Seven Contemporary Italian Poets (1/7)


Marco Giovenale, translated by Linh Dinh:

world dominion, XVII

the shifting of the earth’s axis, no? the collapse of the scaffolding on 4th of November Street, no? the landslide on Ischia, no? a pain on the ribs, no? the success of your last film, no? he was the son of an egyptian, from the first century, no? as elena walks by they turn around, no? a mouthful of air in mexico city, no? spike tried to get up, no? they checked the troubled breathing, no? the nurses were ready for the tracheotomy, no? the journalists arrive in small bunches, no? december hinders the ambulances, no? everyone frantic for presents, no? dust from the sarcophagus, no? she has already disappeared through the back door, no? the room spinned and the light went out, no? driving a taxi the wrong way against a check point he shot and was hit, no? they kidnap people arriving at the airport, no? there’s nothing to be done, no? now they go to notify the relatives, but there aren’t any, no? take a look, not even friends, no? the wife went out the service entrance, no? he only had beauty, no? not very brave but armed, no?

world dominion, XV

not satisfied? help us to improve_ © 2006 _supplying cross bars, a ministerial decree, and they won't be applied homogeneously to all emergencies, the production doesn't seem updated, the scientific one, of the majority of the minority group. why are there two doctors. unhappy. are you unhappy? help us to improve _ © 2007 _supplying medicine, aid, provoking a wave of responses of surprising proportion, unless specified it means that [omitted] has been prescribed for the interviewee. somewhat linked with vomitting. it's very frequent among children, and could appear as an isolated symptom, or accompanied by intestinal irritations. "it was absolutely important that we win." damages from the shed fire. at what point? help us to improve_ © 2008 _supplying workers. keep it hard. don't give up more than 100 euros, i'm not satisfied with my life at all, from the moment my mind became lost in thoughts this evening, i can't remember the password, from any assignment. "we've suffered too much." performances, odd sundays, double shots, dogs


The butcher goes: “It was a film of unheard of delicacy,” each word accompanied by a red line of cleaver falling on meat.

He smiles, forms little teardrops between his eyelashes. Raising his left hand, he leaves the tiniest gap between thumb and index finger: “An entire plotline filled with miraculous nuances,” and down goes the bone knife, on fat, traces of blood, mushy paste, oozes, of a flank.

With all that is immeasurable tiptoeing at the far end of the spirit, he brings down his forearm and smashes strips of marrow, shards of ribs, and fussily forms another larme—a tiny teardrop—recalling the film.

His audience is a little old man, crepuscular and illiterate, an anecdote sitting against the door, but then he falls asleep, soothed by the sun.

The chopping flings specks of nerves and muscles against the glass, blood and tendons pooling on the counter. The butcher stops and smiles again, his elbow on the idle blade, chin and pathos in his palm; his gaze very far away; while a fly comes and goes without pause, glowing like crazy, as if in happiness.


The murderer’s sister ties herself to a bed and sleeps without moving the entire time.

At the senate they stick a finger into their collars out of nervousness, turning red because the one responsible is among them, a fact they know well, too well.

They buy many bedsheets, thinking they’d cut them into ribbons to climb down.
But first they’d have to climb up, they’d have to be imprisoned, and this could never happen without legal proceedings, incrimination, and confession of guilt…

Everyone confesses. (Everyone is forgiven).

(They kill themselves out of shame). (For this they’re also forgiven).

Marco Giovenale was born in 1969 and lives in Rome. He maintains a webpage, slowforward, and is the editor of bina and Sud, and of the websites GAMMM, Poetry Kessel-lo, Absolute poetry and others. He writes reviews for the newspaper il manifesto. He is the author of these books of poems, Curvature (2002), Il segno meno (2003), Altre ombre (2004), A rhyme mirror (2007), Criterio dei vetri (2007) and La casa esposta (2007); an e-book of prose, Endoglosse; and a chapbook of new endoglosses, Numeri primi (2006). Four translations from Baudelaire and some “sought poems”/excerpts from Les fleurs du mal make up the book Spleen / Macchinazioni per fiori, with images by Alfredo Anzellini (2007.) A gunless tea (23 fragments) is published for the 2007 Dusi/e-chap project (dusie.org), June 2007, and is also available online as a pdf file at dusie.org, issue 7 (see “vie et pli”.) His work is also featured in these magazines: Action Poétique, Exit, The Black Economy, Journal of Italian Translation, Word for / word, Zswound, Coupremine, forward/text, P.F.S. Post, fhole, Shampoo (n.31), Coconut (n.11), Starfish, Blackbox, Venereal kittens, sos-art.com (feb. 2008), and others. Five texts are in InVerse (John Cabot University, 2007.) Poems and critical pieces have also been published in Aufgabe, #7, 2008, edited by Jennifer Scappettone for Litmus Press. Other poems are in the vol.5, n.2 of The New Review of Literature (selected by A.Inglese), Otis College of Art and Design, 2008.

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