Friday, May 1, 2020




Salmon are to be waylaid
at the bottleneck of the river mouth,
when they are scared, cramming the water;
you have to let the net down where
the surface ripples with fins,
gills fumbling the desire
that doubles the passage of new
generations. That is the moment
to shoot the net, to stretch tight
the noose to the throat, the sharp spear.
At the metro exit we are
oblivious salmon to the slaughter


We are like cans filled
of spices in the kitchen
with carefully selected tisanes
we are the nettle, the lime and the balm.
It takes the vegetable patience
that fills the labour of the balconies
to be fine glass loving
the dust, the indifferent scent
of the essences.
Brew your wombs
boil like fish or potatoes
and then strain the red juice
that furs up the bottom of the mug.


I always mess up
and I should be wearing a sign
lit like a beacon in my flesh
engraved in my hand, a cross
an indecipherable letter
from the alphabet of pain
it will say that it is time
for my mistakes:
you know that, I get lost
(or we both get lost
- we all get lost)
losing the path
to the peacefulness
that leads to the soft kiss
of the way back.


We see geckos sneaking out of crevices
their white, translucent skin glowing
as light traps wading through the darkness
fighting their way into the light
of our civilized world.
They climb out of dreams,
inch after inch, every night,
winners of another time, electric legends
with their gluey legs clawing
at the patio wall, one inch at a time.
We look at them hunting,
chasing moths along the pathless panel
with motionless glaring eyes, we look at them
craving, catching the difference
between living and dying
making love in front of the faces of insects,
longing for artificial moons.
The look at us, standing still,
starving of life in a summer patio
while chasing off love and despair
squandering a mystery of a wild mirror.


Rome is a box, a blue hive, with violet TVs glow,
carved in a row of red blocks, facing nights
squared by the buildings’ heights. Concrete
has now conquered the lands of the sky
with marbles and scarlet columns
pushing away naked Gods
the ancient spirits,
together with their believes and bravery.

Rome is red sunsets
golden days swept away from the top of the hills
with nothing left
but ruins that nurture a romance
hovering above,
unfathomable like a faint ray of light
gone in a nick of time.

Rome is a red carpet
a dwarf, a language of despair
and endless circular flight of seagulls
getting drunk at the Emperor’s dinner,
like swine stuffed with honey and apricots
chasing the slaves through the empty rooms of the palace.

Rome is an old woman home
with palaces like furniture made from solid wood
squares as tea-colored letters and postcards,
alleys as little artifacts, all sorts of memory traps,
an abundance that cannot be taken in completely.
«Drink the tea» says the old lady.
«I made it from the water of Tiber.»
If you take the city offering
you will drink the river from a beggar’s cup
spiraling down somewhere, your eyes filled with artificial suns
getting small like a little girl in front of the giant
marble sculptures, hanging above your head.
Rome is a meadow
growing flowers with vivid colors
a big blue butterfly. A love secret is written
on her wings. But it flies away before
you can read it.


LUCA BENASSI was born in 1976 in Rome, Italy. He is poet, writer, essayist, journalist and translator. He published the following collections of poems: “Nei Margini della Storia” [In the Sidelines of Histor] in 2000, “I Fasti del Grigio” [The Glories of the Grey] in 2005, “L’Onore della Polvere” [The Honor of Dust] in 2009, “Di me diranno” [I Will Be Told] in 2011 and “il guado della neve” [the snow ford]. In 2018, he published the Italian- Spanish anthology “La schiena del cielo – La espalda del cielo” [the sky’s back]. He also published the e-book “Duet of Lines Sen no Nijuso” (poems in Italian, English, Japanese, Junpa edition 2016, together with the poet Maki Starfield). In 2019 he published two anthologies of his poetry in Serbia (“Очи и звезда - Gli occhi e la stella” [The eyes and the star], alma publishing house) and Macedonia (“ЗБОРОТ НА НЕПРИЈАТЕЛОТ - la parola del nemico” [The enemy’s word], PNV Publishing). His poems have been translated into English, Spanish, Macedonian, Japanese, Romanian, Turkish, Mongolian, Chinese, Korean. As translator, he translated into Italian the work of the Dutch poet Germain Droogenbroodt “De Weg” [Il Cammino- The Path] published by I Quaderni della Valle in 2002. In the issue 1/2004 of La Clessidra he published a selection of translations from the work of the Palestinian poet Ibrahim Nasrallah. As journalist and critic, he published a book of essays on Italian contemporary poetry “Rivi Strozzati - Poeti Italiani negli anni Duemila” [Throttled Streams - Italian poets in the third millennium] in 2010. He edited the anthologies “Magnificat. Poesia 1969 – 2009” (2009) [Magnificat – Poetry 1969 – 2009] of Cristina Annino, “Percorsi nella poesia di Achille Serrao” (2013) [paths through the poetry of Achille Serrao] of Achille Serrao and “La casa dei Falconi, poesia 1974-2014” [hawks house, poetry 1974 – 2014] of the prominent Italian poet Dante Maffìa.

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