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Seven Contemporary Italian Poets (7/7)

By Linh Dinh

portraitofalessandrobroam5.jpg
Alessandro Broggi, translated by Linh Dinh:
Field of Action
Giulio proposes a toast. Everyone drinks. Berta laughs and receives a slap from Carlo, who reacts immediately. The woman who owns the café doesn’t react, Berta laughs and Carlo gives her a kiss. Bernarda plants herself before Carlo, raises her underskirt with one hand and extends an open hand to him. She sits down. The owner brings her a cold würstel and slams it on the table. Samantha skips over to Carlo. Carlo shoves one hand between her thighs and spits at Berta’s extended hand. Gustavo observes with boredom Samantha’s lower belly, then gives her a coin. Carlo stands up and grins fiercely. The owner goes towards Carlo and without saying a word gives him a slap. Berta laughs and receives a slap also. Carlo takes Berta by the hair and drags her to Gustavo, holding her face before Gustavo’s fly. Berta nods in agreement and Carlo lets go. Gustavo stands up, says nothing and bites violently a piece of bread. The owner heads towards Carlo. The handsome man, meanwhile, fixes his gaze on the beautiful woman, without looking he slips a hand into a pant pocket and without looking extends a large bill towards Samantha. Carlo wants to grab the money but the owner is quicker. Carlo sits down, panting. Berta wants to console him but he moves away. The owner heads towards the table of the beautiful couple with their hands by their sides. Gustavo eats with increasing voracity. The handsome man makes a gesture of refusal with his hand, without averting his gaze from the beautiful woman. The owner sits herself at Giulio’s and Bernarda’s table. Gustavo begins to move, kisses Giulio on the mouth, the owner on the forehead and Carlo on the mouth and on the forehead. Carlo disgusted wipes his lips to clean them. Gustavo walks towards the table of the beautiful couple and punches him awkwardly, hitting him on the shoulder. The handsome man makes a gesture of refusal with his hand, without averting his gaze from the beautiful woman. As the man gestures, Gustavo grabs his hand and places it between his legs. The handsome man observes coldly and without particular interest how Gustavo excites himself with his hand. Samantha covers her mouth with her hands and leaps up hysterically. Carlo moves closer and administers a slap to the beautiful woman. The owner yanks the handsome man’s hand from Gustavo and places it between her legs. Bernarda sneaks forward, gives the handsome man a slap in passing and places Carlo’s hand between her legs. Giulio reaches them and kneeling before the group in action begs them to stop. Berta on her feet watches the scene coldy, making an enormous bubble with the gum she’s chewing, which finally explodes on her face. The beautiful couple are dragged to the ground and brutally undressed. Carlo indicates he wants to rape the beautiful woman. Gustavo removes the handsome man’s pants while guffawing. The owner lifts her apron and sits on the handsome man’s face. Bernarda positions herself behind Giulio and waits for his erection so she could exploit it for herself. By now the beautiful couple are completely buried beneath the others’ bodies. Finally blood begins to splash. Berta is still standing at the same spot and continues to make bubbles with the gum she’s chewing. The beautiful couple are eaten. Gustavo gives Carlo a blow to the head with a piece of meat. The owner then hits him with a thighbone. Giulio remains seated, distracted, playing with the remains of the cadavers. The owner strikes Carlo with a rib. Carlo reacts immediately. Berta removes her shoes and socks and wedges a toe into Carlo’s mouth. Carlo sucks and cries. One after another follows his example, while Gustavo observes the scene with irritation. Bernarda gives Gustavo a slap, who then licks Berta’s foot while whining. Samantha kisses Berta’s ass. Berta gives one of the skeletons a kick, sits at the table where the beautiful couple were and drinks their spumante. Giulio goes to Berta and hides his face in her lap. She pours on his head a glass of spumante. He slips to the ground wearily and lies there for a moment. Samantha reaches him and gives his hand a kiss, as if in reverence. Bernarda takes off a shoe and a sock, goes towards Giuolo and gives him a kick in the ass. Seeing him offended, she wedges a foot in his mouth. Berta lifts a bone to hit Gustavo, then suddenly stops herself and slowly lowers her arm. She falls on Bernarda and shoves her head into one of the cadavers. Berta lets go of Bernarda and straightens her own hair. Bernarda hides beneath a table and nuzzles up to Samantha. Berta and Gustavo follow suit, murmurring.


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Alessandro Broggi was born in 1973 in Varese, and is the author of these poetry collections: Apprendistato (Eos Edizioni, 2000), Inezie (LietoColle, 2002; with a preface by Giampiero Neri, drawings by M. Morandini); lavori in prosa: Quaderni aperti (partially presented as an e-book for Biagio Cepollaro E-Dizioni, 2005); and total living (la camera verde, 2007). With C. Dentali, he edited l’Agenda Poetica di LietoColle (ed. 2003; with a note by M. Cucchi). He has also appeared in Verso i bit. Poesia e computer (2005) and Il presente della poesia italiana (2005). His poetry, prose, essays, interventions, as well as reviews of his works, have appeared in Almanacco del Ramo d’Oro, Bloc Notes, Hebenon, Il Segnale, La Clessidra, La Mosca di Milano, Nuova Antologia, Poesia, Sud, Testuale, among other places, and online at Poesia da fare, Dissidenze, Liberinversi, Microcritica, Nabanassar and Nazione indiana. Since 2004, he has been the editor of the poetry and cultural webzine L’Ulisse. He works as a writer and editor for Condé Nast Traveller, where he busies himself with the international art scene. Broggi also has an interest in contemporary music and sound art.

Comments (4)

  • On January 15, 2009 at 9:23 am unreliable narrator wrote:

    Linh, I feel predictably goofy and sycophantic for saying this but will do so anyway, just in case it turns out to be actually helpful and/or the appropriate thing to do—I really enjoyed this series, and it exposed me (which always sounds so, so subwayish, but eh bien) to a whole group of writers whose work I never even knew existed. Because I am an isolated insular Yank. So I thank you for doing the many tasks of translating, and for pulling together these appetite-whetting poems.

  • On January 15, 2009 at 9:41 am Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi Unreliable,
    Your comment is much appreciated. Thank you. I will pass it along to the translated poets. I feel like I should translate more Italian poetry soon, but I’m already pulled in five different directions. Thanks again!

  • On January 15, 2009 at 1:15 pm unreliable narrator wrote:

    You go in a lot of different directions, you do….I especially was digging Vanni Santoni and Marco Giovenale. Oh, and Florinda Fusco. Brava!

  • On January 17, 2009 at 7:13 am sarmizegetusa wrote:

    grazie! ^_^


Posted in Uncategorized on Sunday, January 11th, 2009 by Linh Dinh.