from “The Sojourner”

The twilight border between sleep and waking was a Roman one this morning: splashing fountains and arched, narrow streets, the golden lavish city of blossoms and age-soft stone. Sometimes in this semi-consciousness he sojourned again in Paris, or war German rubble, or Swiss skiing and a snow hotel. Sometimes, also, in a fallow Georgia field at hunting dawn. Rome it was this morning in the yearless region of dreams.

– Carson McCullers, The Sojourner (1950)


from A Soldier of the Great War

On the ninth of August, 1964, Rome lay asleep in afternoon light as the sun swirled in a blinding pinwheel above its roofs, its low hills, and its gilded domes. The city was quiet and all was still except the crowns of a few slightly swaying pines, one lost and tentative cloud, and an old man who rushed through the Villa Borghese, alone. Limping along paths of crushed stone and tapping his cane as he took each step, he raced across intricacies of sunlight and shadow spread before him on the dark garden floor like golden lace.

– Mark Helprin. A Soldier of the Great War. Avon Books, 1991.


A dark night. Water darker. Early summer, oil film warm. Last lights sickleing northward along the Tyrrhenian coast. A man in black tie sat alone on black sand. Gets up. Walks in.Image

On the day of your addio

da La Notte di San Giovanni

Quant’era bella e svariata la vita!
Come si succedevano velocemente
le gioie e le delusioni,
come si alternavano le stagioni,
quando il tempo ci bagnava nella sua corrente!

Sul progresso

Beati loro che pensano al progresso:
io solo penso alla morte o al sesso.

– Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. Poesie. Adelphi, 1980

from The Night of San Giovanni

How beautiful and various life was!
How quickly came
the joys and delusions,
how the seasons too commuted,
when we in time’s current were bathed!

On progress

Lucky they are who think about progress:
I alone think about death or sex.

translations Miseraestupendacitta 2011

(photograph found online, uncredited)

April 17, 1919 – March 16, 1978