Image credit: Asma Bezneiguia, "Nayorka"

Seven Poems from Soffiati via

Translated from the Italian by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue
View Translator Notes

View Original Work ↓

zero is our mygod

 

barbed glass
with blood in the smile

 

rose of where without the thing

 

eat
die
then digest

 

we are satisfied
we sing

 

the beehive
finally appears to us

 


 

our light
opaque and ours

 

who remains what remains

 

purest human
thing

 

benediction
selection
solution
salvation
butchery

 


 

little skull flood
spring of shadows

 

open up flower die
barely a tremor

 

fairy tales
breeding grounds

 

until the very end

 


 

hair blood comets
echoing voices

 

like mouths left to delirium

 

on knees lost
in tears

 

humans

 

tiny flames

 


 

barely a fissure
impulses
now weak
now dreamed

 

more cries
from when they were

 

cold feathers
mane of blood

 


 

now that i’m dead
mygod stoops
and breathes like a dog
in blood he nuzzles
in hunger

 

like a remain
without respite

 

a crooked miracle
a distant murmur

 


 

i am alive because
i have fire inside my head
also dogs
without eyes
come and go
in the fire
inside my head

 

mygod they stutter
who we are don’t know
nor what we want

 

to burn alive
is something
good and righteous
to turn us to
ashes is a struggle

 

buzz
with our impiety



View Original Work ↓

Sette poesie da Soffiati via

By Vito M. Bonito

View Translated Work ↑

zero è il nostro iddio

 

vetro filato
a sangue nel sorriso

 

rosa del dove senza cosa

 

mangiare
morire
poi digerire

 

siamo sazie
cantiamo

 

l’alveare
finalmente ci appare

 


 

nostra luce
opaca e nostra

 

chi rimane cosa rimane

 

più pura umana
cosa

 

benedizione
selezione
soluzione
salvezza
macellazione

 


 

piccolo cranio diluvio
primavera di ombre

 

aprirsi fiorire morire
appena tremore

 

favole
focolai

 

fino alla fine

 


 

chiome sangue comete
vaghissime voci

 

come bocche lasciate al delirio

 

in ginocchio perdute
in lacrime

 

umane

 

fiamelle

 


 

appena fessure
impulsi
ora deboli
ora sognati

 

più gridi
da quando erano stati

 

fredde piume
chioma di sangue

 


 

ora che sono morto
iddio si piega
e respira come un cane
nel sangue s’annida
nella fame

 

come un resto
senza conforto

 

un miracolo storto
un bisbiglio lontano

 


 

io sono vivo perché
c’ho il fuoco dentro la testa
e anche i cani
senz’occhi
vengono e vanno
nel fuoco
dentro la testa

 

iddio balbettano
chi siamo non sa
né cosa vogliamo

 

ardere vivi
è cosa
buona e giusta quel tanto
che di noi far
cenere a stento

 

ronzio
della nostra empietà

 

Translator Notes

These poems are from Vito M. Bonito’s book Soffiati via, Il Ponte del Sale, 2015, Rovigo, Italy. The title can mean blown away in English but really it is something closer to a state of nirvana. A place that is neither here nor there. The voices of the poems, often disjointed and ephemeral, are of children lost to both heaven and earth. While the poems are often very violent, they do leave space for some light to come in. The poems are unique in form and language in respect to most contemporary Italian poetry and draw influence from a wide variety of diverse sources—Dante, Pascoli, Herzog, Harmony Korine. My translation process was multilayered. I studied the poems, their references and sound; I was lucky enough to meet with the author regularly to discuss different elements of the poems and to find many solutions to a given problem. I tried to find feelings to fill in the language with the movement necessary to bring these poems into English. In translating these poems I would often find myself and my own language overcome with a supernatural force, and I tried to harness this force into the work itself.


Allison Grimaldi-Donahue

×