And there will your heart be also

And there will your heart be also

(Misera e stupenda città 2013)

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L’ultima estate in città

Rome was our city, it tolerated and coddled us and I too ended up discovering – despite the sporadic jobs, the weeks of hunger, the dark and humid hotel rooms full of jaundiced and brittle furniture like some obscure sickness of the liver – it was the only place I could have lived. And yet, when I think back on those years, I can’t remember more than a few faces, a few moments. There’s a particular inebriation to Rome that incinerates your memories. More than a city, it is a secret part of you, an animal hidden somewhere inside. And there are no half measures with her, either, it’s either head over heels or time to get going because, above all, the city demands devotion. But, in the end, this is the only tribute that will ever be asked of you […]. If you love her, she will offer herself up to you just the way you want, and you won’t have to do anything but float […]. And for you, then, those summer nights pierced with lights, those vibrant spring mornings, café napkins like women’s skirts blown about by wind, the biting winters and interminable autumns when the city seems powerless and sick, exhausted, swollen with the decapitated leaves you cover with your soundless steps. And for you, then, too the dazzling stairways and rushing fountains, the ruined temples and the now ousted gods’ nocturnal silences until time itself loses all meaning. And this is precisely how, day after day, waiting, you will become a part of her. And this is how you too will begin to feed the city until one sun-filled day, a slight scent of sea in the wind,  you will look up at the sky and realize  there is nothing left to wait for at all.

– Gianfranco Calligarich. L’ultima estate in città. Garzanti, 1973

(translation Misera e stupenda città)

Two poems

Alexander Booth has two new poems at BODY

Space

& he awoke
With Helen in his head

But before
Him’d been that terror    infinite space

Published in: on November 19, 2012 at 16:39  Leave a Comment  
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At home

The windowless room: an afterthought. And the light it came, when it came, in shards. Slow like the white dust (the dead) it settled over the green ceramic tiles ending just above the kitchen sink. One street from the station, if you stretched your head from the balcony, you could see the lines. Ideal. Two types of terminus: station and cemetery (but at night the one it glowed up from out of its heart, over the walls, aglow). Now and again, voices through the drainpipe above the toilet that finished outside the window. Often, in the mornings, the body’s sounds through each wall.

Fragment of a queen

A heavy, humid day at September’s end an old tobacco and sweat encrusted queen crookedly alights from the backseat of a car and shuffles across the white piazza. Middle-aged to twilight, says, “I know why he’s pulled open his chest in all those pictures, his heart there.” Stops. Lights a long cigarette and the filter brushes, catches upon a faint film of stubble. “If only she’d die and let me get on with it. I’d finally have space to breathe. She’s always had the window.” The sun-struck roses in the municipal amphorae cracked, she wondered if that vampire was still behind the glass. At the cinema, over on the Corso. Was it even there anymore? Lord, what a sight. Black stringy hair thinning, couldn’t even take up much of the dye, tattooed up to the chin, cheap heavy rings. Only claim to fame coming in black-and-white in some film, in New York supposedly, smack-lidded eyes, a good looking cock. Would she make it? In any event, he wouldn’t have anything to spare, surely.

Not even noon yet, too hot.

Somewhere back behind her, up the Pincian Hill, back over the dead ground behind the Villa Borghese. A hot-air balloon, stitched with stars.

Qualcosa su Pasolini @Circolo degli Artisti

27.09.12 GENIUS LOCI: PASOLINI per esempio

Data: Giovedì 27 Settembre 2012
Apertura porte: 19:00
Inizio concerti: 22:00
Botteghino: ingresso libero

ore 20:00 libri
Emanuele Trevi presenta “Qualcosa di scritto” (Ponte alle grazie, 2012)
Finalista Premio Strega. Con Christian Raimo.
La storia quasi vera di un incontro impossibile con Pier Paolo Pasolini.

ore 21:00 teatro
Tony Allotta in “Lettere rubate”
Un uomo dei nostri tempi, alle prese con una profonda crisi spirituale e materiale, nel tentativo di dare una svolta alla propria vita tenta l’ultima carta vincente…

ore 22:00 musica
live Orchestraccia [folk-punk-rock delirante]

ore 22:00 cinema
Mamma Roma (95′). Introduce Maurizio Gracceva.

New site

Alexander Booth has a new site: please visit here.

Misera e stupenda città of course shall continue.

PEN 2012

Misera e stupenda citta‘s Alexander Booth has been awarded one of PEN America’s 2012 translation fund grants

For a complete list of this year’s recipients & their projects please visit

PEN American Center

Two poems

deadly seriousness

don’t take life
too seriously

i thought —
and immediately

with deadly seriousness
was struck

*

who needs the view

who needs the view
onto the flavian ampitheatre

included in the price of the room
with the regal bed

in which heart-heavy you fall asleep
with book, glass, and fully dressed

– Leonard Mokrzycki

*

Mr Mokrzycki was born and lives in Gdańsk, Poland. Poems have appeared in Grenzenlos/Bez Granic and in 2009 the collection SŁOWA PRAWIE NIEUŻYWANE (nearly unused words) was published as a free book.

http://mehibezeder.com/pesodellaparola.pdf

Translation Miseraestupendacittà together with the poet.

*

(śmiertelna powaga: nie wolno życia brać/zanadto serio//myślę -/i w tej samej chwili/spada na mnie/śmiertelna powaga)

(cóż po widoku: cóż po widoku/na teatr flawiuszów//wliczonym w cenę pokoju/z królewskim łóżkiem//w którym zasypiasz niechętnie/z książką szklanką i w ubraniu)