Salmon are to be waylaid
at the bottleneck of the river mouth,
when they are scared, cramming the water;
you have to let the net down where
the surface ripples with fins,
gills fumbling the desire
that doubles the passage of new
generations. That is the moment
to shoot the net, to stretch tight
the noose to the throat, the sharp spear.
At the metro exit we are
oblivious salmon to the slaughter
Surely I know the taste of the needle stinging the vein
every two months I offer to that cyanotic
beak the thick slothful liquid
that inhabits me
like a placid river flows in summer:
if you look for a poet be aware that
I do not like streams
nor the floods that sweeps across the bed and leave
slime on paper.
We are like cans filled
of spices in the kitchen
with carefully selected tisanes
we are the nettle, the lime and the balm.
It takes the vegetable patience
that fills the labour of the balconies
to be fine glass loving
the dust, the indifferent scent
of the essences.
Brew your wombs
boil like fish or potatoes
and then strain the red juice
that furs up the bottom of the mug.
I always mess up
and I should be wearing a sign
lit like a beacon in my flesh
engraved in my hand, a cross
an indecipherable letter
from the alphabet of pain
it will say that it is time
for my mistakes:
you know that, I get lost
(or we both get lost
– we all get lost)
losing the path
to the peacefulness
that leads to the soft kiss
of the way back.
Luca Benassi was born in 1976 in Rome. He is poet, writer, essayist, journalist and translator. He published the following collections of poems: “Nei Margini della Storia” [In the Sidelines of History] in 2000, “I Fasti del Grigio” [The Glories of the Grey] in 2005, “L’Onore della Polvere” [The Honor of Dust] in 2009, “Di me diranno” [I Will Be Told] in 2011 and “il guado della neve” [the snow ford]. In 2018, he published the Italian- Spanish anthology “La schiena del cielo – La espalda del cielo” [the sky’s back]. He also published the e-book “Duet of Lines Sen no Nijuso” (poems in Italian, English, Japanese, Junpa edition 2016, together with the poet Maki Starfield). In 2019, he published “ЗБОРОТ НА НЕПРИЈАТЕЛОТ – la parola del nemico”, (PNV Publishing, Skopje, Macedonia) and “Очи и звезда – Gli occhi e la stella” (Alma edition, Beograd, Serbia). His poems have been translated into English, Spanish, Macedonian, Japanese, Romanian, Turkish, Mongolian, Chinese, Korean. As translator, he translated into Italian the work of the Dutch poet Germain Droogenbroodt “De Weg” [Il Cammino- The Path] published by I Quaderni della Valle in 2002. As journalist and critic, he published a book of essays on Italian contemporary poetry “Rivi Strozzati – Poeti Italiani negli anni Duemila” [Throttled Streams – Italian poets in the third millennium] in 2010. He edited the anthologies “Magnificat. Poesia 1969 – 2009” (2009) [Magnificat – Poetry 1969 – 2009] of Cristina Annino, “Percorsi nella poesia di Achille Serrao” (2013) [paths through the poetry of Achille Serrao] of Achille Serrao and “La casa dei Falconi, poesia 1974-2014” [hawks house, poetry 1974 – 2014] of the prominent Italian poet Dante Maffìa. He is editor of “Punto Almanacco di poesia contemporanea” [Punto Almanac of contemporary poetry].