Monthly Archives: April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 30 – Recipes

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250 grams of your finest minced beef
Argentine or Scottish, either really is fine.
From the Mediterranean, 600 grams of onions
but yes, we can pretend they’re French.
400 grams of potatoes, brought over by the Spanish.
One single solitary egg, as long as it’s free range.
A pinch of guilt, for not visiting as often.
50 grams of Dutch, Turkish, English
bread left to dry and harden for days.
100 grams of Italian Parmigiano,
only the good stuff, finely grated.
Add a grandmother, telling you the story
of how they all met and mixed.
Boil the onions and potatoes,
drain them, sieve them, smooth and thick.
Soak the bread in clear water, mix it all together,
ask your dad for yesterday’s loaf,
there should be some in the drawer.
Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and oregano
a lot of it, make sure there’s a lot of it.
Knead the mixture of seamstresses and diplomats
migrants, mechanics and an emir’s daughter,
make sure everything blends together.
Now take some each
and roll it into smaller balls,
pass them in flour, turn on the flame,
douse them in virgin olive oil,
into the pan, turn up the heat, fry.
Let her know you’re visiting soon
as you wait for them to cook.

NaPoWriMo Day 29 – The Mother I (Benni)

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Where I live now looks like
an abandoned beach
with dunes and wild herbs
the waves, without horizon
change light and colour
at the clouds’ will.
We, the dead, do not have
night, or day, or days.

Often from here I see you
on the other side of the sea
in a trembling heat
I know your every thought
I spy on your words and letters
like a candle, or a cat
with a breath I show you the lines
about me.

But this is my new land
and I am never allowed a touch
to send you healing.
Only that light breath
like a loving voice
a call from behind the wall
or a hedge of roses
a mysterious birdsong.
You never saw me
waiting outside the bar
you spoke with force and anger
of battles and justice
the you found me laughing.
I was late, they don’t understand.
It doesn’t matter. Take me to the hill
to breathe. To fuck. To see
where we live from up there.
Down there, crucified in your kitchen
you are still the one I loved
never beaten, proud, my man
I shout it, but you can’t hear me.

NaPoWriMo Day 28 – The Son I (Benni)

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I saw you through the door
to the kitchen
an old man’s white head.
The coat in the hallway
shaped by your absence
photos and calendars from years
that no longer exist.
So, sometimes, we have to
live years gone by.
Bent on the table, clutching your arms
as if the world
could escape them. Counting
rips on the tablecloth.
Stubborn.
Father.

I want to not count the floors
in the slowly hissing lift
inside this ugly building
I want to not sigh with relief
when I get out
of these tired walls
I want to be close to you
but I can’t.
The waves take me
to an ocean of light outside
where thundering water falls
into videogame arcades, beating engines
faraway sounds Japan Redondo Seattle
flashes, stars, bonus, new weapons
Mortal Kombat levels like never
in your dreams.
And her eyes, picking me through
perfumes and lying adverts.
Her reflection in the shop window.
Her movements as she wraps
hairspray for happy fascists
hairgel for trolls, spray-on for pixies
smells of the Party
stuffed marines Barbie corpses
tenors fake do-gooders, artists fake evil-doers
been dead for years on a chair
of the Bates Motel top floor.

But me and her together in traffic
ineffable twin clouds.
Before the night’s yellow sun
of a young jaguars’ fast-food
heavy-breathing, on streets
where dealers are brothers
pills, amphetamines, prozac, swords
here I fight and sing
can you hear me father?

You who defended me roaring
you who guarded my fever
and my first idea of death
you who hesitated outside school
unsure, enter or not, and watched me
play through the fence, in the nettles
on the short grass of a modest battle.
You who still seek more bread, more milk
old without a job
wounded, dark, Aztec with no land
how can I tell you that I get high
on what might kill you
on the city and its snakes
on the moon-giant burning
these roofs tonight
and says, you’ll see her, tomorrow
the most beautiful, the only one, the one
who carries her beauty around
like thirst, like a name
like something you don’t need.

NaPoWriMo Day 27 – The Father II (Benni)

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Sing to me the stream of acid
and the lead in my lungs
the shadow of a bicycle
on the other side of the river
sing to me of a football flying
between me and my son’s smile
sing to me the ill stars
that I saw from the window.

Because I didn’t know.

I didn’t know how many things were happening
and took them like promises
of something bigger and truer
now I know they were my Story.
That afternoon was the only one of my life
but only now can I say that.
That wound will stay
my deepest scar.
That was the only love
and the friends I waved to
that time really left.
I was happy, but doubted it
those pages were my book.
For I have been
more than what I am, and will be.

NaPoWriMo Day 26 – The Father I (Benni)

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From Sixteen Bar Blues, First Movement.

So I stay, crucified to an average afternoon
on the abyss of a kitchen table
between dirty dishes, this is also dew
thinking that it can’t go on like this
in the painful wind, standing still.

Sing to me the warm stream of acid
and the lead in my lungs
the grease of colloids
seeping through the roof
the thunder of presses, and the heat
sing to me the Red and Green of the Impartial
the pickets in the snow, crippled comrades
hits taken and given
sing to me an envelope that says
you are free from this
you are old for this.

Sing to me the days without beginning or goal
tell me what name I should pray.

Did God ever have to walk into a shop
with two-pounds-fifty, eyes to the ground
choosing the cheapest milk
for the Son, the only hungry son?
Does God know the price of a tin of beans?
Was he ever unemployed for years
does God know what it means to count
the change in your pockets, like kids?
God does not allow this, he wills it
in his Infinite tiredness. So we meet him
finally at arm’s reach, in the fading smile
of the cashier, after a ten-hour shift.
In the funeral light of the neon lamps, queuing
choosing soaps to eternally wash
the clothes we’ll soil and wear again
wedding dresses and killing uniforms
old shirts and glorious cufflinks
a football shirt, faded blue-green.
My son watched me in silence
on the short grass of a modest battle
that day long gone, proud of his dad.
The same dad today queuing for God’s will
with old men holding toilet rolls
and the hobbling old lady, worried
for the whimpering dog, tied up outside
loyal and silent son, never growing.
Between teenagers kissing, arms full of beer
and an undecided homemaker, carting too much meat
poisonous cows/arctic chickens/dinosaur bones.

And me, I who know the final chime
of the till, when it swallows fates at night.
I bought you milk, I know you like it
and a bar of chocolate, with the free toy
made in Taipei and I have no change
left to smoke, but it doesn’t matter.
While God sleeps on soiled clouds
and in the deserted field a football bounces
alone and loudly, a cloth-moon.

Within the shop walls a bull runs
in a nightmare, it dreams of its slaughter
and its fear wakes me up.

NaPoWriMo Day 25 – Una Mattina

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Ci sveglieremo, una mattina,
e non sentiremo più il bisogno
di spiegare, di sprecare fiato
parole, tempo, gioie e dolori
con chi non sa e non vuole
saperne d’ascoltare.

Non saremo piú legati ad un passato
sempre troppo presente,
non per negligenza, memorie offuscate,
politicanti o revisionismi,
ma perchè non più necessario.

Non saranno più importanti
nuovi o vecchi patriottismi;
niente paesi, niente confini,
niente odi, sberleffi, fischi,
pregiudizi ed illusioni;
verde, rosso, bianco, nero,
torneranno ad essere solo colori.

Non saranno solo coloro che adesso
non capiscono, o capiscono benissimo.
Ci sveglieremo, tutti, e saremo obsoleti.

Abbasseremo le braccia, apriremo le mani,
alzeremo gli occhi e ci lasceremo andare.
Una mattina. Ma non oggi, non ancora.

NaPoWriMo Day 24 – Not Comics

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Not the covers, not the titles,
not the issues, not the hardcovers,
not the limited editions, not the trades,
not the retailer incentives, not the covers A and B,
not the crossovers, not the events,
not the retcons, not the reboots,
not the deaths, not the rebirths,
not the shock-factor, not the wow-factor,
not the cliffhangers, not the reveals,
not the frames, not the gutters,
not the pencils, not the inks,
not the colours, not the letters,
not the splash-pages, not the spreads,
not the digital, not the prints,
not the previews, not the reviews,
not the sketches, not the toys,
not the conventions, not the signings,
not the TV series, not the films.

Not art, not literature, not both.
Pas de BD, non i fumetti, no las historietas.
See, what we’re really looking for
is good stories.

NaPoWriMo Day 22 – I Want a Language

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I want a language spanning galaxies
reaching from limitless end to limitless end.
I want a language so minutely detailed
it can talk of quarks and bosons
and conversations between electrons.
I want a language that says what it means
referring to reality with each spoken thought.
I want a language that lies past
similes, onto metaphors, untruthfully signifying
a reality too hard to grasp.
I want a language that fits like a coat
with enough pockets to stash words in
so that when I find something new
I can take some of it with me.
I want a language a little tight around the waist
just enough to be uncomfortable
so I might stretch it and even break it.
I want a language that spits in the face
of structures and generations and derivations.
I want a language that does not care
if it is pure, tainted, original or functional.
I want a language that does not fall short
when trying to talk about…
Most of all, I want a language with which to tell stories
that may have happened once upon a time, or now
or in days still to come.