Seven Contemporary Italian Poets (3/7)


Marina Pizzi, translated by Laura Modigliani:

Four Poems

the hours excised, eroded
one day I'll go from one thing to another
or with handkerchief on wrist
with vermilion forefinger to ask you again
pardon for the mile just gone


awful rag the farewell
in grape must that boils without intoxication
the elevator of solitude that ascends
to a deaf landing, an incomplete floor,
to what's funny for those still without
care givers, living dead.
vast tax vast this arrogance
of the die cast of the veto against the neck
fit for a collar without being walked.


the elastic forehead for watching God
from this shield of harangue.
insolence of action the nativity of the sea
backwashes under the arcades
nervous tic of lovers, love to be remade

from “Under the Acorns of the Oaks”

“I have conquered the empire of an attic”
Fernando Pessoa

no longer wanting to commit
the dragging on still does not mutiny.
it is not the full grave under scrutiny
nor the idol of birth without sunset.
the dip in the path shall find paradise
under the acorns of the oaks.
not reaching the soil nor the air
the hangman’s chrysanthemum.
the observatory of the forehead
is unfit as a lookout
against all the bullets.
since yesterday the dunes of motherhood
rest wisely, they know the time
of buoy, the burned satchel scored
by the harangue of the prosecutor without embers.
with throat consumed the ringed compendium
this rough-hewn fence
scarlet in the midday morning
tumult of vetoes dacha without food.
skip the snack on the river banks of expiration
of the firearm of the chimney that berths
path of the concrete foot.
lower than me is not possible
if not in death of twin dog
of the fortunes that all undo it
scrawny, meat-packing district, roof
that breaks with the straw:
useless the bonfires made perhaps for mercy.
concealed in the mother’s chest
forum of moonless father
asks now for an angle of bread
a necessary taste against the wall
of gods endured…
laughed the beautiful dialect just yesterday laughed
when august was spent on the roof
of the wafers of the sun, wafers.
old fashioned at the bar aisle
pays centesimal minutes
minuscule murderous evils
cries and chides in the death of the space.
the bivouac shall mourn the slope of the scattered
to the inert preserves to the absence of beauty.
has to release a wild goat’s trill
gullible still of having the choice
between one pebble and the other and a protocol.
has to release a slope of stagnation
a dull matter date and desert.
disheveled hovel comatose chimney
hum a refrain for all of them
the tortured hoards of fog…

Marina Pizzi was born in 1955 in Rome, where she still lives. She is the author of Il giornale dell’esule [The Exile Diary] (Crocetti 1986), Gli angioli patrioti [Angelic Patriots] (ivi 1988), Acquerugiole [Drizzles] (ivi 1990), Darsene il respiro [Let Yourself Breathe] (Fondazione Corrente 1993), La devozione di stare [The Devotion to Being] (Anterem 1994), Le arsure [Burning Heats] (LietoColle 2004), L’acciuga della sera i fuochi della tara [Evening Anchovy and Burning Vetch] (Luca Pensa 2006). Three of her unpublished (on paper) manuscripts could be found online, at these websites, Sconforti di consorte, Brindisi e cipressi, Sorprese del pane nero. Widely published in journals and anthologies, she has been translated into Persian, German and English. She is also a co-editor of the journal, Poesia, and the litblog, La poesia e lo spirito.

Laura Modigliani lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her poems have appeared in such journals as MiPOesias, Promethean, sic, The One Three Eight, Poetry in Performance, and The Blue Jew Yorker, and her translations have appeared in Fascicle. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2007 and 2008. She received the Malinche Prize for Literary Translation in 2007 and the Jack Zucker Memorial Prize in Poetry in 2005 from The City College of New York, where she received an MFA degree in Poetry. She works as an Associate Editor at Weekly Reader Publishing.


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