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Original Italian by Alessandra Racca (1979-), from Bastarde Senza Gloria.

Beware the bad poets
they don’t just come at night
but roam about
whipping out their lines by day
dumb and overbearing
if you do not turn your ears away
they slither into your skulls
filling them with sickly sweet scents
they’ll make you hurl
but your victim’s face
stunned
will smile:
a smile of kindness
lax, fed up
and with no trace of sincerity.

Better a poet who’s bad
than a bad poet.

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