Image credit: Asma Bezneiguia, "Nayorka"

zero is our mygod


barbed glass
with blood in the smile


rose of where without the thing


then digest


we are satisfied
we sing


the beehive
finally appears to us



our light
opaque and ours


who remains what remains


purest human





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




tiny flames



barely a fissure
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


with our impiety

View Original Work ↓

zero è il nostro iddio


vetro filato
a sangue nel sorriso


rosa del dove senza cosa


poi digerire


siamo sazie


finalmente ci appare



nostra luce
opaca e nostra


chi rimane cosa rimane


più pura umana





piccolo cranio diluvio
primavera di ombre


aprirsi fiorire morire
appena tremore




fino alla fine



chiome sangue comete
vaghissime voci


come bocche lasciate al delirio


in ginocchio perdute
in lacrime







appena fessure
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
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


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