thought thinks what it wants and i can no longer think about what i want to think, i just think about what my thought thinks, about what it decides, and i don’t decide what my thought should think but my thought does what it wants, it has no regard for me, i no longer know what it thinks, or how it thinks, or why (because my thought thinks without me being able to think), my thought thinks about what it wants independent from me, and i have no control over my thought, my thought dominates me, it’s in front, it’s beside and through me, self satisfied, uncontrollable, and i don’t know if what it thinks is true and reasonable, because only it is thinking and because my thought is not my own but is the thought of my thought, and i don’t think my thought but it’s my thought which thinks me, observes me with condescension, up and down, and my thought keeps an eye on me and judges me while i wash the lettuce balanced on the sink.

(translation by Matthew Broussard)

From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Kanji: by Robert Okaji

In the evening I pour wine to celebrate
another day’s survival. My motions:
up to down, left to right. Glass

from cabinet, wine to mouth.
And then I return to the page.
The character for stone, ishi,

portrays a slope with a stone
at its base, and I take comfort
in knowing that as my knee aches

at the thought of climbing, ishi exists
in descent only. A volcano belches,
producing hi, fire, rising above the

cone, while earth, tsuchi, lies firm
beneath the shoots pushing up,
outward, and ame, rain,

consists of clouds and dotted
lines and the sky above. But if
wind is made of insects and

plums, do I assemble new meaning
without fact or wisdom, form
or assumed inflection, left to

down, up to right? Consider water,
its currents, its logic and needs.
Consider truth. This is how I think.

Listen to a reading of the poem by the poet:

You can find more poetry by Robert Okaji on this site or on his blog HERE . A collection of Robert’s poetry is available in his chapbook “If Your Matter Could Reform” which was published as part of the the National Poetry Month series by Dink Press 

MATERNITA’: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

scroll down for English

Dunque, come scrivevo, questo infinito sgomento – non
della morte, affatto- le grandi ali dei suoni.
Giovanni, si era arrampicato
su una roccia strappando un ramoscello pieno di belle bacche.
Le ha date alla Gemma. Oh! – disse- Io stavo a guardare tutto.
Ancora una volta mi metto a immaginare quel fatto
ma di quanti anni prima? dopo quanti anni?…

MATERNITA’

prima

Io le sentivo allora dalla spaccatura, intanto di soppiatto
…..fissavo
le loro garze inzuppate e gli stracci
buttati nel catino, su cui sfolgorava lucentissima la luce
…..del sole
dal vetro della finestrella; – e mi sentivo così solo e sopraffatto
come se in quel momento mi fosse stato dato a sorte
il miracolo stupefacente della vita. Avevo anche
…..timore
che la balia uscisse all’improvviso e mi trovasse dietro
…..la spaccatura
a sbirciare quell’evento a me proibito – soprattutto
scoprisse che avevo sentito le loro parole, scoprisse
la mia bravata maldestra.

segùnda

Dopo l’ultimo parto era smagrita;
le palpebre sempre inarcate; i seni
avevano perso la forma – lei lo vedeva e lo nascondeva
…..e era smarrita, silenziosa,
quasi per conto suo.
…..A volte, invece, si sedeva
immutabile, per attimi e attimi,
nella stessa posa, e assorta,
nel piccolo sgabello di betulla; si passava le mani
con un pezzo di sapone sbeccato – io lo intuivo
dall’odore entrando in stanza sua –
e mi piaceva, perché il sapone era sempre destinato
al giorno della festa e della domenica; – e ancora, adoperava
varie erbe officinali, raccolte di fretta la sera al scendere del sole,
erbe che rinfrescavano la pelle e davano alla faccia un carnato
lucido e pallido. Un giorno
mi guardò che la guardavo nello specchietto
forse aveva sentito la mia presenza alle spalle,
e sobbalzò tutta: fece una mossa
come se fosse scesa di colpo da un salto.
“ Così, hai notato anche tu che sono sciupata?”

e all’istante ridivenne lieta, consolata, bella
come un tempo, prima del suo mutamento
e prima dei grandi mutamenti incontrollabili del tempo.

“Una camminata fatto in quei
giorni che il freddo accorcia la pioggia… io
e lei, la Gemma, mia madre, di 95 anni”.

tèersa

Portami a camminare con te
appena lì avanti, fino al muro della contrada,
fin dove la valle si apre e appare
il campanile peraria e di sasso, calcinato dallo sprazzo
…..di luna,
così peraria e immateriale
così distaccato, quasi etereo
che puoi anche credere che non esiste
il vuoto con le sue lontananze.

Portami a camminare con te.

Ci abbandoneremo un momento sul sasso,
sul dosso,
e inumidendoci fra serti di brina
forse crederemo persino di volare,
perché a volte, come adesso, sento lo stropiccìo
…..dei miei panni
che sembra il fremito di due ali grandi,
e quando ti accosti a questo battito del volo
senti alleggerirsi le braccia, il corpo, la tua figura,
e così avvolto nella cornice di una brina azzurra,
negli tratti liberi dell’anima
non ha importanza che tu salpa o ritorni,
né importa che i nostri capelli siano imbiancati,
(è questo che mi dà tenerezza – e mi dà tenerezza
che s’imbianca anche lo sterrato).

Portami a camminare con te.

peraria: cavato su dal dialetto vecchio

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, il suo ultimo libro, “Quattro mesi e venti giorni” è uscito per LietoColle.

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An English translation of this poem can be found below:

 

So, as I wrote, this infinite dismay – not
of death, at all – the broad wings of sounds.
Giovanni, had climbed
up on a rock tearing off a small twig full of beautiful berries.
He gave them to Gemma. Oh! –she said– I was watching everything.
Once again I re-immagine that moment
but how many years before? after how many years?…

MATERNITY

first

I could hear her then through the fissure, meanwhile furtively
…..I stared at
their sopping gauze and the rags
thrown into the basin, on which the polished sunlight
…..blazed
from the window’s glass; – and I felt so alone and overwhelmed
as if in that moment I had been given at random
the stupefying miracle of life. I was also
…..afraid
that the nurse would come out suddenly and find me behind
…..the fissure
peering in at that event forbidden to me – especially
discover that I had heard their words, discover
my clumsy escapade.

second

After the last birth she was gaunt;
eyelids always sagging; her breasts
had lost their shape – she saw it and hid it
…..she was lost, silent,
almost of her own accord.
…..Sometimes, instead, she would sit
unchangeable, for moments and moments,
in the same position, and lost in thought,
on the small birch stool; she passed a chipped
bar of soap over her hands – I intuited that
from the smell upon entering her room –
and it pleased me, because soap was always used
on holidays and Sundays; – and still, she employed
various medicinal herbs, quickly gathered in the evening when the sun went down,
herbs that refreshed the skin and gave the face a pale and glowing
flesh. One day
she saw that I saw her looking in the mirror
perhaps she felt my presence at her shoulder,
and she started: with a movement
as if suddenly landing hard from a jump.
“So, have you also noticed that I’m falling apart?”

and instantly she became happy again, consoled, beautiful
as she once was, before her change
and before the great, uncontrollable changes of time.

“A walk taken in those
days when the cold cut short the rain… She
and I, Gemma, my mother, 95 years old”.

third

Take me walking with you
just there ahead, up to the wall of the contrada,
up to where the valley opens up and it appears
the unearthly bell tower of stone, whitewashed by the flash
…..of moonlight,
so unearthly and immaterial
so detached, almost ethereal
that you can even believe it doesn’t exist
the void with its remoteness.

Take me walking with you.

We let ourselves go for a moment on the rock,
…..on our backs,
and dampened among garlands of hoarfrost
perhaps we believe we can even fly
because sometimes, like right now, I hear the rustling
…..of my clothes
that seems like the flapping of two broad wings,
and when this beat of flight accosts you
you feel your arms, your body, your features, lighten
and so wrapped up in the frame of azure hoarfrost,
in the liberated lines of the soul
it doesn’t matter if you’re taking off or returning,
nor does it matter that our hair has turned white,
(it’s this that moves me – and it moves me
to see that the path has also turned white).

Take me walking with you.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

Poiesis, The Art of Poetry: by Anna Mosca

Poiesis, The Art of Poetry

*

If I arrange myself
coherently

between white spaces

give me a rhythm
suspended
between bodies and souls

that will transfer
transfigure
that will transcribe

light on the soft
curve of waves
a second before

dark

(From the collection: Summer Colors).

To hear the poet’s reading of this poem, click on the player below:

Poiesis,L’arte di fare poesia

*

se mi dispongo
coerentemente

tra gli spazi bianchi

dammi un ritmo
che sia
tra i corpi e le anime

che trasporti
trasfiguri
che trascriva

la luce sulla curva
morbida delle onde
un attimo prima

buia

(dalla collezione: Colori estivi)

Clicca qui sotto per ascoltare l’audio:

You  can read more of Anna Mosca’s poetry by clicking HERE.
Leggi più delle poesie di Anna Mosca QUI.
 
Anna Mosca’s 2015 collection of poetry “California Notebooks 01” is available 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

Equilibre

SEKISHU

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

Equilibrium

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.

collection-of-tablets

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.

Sonnet on Descartes’ Vinyard / Sonetto sul Vigneto di Cartesio: by Bonnie McClellan

SONETTO SUL VIGNETO DI CARTESIO

Paesaggio trascrive in polvere il fantasma del tempo
Tratto manomesso; friabile, reticolo evidente.
Maledizione di Jahweh, o di Minerva fatidico dono
Nudo frutto d’Eden, nel lavoro ridefinito.
Asse cartesiana della mente ben ordita
Contro il caos verdeggiante; la ruota della ragione.
EGO SUM dell’uomo tirato in campo ardente
Morbida, intransigente linea infinita.

Cosa abbiamo perso in questo mondo ben composto,
Arato dalla nostra razza divisa e consapevole?
Beatitudine incolta, dura, senza nome;
Primo bacio selvaggio tra Adamo ed Eva d’ossa fine;
Frusciante betulla sbiancata, mai scritta;
Panno primale della lingua, tessuto ma ancora spiegato.

*****     *****     *****

SONNET ON DESCARTES’ VINEYARD

Landscape writes out in dust the ghost of time
Well-fingered tract; friable, forceful grid.
Yahweh’s curse or Minerva’s fateful gift
Naked fruit of Eden, in labour, redefined.
Cartesian axle of the ordered mind
Brought against verdant chaos, reason’s wheel.
Man’s own I AM scratched out in burning field
Soft, intransigent infinity of line.

What have we lost in this well-structured world
Ploughed out by our sentient, divided kind?
A hard, unnamed, uncultivated bliss;
Adam and fine-boned Eve’s first savage kiss;
Clattering, chalky aspen undescribed;
Primal cloth of language, woven, yet unfurled.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast:


Per ascoltare allo podcast in italiano, premete qui sotto:

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:

“Mia piccola nonna, Maria”: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

La notte si ingrandiva spessa di neve alla Biurca de Gàvet, tutta luminosa di spilli di ghiaccio e di luna. Dal ponte arrivava una donna giovane vestita di pannolenci.

………………………………………………………………………………………

“Mia piccola nonna, Maria”

Quando ti ha chiuso gli occhi intorno
c’era solo suléugul
e il fumo di una piccola lucerna

pulizia e dignità come nel candore
dei muri di calcina e nel lenzuolo
di canapa e quanto c’è di unico

e di compiuto nell’essere.
…………………………….

Al funerale una foglia avvizzita si librò sul fiume e scomparve. Ogni cosa era avvolta dal freddo. Solo delle pecore erano sperse sulla stretta, flemme, andavano aldilà. Di ritorno, c’era odor di polenta, patate e biancheria lavata. Mangiammo con fame quel che il nonno ci metteva davanti.

suléugul, un mesto senso di abbandono (dial.).

.

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

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An English translation of this poem can be found below:

The night expanded thick with snow at Biurca de Gàvet, all bright pins of ice and moon. A young woman dressed in thin felt came from the bridge.
……………………………………………………………………………

“My little grandmother, Maria”

When you’d closed your eyes around
there was only forlornness
and the smoke of a small oil lamp

cleanliness and dignity as in the white
of the lime-washed walls and in the hempen
sheets and how much there is of the inimitable

and of completeness in being.
……………………………

At the funeral a withered leaf drifted on the river’s surface and disappeared. Everything was enveloped by the cold. Only the sheep were scattered along the narrow way, phlegmatically, they moved along. Returning, there was the smell of polenta, potatoes and freshly-washed laundry. We ate with hunger what Grandfather set before us.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.