Let's Talk About Writer's Block. Can You Help Me?

I have always smiled at the expression "writer's block," possibly because it is not  something I had to face in any serious way before. I thought writing would always flow naturally from my head and pen. But, in the past few weeks, it seems I am unable to write. Whatever poem I end up writing makes me shake my head. It seems I am wasting paper, time, energy and words. I know fighting it is possibly not the best cure and I wonder if there is a cure. So, if you happen to read this and you have a suggestion, please send it my way! Whatever works for somebody may not work for everyone, but I'd be happy to try. I want to #poem  for real, again. Thanks!


Frida Kahlo's Plaster Corset and Art

I headed to see Frida Kahlo's exhibit, today. It's not the first time I see her works "live." The first time was over 15 years ago. Just a few months before that exhibit, I remember walking into a bookstore and being attracted by a cover depicting a woman with a split open body showing a crumbling column and with her body pierced by nails. It was love at  first sight. From that moment onward I have read truly extensively about her life and art.

Her first exhibition in Rome boasted "Las dos Fridas," (The Two Fridas), one of her paintings I love most, but today's exhibit had an item that truly moved me: one of Frida's plaster corsets. Her art is always amazing to me. It's not about "Beauty," but it's rather about Feelings: it's about Anguish, Love and Strength. I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but here below you may check some of the beauties I saw today.



April Brings New Poetry Books

I still have Siena lingering in my eyes, but I am also focused on the new poetry books coming out this April. The new Rome's Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology I have edited with fellow poet and poetical brother Marco Cinque, Articolo 1: Una Repubblica AFfondata sul Lavoro is about to be published by Albeggi Edizioni, with poems by Marco Cinque, Olga Campofreda, Ludovica Lanini, Massimiliano Dimaggio, Marco Lupo, Edoardo Olmi, John Claude Smith, Angelo Zabaglio & Andrea Coffami and the undersigned. It deals with work and we hope it will be a strong anthology that may leave a mark. The introduction is by poet Agneta Falk. It is a beautiful introduction. I am posting it here below:

To begin at the beginning,---the cover by Marco Cinque depicting a face of a girl with eyes that seem to look back into the future. The word Mortacci is a strong statement with which to begin this equally strong and engaging anthology.

In a time when work no longer is a given, when capital & power are in the hands of a  few, it’s important to raise our voices and form a chorus, to protest or bear witness in the best way we can, such as these poets from the Revolutionary Poets Brigade in Rome do with their gritty and active texts.

Poets are perhaps the least acknowledged legislators in the world but, despite that, they go on to stir and many times reach the hearts of others, which at best will connect with some brilliant intellects to persuade some form of action. To write a successful political poem is perhaps the most difficult thing to do, but I feel there are many here in this Anthology that ring with social and political clarity and truth.

There is also the question of those who labor away with little return for their efforts, who can barely survive on their meager earnings,---the millions of people who toil in slave-like conditions, who’ve lost sight of their dreams, their self-respect.

In this anthology, we hear their voices expressed through poems that speak of injustices like that of war-weapons being created in a world swarming with hungry if not starving people; work victimization, unemployment and the economic Depression of the 21st century; poems of indignation, with all their complexities of form and love, that don’t fall into the trap of sentimentality. 

Alessandra Bava & Marco Cinque have done a marvelous job in bringing these voices together to form this profound and heartfelt chorus that we all need to unite with through our own engaged selves. 

Picture from the book cover of
ARTICOLO 1: Una Repubblica AFfondata sul Lavoro
(Albeggi Edizioni, 2014)