Nubian

My head is compressed
(In cartouche contents
Made for dead
Languages and archaic
Aspirations traced in
Plumes of incense,
Haunting nisba-laden
Conjugations with lists of
Nubian fisheries, bakers,
Haberdasheries and fabrics
From a starry peninsula,
Often misread and
Always missaid aloud,
My name was poorly
Pronounced somehow),
As I tread these deserted fields
Devoid of other dog-walkers,
In colder shrouds and clouds
Formed by exhaustion,
Pressed and re-pressed
Like a dried dandelion
In a volume unread,
My pages of dread speak
Into the breach of
Time and space,
From marbled halls,
A minister disgraced,
To a Baltic beach
Beneath the dacha
Where their children
Reach to impossibly touch
Vapour trails the gods
Of cacophonous oligarchs
Inhale from within their
Sarcophagi (and we are blessed
They said to be able to travel
And sunbathe and have sex
In the toiletry aisle
Of a Balearic supermarket
While a bored middle-aged
Checkout attendant with a
Name badge which reads
Catalina files her red nails
And rolls her eyes
With a fed-up expression,
Until we unknotted our lives
Into marriages and false promises
Or if not false then unwitting
And no less juvenile,
And jobs, and downfalls,
And a vacuous
Repetitiveness of Dawns),
Spumous offerings
And votives and how futile
To think otherwise,
Or to fume with such
Unprecedented fury
Our peers denied,
And all through that time
They were the ones in a happier crowd,
They were the ones burning
A once-fabled cow,
Oiling a river on fire,
Standing up to their knees
In effluence clotted
By our keenness to deliver,
By our kindling desire.

Over a different horizon
I envisaged a raft, far adrift,
Where I was alone and immersed
Therein eternal solace
And a certain bliss.

Inno Alla Bellezza

Se l’italiano è la lingua della poesia,
Patria di Petrarca nella sua corona a tre punte,
E il francese la lingua degli innamorati,
Patria di Hugo, Baudelaire e Francois Villon,
E il russo la lingua di neve e foreste
Dove è cresciuto l’abete rosso di Checkov, Pushkin e Lermontov,
Il cinese è la lingua dei fiumi che scorrono,
Dare alla luce Cao Xueqin e i tre grandi salici,
Dove emergono le parole della bellezza non posso andare.

Perdonami per le lingue nobili che non ho ancora incontrato,
Lingue spagnole, portoghesi e settentrionali,
Perdonami se le mie parole suonano
Come una corteccia stanca, sradicata e vuota,
Ho perso il conto dei dolori della mia patria,
Perché l’inglese si perde come il sangue
In una prosa sanguisuga.