Andrea Garbin

Andrea Garbin was born in Desenzano del Garda (Brescia), on March 22, 1976. He lives in Castel Goffredo, in the province of Mantova. Since 2007 he directs the literary meetings at the Coffee bar Galeter in Montichiari (BS). Since 2010, is a Lombardy editor for the poetic itinerant series of Thauma Editions. Since 2014, he direct the poetry series called Le zanzare (The mosquitos) for Gilgamesh Editions. On June 19, 2010 he gave birth to the Manifesto Letterario dal Sottosuolo , signed by a dozen authors. For the theater, he studied and collaborated with the Living Theatre in Mantova, 2009. In the same year he studied and collaborated with Julia Varley (Odin teatret) in Brescia. In 2010 he has participated in the cultural exchange among the Trivellini’s in Montichiari (BS) directed by Kai Bredholt from the Odin Teatret in Holstebro. He had translated from spanish the first book of Angye Gaona called Nascita Volatile (Pesaro – Thauma Ed, 2012). His works are translated in english, spanish, serbian and albanian.
He has participated for two years (2010-2011) in conventions of poetry in the Marche region, organized by the publisher Alessandro Ramberti (Ed. Fara). He has partecipated at Irish Poetrhree Tour in 2011 and Sconfinatementi in Brescia (Italy) and Kragujevac (Serbia). He also has partecipated at festival La poesia resistente (Salerno) and OttobreInPoesia (Sassari).
In 2009, he win the Biennal Award of Haiku in Como (Italy). In 2015, in Curtea De Arges (Romania) he win the Grand Prize International Orient-Occident for Arts .

His italian poetry books:
– Il senso della musa (Roma – Ed. Aletti, 2007)
– Lattice (Rimini – Ed.Fara, 2009)
– Viaggio di un guerriero senz’arme (haiku – Salerno – Ed.L’Arca Felice, 2012)
– Croce del sud (Mantova – Ed. Gilgamesh, 2013)
– Genesi die sensi (Mantova- Ed. Gilgamesh 2015)
– Canti di confine (Roma – Pellicano 2016)

The anthologies in which he appears:
– Salvezza e impegno (Rimini – Ed.Fara, 2010)
– Il tempo marginale (Rimini – Ed.Fara, 2011)
– La luce oltre le crepe (Modena – Ed.Bernini, 2012)
– 100thousand Poets For Change Bologna “First Movement” (Bologna – Ed.Qudu, 2013)
– 100thousand Poets For Change (Roma – Ed.Albeggi, 2013)
– Manifest’Azioni Dal Sottosuolo (Roma – ED.Seam, 2014)
– Jakissimo (Roma – Ed.Seam, 2014)
– Sotto il cielo di Lampedusa II. Nessun uomo è un’isola, (Rayuela Edizioni 2014)
– SignorNò. Poesie e scritti contro la guerra (Pellicano 2016)
– I dialetti nelle valli del mondo (Pellicano 2016)

His International Poetry books and anthologies:
– Poethree – new italian voices, ( Italy/Ireland – Thauma Edizioni 2011)
– Border Songs (Berkley USA – CC.Marimbo, 2011) – (translated by Jack Hirschman)
– Heartfire: Second Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology (San francisco USA – Kallatumba Press “San Francisco”, 2013)
– Poetre – una vibrazione ondeggiante delle ali (Italia/Albania – Thauma Edizioni 2013)
– Poems For The Hazara (Full Page Publishing, 2014)

UNDICESIMO PAESAGGIO
(Sotto l’ombra di un cactus)

Bellezza, non fermarti sotto l’ombra
di questo cactus che immobile punge
il tuo fuoco ha il colore dell’ambra
il dono di chi inquietudine frange
non fermarti sotto questo riparo
cammina fino al dio che ricongiunge
avvicinati all’individuo ignaro
stai lontana da me che son vagante
fatti furba, divieni un gioco raro.

Divieni il volto dell’oceano ondoso
che fracassa queste gambe distese.
Divieni ciò che verde cresce arioso
in tutto il cielo delle terre tese.
Divieni la rivolta del riposo
sul dispotismo delle disattese.
E da questo cactus mi bevo il nettare
mi pungo e sanguino nell’oltremare.

ELEVENTH LANDSCAPE
(under the shade of a cactus)

Beauty, don’t stop under the shade
of this cactus that immobile pricks
your fire is the colour of amber
the gift of those who restlessness shatter
don’t stop under this shelter
walk up to the god who reconciles
come to the unaweare dude
stay away from me that i’m wandering
facts clever, become a rare game.

Become the face of the billowy ocean
that smashing this streched legs.
Become whatever green grows breezy
in the whole sky of the tense lands.
Become the relaxation’s revolt
on the despotism of disillusions.
And from this cactus i buy the nectare
sting me and i bleed in the overseas.

(from Croce del sud)

A DOUBT (translated by Jack Hirschman)

We’re born nude and crude,
got love and death in our heart
like everyone on the other hand
I just don’t understand
what the discrepancy is.

UN DUBBIO
Siamo nati nudi e crudi,
nel cuore abbiamo amore e morte
come tutti d’altronde
solamente on comprendo
quale sia la discrepanza.

A HUSK (translated by Jack Hirschman)

Your skin’s a pearl of ice
I look for between a bed-sheet of snow,
goose-down—pungent dreams—
blades that wound my sleep!
You also stayed the night:
I’m here of course, in the mattress
i hear my fears howling!

UNA BUCCIA

La tua pelle è perla di ghiaccio
che ricerco tra lenzuola di neve,
piume d’oca – sogni pungenti –
lame che trafiggono il sonno!
Trattieniti anche questa notte:
sono già qui, nel materasso
sento urlare le mie paure!

A PENDULUM (translated by Dave Lordan)

It’s like the arshole of silence
that chime I hear every hour
truncating my sleep
a temporary moment of madness
a monster moving
between one dream and the other
a torn that pricks the night
the constant perception
of exhaustion
when the broken silence dies
and the explosion shatters the peace
I shrink
I let hearing wrap my
unspeakable torment
let me be wrapped
lying in my sweet bed
I gape at shiny brass
searching for silences
and whenever I find one
his cry spreads
twisting my stomach.

UN PENDOLO

È come il culo del silenzio
quel rintocco che odo ogni ora
a troncarmi il sonno
un temporaneo istante di follia
che si muove prepotente
tra un sogno e l’altro
una spina che punge la notte
la costante percezione
dello sfinimento
quando il silenzio interrotto muore
e il botto infrange la quiete
io mi rattrappisco
lascio che l’udito mi avvolga
indicibile tormento
lascio che mi avvolga
disteso nel dolce giaciglio
osservo il lucido ottone
creare silenzi
e ogni volta che ne trova uno
il suo grido si sviluppa
a torcermi il ventre.

LATEX (translated by Dave Lordan)

And my hands again become mud
while I blind myself with latex
putting pressure on my obsession
how tu suck the mixture of bone
as in how to sacrifice musice in a vineyard
the latex self-erects between my nostrils
turn my clavicle adolescent
that slim beam of light
as flocked sheep queue
on knees, love, like, chickpeas,
docks, heaving, scream
within the pillow I saw a sea enclosed.

LATTICE

E le mie mani ridiventano fango
il lattice che porto sugli occhi
fa pressione su pensieri stretti
come succhiare l’impasto delle ossa
una vign in sacrificio musicale
si interpone tra le mie narici
e clavicola diviente, adolescente,
quel sottile grappolo di luce,
come pecore in gregge accodate
sulle ginocchia, amori, come ceci,
urlano il conato delle porte
entro il cuscino vidi un mare racchiuso.

PET (translated by Dave Lordan)

My voice is a dragonfly
glued to the bottom of the bottle
exchanging the marble slabs
for Persian latex
a bottle made of P.E.T.
as are the words
we exchange tonight
like the transparent wings
rustling by my bed.
It was the smuggler
rowing in those depths
camouflaged in the reeds
where breath gasps
it was the smuggler
grabbing ankles
pulling under.

PET

La mia voce è una libellula
che graffia il fondo di bottiglia
che scambia le lastre di marmo
per questo lattice di Persia
una bottiglia di pet
come lo sono le parole
che ci scambiamo questa notte
come le ali trasparenti
che frusciano accanto al mio letto.
Era il passatore
che vogava in quei fondali
mimetizzato tra i giunchi
dove rantola il respiro
era il passatore
che afferrava le caviglie
e tirava sotto.

DRAGONFLY (translated by Dave Lordan)

Imitating Charon
I melt my eyes the way I can scan,
underneath skin, the shining
body of a dream. Fom shore to shore
I tramp on glass
barefoot, as a Christ
on clods of water I close my bed
when I swallow draginfly
I sit and I’m happy to feel
flight blinking out
into indolence, then nothingness.
I should have given sustenance and shelter
polished antennae kissed the crying wings
I should have grown its empire
and flowres
but it’s hard to resist
this latex that tempts one
to bite down hard
every time that it’s touched.

LIBELLULA

Nel movimento di Caronte
sciolgo gli occhi fino a leggere,
sottopelle, la lucentezza
di un sogno. Da sponda a sponda
cammino tra i bicchieri vuoti
a piedi nudi, come un Cristo
selle acque richiudo il letto
quando ingoio la libellula
mi siedo lieto di sentirne
il pigro morire del volo.
Avrei dovuto darle rifugio
pulirne le ali baciarne il grido
avrei dovuto coltivare la sua terra
i suoi fiori
ma è difficile resistere
a questo lattice che spinge
a masticare ad ogni rintocco.

SHELTER (translated by Dave Lordan)

I undo your braids on latex
I move a hand on your flat belly
where maybe shelters
the teeming life
the disappearence of the being
not being peaceful
where maybe shelter
the eyes
the tongue the cracked lips
the helter-shelter’s obsession
the thrill of caressing
where maybe the many sunk evenings
I long for return
with the scents of hair
and the colours of night
and vines that lead to
a dream that dreams
cradling mere crucifixion
our bush of life.

RIFUGIO

Sciolgo le tue trecce sul lattice
scosto una mano sul tuo ventre piatto
è forse lì che si rifugia
il brulicare della vita
la scomparsa dell’essere
il non essere sereni
è forse lì che si rifugiano
gli occhi
la lingua
le labbra incrinate
l’ossessione della fretta
il fremito della carezza
è forse lì che si ricorda la sera.
Sono capelli che odorano
e che colorano la notte
come liane che portano di
sogno in sogno
cullando la flebile crocefissione
dei nostri cespugli vitali.

WINTER’S SONG

The waves of snow
associated at the beauty’s death
are like a sickle
that rips my dreams
and like the water in the sink
in my heart it drips the doubt.

CANZONE D’INVERNO

I flutti di neve
associati alla morte del bello
sono come una ronca
che squarcia i miei sogni
e come l’acqua nel lavello
nel mio cuore goccia il dubbio.

(from Genesi die Sensi)

Andrea GARBIN

GRANIČNA PEVANJA

Pesme

Pevanje prvo (narodna republika)

Mrtve oči kojima me gledaš
kako su kao iskidane na pruge
tvoje ruke koje pritiskaju tvoj stomak
sposobne da promene svet
kao uši deformisane u slušanju
najraširenijih
laži, one padaju u san
nesvesnih masa, dok iznošena
stopala prelaze utvrđene granice.

Ako neko može reći to je kroz tvoju
volju što sam slobodan kao način na
koji hoda Isidora Dankan.
Odgovorio bih da sam sam kao
emigrant koji hoda pod Mesecom,
kao krv koja potamni lice, krv
mrtvih robova globalnog urlika
razumeo – očito – kao vrat
zaključan u tesnim mengelama, ne kao čovek
izložen zakonima protiv stabilnosti.

Te oči koje telo tvoje sklapaju
od ruku koje su donele nadu
mnogima, premda su njihova dela izdana
od pohlepnih igara najlukavijih
demona poslovnog sveta
od onih čija usta izbijaju:
tiranija virtualne osude,
tankostruke svinje su te lagale
one te lišavaju slobode!

Pevanje drugo (glupim koljačima)

Gde Feltrijev fašistički banditizam udari
kao kosom, nemoralna tišina
konzervativaca ujedini, možda zato što
su primili dobru nagodbu,
ili zato što se plaše
snage sledećeg punjenja; sad
(medijsko ubistvo)
se već okreće novom plenu
ali u mnogo višem uredu
sa ciljem da se osigura nadležna
moć razumevanja
potpuno je u njihovim rukama.

Misliti kako je Vitorio samo
poslednji među kurvama našeg
predsednika – biće toga još –
ako pogledaš njegov bok videćeš
Belpjetro i Mincolini mrmljaju
ulizica Fede trčkara
Đordano gazi svoju stopu
i,konačno, deterdžent Alfano –
baš taj – i eto svedočenja –
ko je bio viđen na svadbi
sa krstom i za Pravdu.

Sav taj vaskrnuti fašizam
maskiran i čak telezabavan,
Silvan atmosfera što, silovana,
drži utopije osetljivog čoveka,
tačka preokreta izvađena iz opreme
novog teleplej omekšivača,
to je um BS – kult(art)ure,
i ja, čak i ako nećeš da shvatim,
vidim ovu nano-misao,
da njihova nano-kultura tera
različite ljude da dišu zaborav.

Pevanje treće (za Alsu Merini)

Zora dolazi i ti si Trnova Ružica
kraljica pčela nenaseljenih
kao petlova pesma sa
isparavajuće zemlje budeći svet;
ti si pobegla iz te dimenzije
gde te čekaju zagrljaji ljubavi
tvojih dragih drugova pesnika
gde ćeš biti voljena kao žena
i gde tvoje oči mogu da žive od
slatkoće koju si uvek oličavala.

Sećam te se u Maglovitoj dolini Poa
retko oborenog pogleda, slušajući se i
gledajući te kako plešeš sa Đovanijem
i ti podvodači koje grdiš
i sa bogatstvom što se raduje mladom čoveku
možda ću te videti ponovo usput
šalješ crvenu vatru sa svojih belih usana
i nežnost pesnika koju pokazuješ
preko duvana koji je užuteo tvoj prtljag
koji puca sa suprotnim stvarima
prinosi promuklu ponudu i uklaja elipsu.

Sujetna je blaga besna pčela
koja u umirućem Noviljiju ubrzava
želju normalne ludosti
jedne ruže koju čuva tvoj Hrist
voli onu koja je pala i sama se nudi
kako mermer (postaje) utroba tužne pesme
u slobodi gledajući ka tuzi
treba li da nađem zaklon u tački gde
se smrt izbija na površinu usana, to je pauza
pozivajući beskraje koje ćeš steći „malo po malo“

Pevanje četvrto (prijatelju Đovaniju Buciju)

Ja sam boja slatka rima
što okreće oči ka srcu tuge
vrtlog koji boji horor
vrh prsta koji upravlja i
lagano podstiče ljubav da se vrati
ja odlazim – ja ti kažem – zbunjen
ali ne zato što ova oja glazura umire
i patnjom se mislilo na anđela
koji je super-inspirisani muzičar
u drugom stanju kažem ti ja
odlazim samo telom – kažem ti sad –

moram da napustim moć
ostavim tebe, vajper sfingu
napaljenu bi-faličnu ženu zmaja.
Sada, kada postajem pepeo,
mirisi lica se dižu i „ništa se ne uzbuđuje“.
Vraćam se vrtlogu, sa srcem u rukama,
dok u senci Džudit ja patim
nezahvalnom tugom, Dafninu fontanu
selim u svoje crno kraljevstvo
sa svojim spokojnim licem ljuštim
svoje književne radove, jedan za drugim,
širim boje kao da pripremam
golubicu mira kao ulog za mir.

A vetar – bum! – udara lice sfinge
vesela pesmica sa postavom suknje okolo
gde baš sada šetam u svom
večnom gradu, u dubini tetoviranog
mesa morske trave letim i kažem ti
ko je još na svetu:
litija u očima onih
koji pružaju otpor
i ja ti kažem ko je u Parlamentu,
u svakoj palati, odavde gde ja
nastavljam nerazrešivu pesmu.

Pevanje peto (političkom prijateljstvu terora)

Komunitarna osmoza kako me čekaš
na svetlu sunca, ti koji uključuješ
glasove što mogu da te navedu na grešku
otvoreno i bez imalo stida,
naveden da hvališ Lukašenka
i gradiš ambiciozne neoboljševičke
partije uzdignute zahvaljujući
dubioznim pesnicima jakim snajperima
Bosne kao onaj blasfemični Limonov
i činiš da SA ponovo živi
u netolerantnim grupama koje ciljaju
naše granice, kažeš Jobiku;
proždrljivo kako napuštaš kulturnu grupu
da posteneš vičan belim vukovima
pod suludim barjakom Konstantina Velikog sipaš
unutra smaknuće Čuvašova i Barubove:
dva pucnja pištolja za prvog
tišina Putina i Medvedeva
na prostoru ulice Prečistenka;
nije li prvljavo što držiš otvorenu
predstavu u Sofiji, za Garibaldija
i kapetana Petka, garibaldijanac
izvodi dupelisca moći
Zgarbija, kao rukovanje
Sa gorečistačem Volenom Sidorovim?
„Živela Italija! Živela Bugarska!“
reči svačijeg prijatelja.
Ti, evropska zajednice kurčeva,
uzdižeš neofašiste kako padaš
u zauzimanju zaklonana Radio Mariji
od prezira Njeznalske Dorote,
u uzviku: „Vrsta kurve, sejanje,
kurvinska, svakako jevrejska“
u pozivu i knotrapozivu na Danzici,
iznenadio si me kao mrtvo telo
i gde veselo pišaš
kao galeb na celu preradu
srednjeklasnih bitangi imperije.

Pevanje šesto (Emanuleu Rićifariju)

Teroristi ili teroristi;ki šef policije
ili drugi u lancu komande, juriša
na nevine, na one
koji samo traže svoja prava.
Sigurno fašista, zato što kod i
oko krana još uvek mislim na
Federičijev slučaj, tog pandura
otpuštenog zbog izjave: „Ja sam levičar.“
Gde je ilegalno opravdanje za
njegov zločin koji je pomenuo Musolinija
i zagovarao na svaki način
neslaganje sa Federičijem?
Kazna koju je nametnuo Mateo La Rana
čija je zamenica Marija Pia Romita,
žena Emanuelea Rićifarija!
Jadni Šelba! Ti, Emanuele,
sine bezvredne kulture!
Isti narod, nasilje se ponavlja
kao da je tek što
pljuje osudu i zloupotrebljava vlast
u korist ratnih funti
duž ograde od kočića u ulici San Faustino.
Sad krivi sebe, Rićifari;
još mogu da vidim tvoju prljavu ruku,
pruža se sa trga cara Batiste
do košulje prvog čoveka,
njegovo libertarijansko povlačenje
najava dolaska vremena juriša,
„Juriš! Ponovo, juriš!“
Ko to može reći? A onda i učiniti?
Mlada budala rođena u Italiji
vođena od budale sa dupetom
umesto mozga, ti koji hvališ
nasilje, zamorna krpena lutko,
nadmena budalo od peska,
ti čak i ne shvataš da svojim potezima
od ovog trenutka, svi mi smo kran!

Pevanje sedmo (sećanja)

Govorili smo zajedno sećajući se jedinstva
stotine crvenih majica, zatim smo se čudili
zašto u budućnosti naša braća i sestre
neće moći čak ni da se sete Stelvio parka.
Slušaj, stara zemljo: prodaješ samu suštinu,
svoju najvetliju prirodu, svoju vezu sa prošlim
u najnižoj farsi naklonosti u zamenu za neglasanje.
Slušaj, stara zemljo: zabranjuješ proslavu
našeg sećanja, tvoje slobode;
onda kroz televizijski filter kažeš ljudima
listom bede, koje predmete čovek
može poneti na vrh krana, a da nema mesta
za objašnjenja razloga za pozivanje na prava.
Slušaj, stara zemljo u senci topole,
prenosim misli u mudriji korteks,
ostajem sedeći sa srcem i gledam tvoju patnju,
tako, kao bacanje kockica – znam –
u međuvazdušju, budućnost i sa njom sećanje.

Gaza, 30. decembar 2008

Javaher je imao četiri godine
Dina osam
Samar dvanaest
Ikram četrnaest
Tahir je imao 17 godina,
svi zajedno 55,
55 godina oduzetih od njihove majke
koje su progutali stomaci Baraka i Imerta.
Ne zaboravi Balušu
gde nisu mogli da sahrane
tela svoje dece –
ubijene u njihovom mladom snu –
na groblju Mučenika
nisu bili teroristi
uopšte, kako je Barak odredio
sva ta mrtva deca
u izraelskom parlamentu,
i nikako ne zaboravi
ko ih je pobio
zato što osam minus pet
jednako je troje preostale dece,
zahvaljujući tim kukavicama
koje kažu „na žalost“.
Ne zaboravi Samiru,
siroče od petoro dece
u izbegličkom logoru u Džabaliji,
pogođenu iz F-16
proizvedenom u SAD.
I, molim vas, uklonite ime
Šimona Peresa
sa liste dobitnika Nobelove nagrade za mir.

Nakazni i ružni (u vezi sa predstavljanjima Roberta Lamanjija)

Mi – što se vučemo oko rođenja
Aćerbija, te figure
integracije
različitih naroda – da li zaslužujemo
prisustvo institucije koja,
otišavši u Harlem, puca
u obogaljenog crnca?

Da li zaslužujemo čoveka koji
pronosi reč smrti
preko svojih usta kao da je
papirna lepeza?

Da li zaslužujemo čoveka koji
u Baraku vidi samo
rasizam boja, ali ne
svetlo budućnosti?

Da li zaslužujemo da imamo zemlju
ljubljenu od svih koji
pretpostavljaju da su u pravu,
ne saslušavši drugu stranu?

Protiv bilo koga ko pljuje ova svetogrđa
neko bi primenio smrtni sud,
ne vojni, ne onaj koji
uzima ljudska prava
nego novi zakon koji seče
jezike političarčića.

„Ti si samo dete koje priča o
ksenofobiji bez poznavanja
značenja te reči.“

Obamin slučaj nas uči,
istina je, uči nas da jedinstvo
čini moć.

Zato, reci mi…

Da li zaslužujemo zatvoreni um
koji je samo opušak katodne
cevi koja predstavlja svakoga
na svetu baš nama?

O, gospodaru zamka, „gde ti veruješ
grad se može završiti“ uvek jalova
sirovost bilo koga ko hoće da proleće
u našim očima ponovo počne.
Bićemo kadri jednog dana
da zahvalimo Džinu Leonardu, koji je,
srećom crn, ili crnja, kako neki kažu,
i ostalima, za ono što
su nam doneli.

I hajde da ne pustimo činjenicu da
naša zemlja može biti izgubljena u moru
koje upravo zatvara svoje vilice.

Ne budimo ubeđeni da je ono što uništava
naše uši samo buva!

Bar Peru

Vino, jedna flaša
koju šanker otvara u Testaću i
oslanja se na šank i
mi koji pijemo, bez prelaska praga
otkad su slobodu uživanja u grožđu
na ulicama Rima
oduzela četvorica glupih drkadžija
koji su sklonili životnu slobodu i ženski samoidentitet.

Gledali smo zajedno Teverea
i njegovu poeziju
ali možda je prava poezija
nešto što gubimo,

što od reči kod Đampija
koji guta, posmatrajući
Vsetog Đirolama od Brižnosti,
ili one od Mikelea
koji ne može preći prag
sa praznim rukama
ili one od Luiđija koji
moraju da ostave čaše
za zalogaj duvana

zato neki mogu reći
da Rim obuva
vrlo tesne čarape.

Crte gube svoj oblik
obrazi su zategnuti
vrlo mračnim zakonima.

U kafeu Peru, u toj maloj
sobi, mi smo mačke koje
mjauču u potrazi za ribom
zato što su pomerili parče
našeg postojanja, i možda će
jednog dana ulica biti napuštena
a čarape pocepane
ali nas dvoje ćemo još biti unutra,
sa buteljkom vina
koju šanker u Testaću otvara i
oslanja se na šank.

BORDER SONGS

ANDREA GARBIN

Translated from Italian by Jack Hirschman

INTRODUCTION

I’m very pleased to introduce the poetry of Andrea Garbin, a young poet whom I met on one of my reading tours in Italy, and with whom I have read in Mantova. Young is the word, indeed. Andrea was born in Castel Goffredo, Italy, on March 22, 1976, and to date has published three books of poetry and two of prose, with various small literary presses that, as in the States, are part of Italy’s writing landscape.
Reading some of the poems from an earlier volume, Lattice (Latex), I was struck by that fact that Garbin could address social and political issues in poetry, and so when he asked me to translate some new poems that he’s written, I thought it would be an interesting translation project.
I wasn’t wrong. Border Songs is made up of five cantos, three of which are driven by Garbin’s desire to expose the rot in Italy’s turn to the Right under the regime of Silvio Berlusconi. And even in the most “poetic” of the five, a tribute to the recently deceased Alda Merini, Garbin offers both a poignant and yet political portrait of the love poet..
Three other poems follow the cantos, all of them stirring in one or another way: a terrific response to the Israeli atrocity at Gaza is the first of these; then another swipe at the current dominating forces in Italy and, finally a poem of vino, which however is basically written to attack the law against public drinking in effect in today’s Italy.
Most Italian poets and intellectuals know the rather well-known piece by Pier Paolo Pasolini, written in the early ‘70s, called “I Know”—-an expose of the fascists who both overtly and covertly had sold out the Italian people since the end of WW2. It’s a polemic written in the form of a prose-poem and is very powerful in its breadth and composition. Indeed it’s been said that that piece of writing contributed to Pasolini’s having been murdered by a fascist gang in 1975.
Guts, Pasolini had as a writer. And so has Garbin. One cannot read these cantos and the three other poems without realizing that in Andrea Garbin, at a time when the old ideologies have been consigned to the dustbin of history, and the monstrosities of world crookedness and corruption are rushing thugly (accent on ugly) along, one recognizes a poet who is not afraid to name the enemies of the people, and to offer as well the senti- ments of brotherhood and friendship that defy such degradation and resist all attempts at making human beings less than they innately are.
And how righteously and justly he attacks the Israeli attack on Gaza by enunciating the losses of the lives of the children.
These are very contemporary poems, written with brilliance and engaging lyricism and irony. Garbin allows no Berlusconi flunky-prostitute or asslicker to get off without a sentence of denunciation. And he’s fitted out the final pages of the book with some notes so that we know some of the political and media monsters by name.
Above all, enjoy Garbin’s lyrical spirit. You’ll be reading much more of this young poet in the years ahead. Auguri, Andrea Garbin.

—Jack Hirschman,
San Francisco,
December 2010

CANTO I (people’s republic)

The dead eyes you observed me with
how torn like strips are
the hands that burden on your belly
being able they’d have changed the world
like ears deformed in the listening
to the most widespread
falsities, they fall into the sleep
of the unaware masses, while worn-out
feet cross the established border.

If someone would say it’s through your
will that I’m free like the manner
of walking of Isadora Duncan
I’d answer that I’m alone like
the émigré that walks under the Moon,
like blood that darkens the face, blood
of the dead slaves of the global howl
understood—obviously—as a neck
locked in a tight vise, not like a man
exposed to laws against stability.

Those eyes that body of yours consisting
of the hands that have brought hope
to so many, though they’re actions betrayed
by the greedy game of the most crafty
demons of the business world
from whose mouths a new thing breaks out:
the tyranny of virtual conviction,
slime-belly pigs have lied to you
they’re depriving you of liberty!

CANTO II (for the stupid cut-throats)

Where Feltri’s fascist-gangism strikes
scythe-like, the immoral silence of
conservatives unites, maybe because
they’ve received a good trade-off,
or because they fear the force
of the next cartridge; now
(media assassination)
it’s already shifting to new prey
but on a much higher office
in order to make sure the ones in charge
of the power understand
it’s completely in their hands.

Thinking that Vittorio is only
the last among the prostitutes of our
president—and there’ll be more—,
if you look at his flank you’ll see
Belpietro and Minzolini muttering,
the bootlicker Fede scampering,
Giordano stomping his feet
and finally, the detergent Alfano—
precisely him—and here’s testimony—
who was seen at a wedding celebrating
with the Cross, and for Justice.

All this born-again fascism
masked and yet telemusement,
the Sylvan atmosphere that, raped,
holds the utopias of sensible man,
the turning point taken out of gear,
by a new teleplay softener,
it’s the mind of our bs-cult(o)ture,
and I, even if you don’t want to understand,
now see this nano-thought,
this its nano-culture forcing
different people to breathe oblivion.

CANTO III (for Alda Merini)

Dawn arrives and you are Thornirose
queen bee of the uninhabited
like a song of the rooster from an
evaporating earth waking up the world;
you fled from that dimension
where hugs of love await you
from your great fellow poets
where you’ll be loved as a woman
and where your eyes can live on
the sweetness you’ve always emanated.

I remember you in the Po Valley fog
seldom downcast listening to yourself
and seeing yourself dancing with Giovanni
and those panderers you railed at
and with wealth rejoicing with the young men
maybe I’ll see you again along the way
sending out red fire from your white lips
and the gentleness of the poet you show
over a tobacco turning yellow your handbag
bursting with things on the counter,
yields a hoarse offering and removes ellipsis.

It’s vain to slight the furious bee
that in the dying of Navigli quickens
the desire of normal crazies
for one rose this Christ of yours
love born fallen offering herself
as the marble (become) womb of a sad song
in freedom looking at sadness
should I take refuge at the point where
death surfaces on the lips, it’s the pause
invoking the infinite that you earn “little by little”.

CANTO IV (to friend Giovanni Buzi)

I’m the color the sweet rhyme
that turns the eyes to the heart to sorrow
the whirlwind that paints the horror
the fingertip that stirs it
and slowly prods love to come back
I’m going—I’m telling you—confused
but it’s not because of this my veneer is dying
and by suffering is meant an angel
who’s a super-inspired musician
in a pregnant state I’m telling you I’m
leaving only in body—I say it now—

I have to leave power,
I have to leave you, viper sphinx,
bi-phallic horny dragon-lady.
Now that I’m becoming ashes,
the aroma of faces rises and “Nothing thrills”
I return to the whirlwind, heart in hand,
while in the shadow of Judith I suffer
ungrateful grief, fountain of Daphne
I’m moving in my black reign
with my serene face peeling away
my literary works, one after another,
I spread the colors like preparing
a dove of peace for the stake of love.

and the wind—Pow!—strikes the sphinx’s face
a gay little song skirting around
where now I’m taking my walk in my
eternal city, in the depths of the tattooed
flesh of the seaweed I fly and tell you
who are still in the world:
have the procession in the eyes
of those who make the resistance
and I speak to you who’re in Parliament,
in every palace, from here where I
continue the indecipherable poem.

CANTO V (for the politic friendships of the terror)

Communitarian osmosis how you await me
in the light of the sun, you who englobe
the voices that could wrong you
openly and without any shame,
driven into praise for Lukashenko
and structuring ambiguous neo-bolshevik
parties risen up thanks to
dubious poets strong snipers
of Bosnia like that blasphemous Limonov
and you make the Sturmabteilungen live again
in intolerant groups that aim at
our borders, you told Jobbick;
gluttony how you leave a cultural group
to become an adept of the white wolves
under the insane emblem on the banner
of Constantine the Great pouring
inside the execution of Chuvashov
and Markelov and Barubova:
two blasts of the pistol for the first one
the silence of Putin and Medvedev
on the sidewalk of Via Precistenka;
isn’t it dirty that you still let it unfold
in the Sofia show, for Garibaldi
and Captain Petko, the garibaldian
staging of that asslicker of power
Sgarbi, like shaking hands
with the cleanerupper Volen Siderov?
“Long Live Italy! Long Live Bulgaria!”
the words of a friend of everybody.
You, Europe communion of penises,
rising neo-fascist how you fall
in taking shelter in Radio Marija
from the scorn of Nieznalska Dorota,
in the shout “A sort of whore, a sow,
hookerish, surely jewish”
in appeal and counter-appeal at Danzica,
you’ve surprised me like a dead body
and here you are cheerfully pissing
like a seagull on the whole rehash
of the middle-class bastards of the empire.

CANTO VI ( to Emanuele Ricifari)
– translated by Giada Diano –

Terrorist or terror’s chief of police
or rathed second in command, charging at
the innocents, at those who are
just claiming to their rights.
Surely a fascist, because outside
and around the crane I still think of
Federici’s case, that cop expelled
for saying, “I’m left-wing”.
Where’s the illegal apology of crime
for him who mentioned Mussolini
and favored in any way
Federici’s disapproval?
A sanction imposed by Matteo La Rana
whose second in command’s Maria Pia Romita,
Emanuele Ricifari’s wife!

GAZA DECEMBER 30, 2008

Jawaher was 4 years old
Dina 8
Samar was 12
Ikram 14
Tahir was 17 years old,
all together they made 55,
55 years taken away from their mother
and swallowed by the bellies
of Barak and lmert.
Don’t forget about Balusha
where they couldn’t bury
the bodies of their children
—murdered in their young sleep—
in the Martyrs cemetery;
they weren’t terrorists
at all, as Barak defined
all those dead children
in the Israeli parliament,
and surely don’t forget
who it was who killed them
because 8 minus 5
makes 3 kids leftover,
thanks to those cowards
who say unfortunately.
Don’t forget Samira,
orphaned of 5 children
in the refugee camp at Jabaliya,
struck by a F-16
manufactured in the U.S.A.
And please remove the name
Simon Peres
from the list for the Nobel Peace Prize…

DEFORMED AND UGLY
(concerning the representations of Roberto Lamagni)

We—who brag about the birth
of Acerbi, that figure
of integration of
different peoples,—do we deserve the
presence of an institution
that, gone to Harlem, shouts
at a crippled negro?

Do we deserve a man who
spreads the word of death out
over his mouth as if it were a paper
fan?

Do we deserve having a man
who in Barack sees only
a racism of color and not the light
of the future?

Do we deserve to have our land
kissed by whoever presumes
to be in the right
without knowing the other side?

Against whoever spits such blasphemies
one would impose a martial law
not a military one, not one that
takes away a person’s rights
but a new law that cuts the
language of petty politicians.

“You’re just a child who speaks of
xenophobia without knowing the
grammar of the word.”

The Obama case teaches,
it’s true, teaches that the union makes
power.

So tell me…

Do we deserve a closed mind
that’s just the stub of a cathode
tube representing everybody
in the world to us?

O lord of the castle, “where you believe
the city might end”* always the barren
rudeness of whoever wants to spring
at our eyes starts up again.
Will we be able one day
to thank Jean Leonard, who luckily is
black, or negro, as some say,
and the others, for what they’ve
brought to us?

And let’s not let go of the fact that our
country might be lost in a sea
that’s in the process of closing its jaws.

Let’s not be convinced what’s ruining our ears is just a flea!

BAR PERU

Vino, a bottle
that a Testaccio bartender uncorks and
leans against the bar and
we who drink it without crossing
the threshold since the freedom to
enjoy the grape in the alleyways of Rome
has been taken away from us by four
stupid motherfuckers who’ve removed
life’s liberty and a woman’s self-identity.

We’ve looked along the Tevere
and its poetry
but maybe real poetry
is something we’re losing,

that of the words of Giampi
who sips, observing
San Girolamo della Carita,
or those of Michele
who can’t cross the threshold
with empty hands
or those of Luigi who’s
forced to let go of his glass
for a mouthful of tobacco

because some might say
that Rome puts on
very tight stockings

and lineaments lose their shape
and cheeks tighten up
with very dark laws.

At the Café Peru, in this little
room, we’re some cat
meowing in search of fish
because they’ve removed a piece
of our existence, and maybe
one day the street will be deserted
and the stockings torn
but we two will still be here inside,
with a bottle of vino
that a Testaccio bartender uncorks and
leans against the bar.
NOTES:

Canto I
Volutabro=lurid slime in which pigs roll around

Canto II
Scherano=cut-throats, in this poem it refers to neo-fascist followers who
work in the media and who violently attack in print anyone who is opposed
to Berlusconi. The cut-throat journalists here are:
Vittorio Feltri—director of the newspaper Il Giornale
Augusto Minzolini—director of Telegiornale TG1
Maurizio Belpietro—journalist on Channel 5
Emilio Fede—director of Telegiornale TG4
Mauro Giordano—director of News Mediaset
Con Croce e per Giustizia=a play on words. Alfano was photographed at the 2002 wedding of the daughter of mafia boss Croce Napoli. So the expression “celebrating
with Cross (Croce) and for Justice” is a wordplay with the G in Giustizia capitalized because he’s now the Minister of Justice.
Silvestre=an adjective referring to something that lives in the woods, something sylvan
and savage: the S is capitalized because the image refers to Silvio Berlusconi.
s-cultura=here the s before the word for culture serves to give the sense of a dimunition
of the value of culture.
nano-pensiero/nano-cultura=in the satirist Guzzanti’s writing he calls Berlusconi “nano”
(dwarf)

Canto III
Rosapina=in the fable of the Italian sleeping beauty, she is the feminine myth. The ref-
erence is to Alda Merini in an honorific sense.
Giovanni=references Giovanni Nuti, her friend and musician who composed music for
her poems.
Navigli=zone in Milan where she lived.
marmogrembo=here it doesn’t mean a womb of marble but marble that becomes a womb.

Canto IV
is dedicated to Giovanni Buzi, painter and poet who died early in 2010. A friend of the
poet, he worked in Brussels for both the university and the European parliament there.
bifallico=with two phalluses.
Giuditta=the name of one of his paintings; also the name of the biblical heroine, and the
subject of a famous painting by Gustav Klimt.
Dafne=the name of another of his paintings. She was the first lover of the god Apollo.

Canto V
Aleksandr Lukasenko=President of Byelorussia, considered a dictator by many.
Eduard Limonov=Ukrainian poet who’s lived in New York and Paris and has spent tim
in prison for trafficking in arms.
Sturmabteilungen=name of the assault battalion of the Nazi Party.
Jobbik is an Hungarian right-wing party which received 15 per cent of the vote in the
recent elections.
lupi bianchi= (white wolves), what nazi skinheads are called in Russia.
Eduard Chuvashov=was a judge who dealt with the trials of Russian murders. He died
in April 2010..
Stanislav Markelov & Anastasia Baburova= the first, a lawyer; the second, a colonel accused of crimes in Chechnya, respectively.
Via Precistenka=where the two were killed.
Giuseppe Garibaldi=the general who unified Italy in the 19th Century.
Petko Kapitan=national hero of Bulgaria for having overthrow ottoman domination.
Vittorio Sgarbi=art critic; in 2010 he went to Sofia with Berlusconi.
Volen Siderov =leader of ultra-nationalist Ataka Party in Bulgaria—against gypsies, gays.
Radio Marija=radio in Poland.
Nieznalska Dorota= a Polish artist.

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