2/11/2015

Sylvia Plath & Amelia Rosselli

February 11th is a date I cannot forget, being the death anniversary of two women poets I truly love. Sylvia Plath's death makes of her an iconic martyr immolating herself on the altar of Pain. Reading about her death and her last few acts before sealing the kitchen's door inspired one my poems, "Milk and Bread," that was first published by editor Cooper Renner in elimae and that can be read in my They Talk About Death chapbook. I am certainly not the only poet who was inspired by Sylvia's death. Thomas Rain Crowe wrote a beautiful poem--"Poem for Sylvia Plath Without Even Lighting the Stove"-- on the subject that you may read here and so did Tania Pryputniewicz in her "Sylvia III," from her November Butterfly collection.

Amelia Rosselli was one of Italy's best women poets. I have always admired her craft in writing her lines in either Italian, English or French. Her mother was English and her father, Carlo Rosselli, was a famous left-wing Italian political leader who had been forced into exile under Mussolini and who was assassinated in France when Amelia was barely seven. After years of living abroad in France, England and the United States, she finally settled in Rome. Rosselli was a translator too. Plath was a poet very dear to her. No wonder she chose defenestration on Plath's very death anniversary. I often visit her tomb at the Protestant Cemetery. Everyone is usually busy paying a tribute to Keats, Shelley and Corso, but Rosselli should indeed not be overlooked.





2/02/2015

John Fitzgerald's Favorite Bedtime Stories. A Review.

Favorite Bedtime Stories by John Fitzgerald (Salmon Poetry, 2014) is a book of poetry that grabs the reader with the sinuosity of a leopard. It has a subtle way of penetrating in the pores and, much like the poet himself states, “I am poet and cannot explain” what makes this “voice like dirt” so intoxicating.

“Where I am men hide, seems to me the perfect key to understanding the subtleness at play. And no, it’s not up a tree with the leopard, but in the leaf that we are turning, in the traces Fitzgerald so skillfully disseminates along the pages.

“I am coiner of words, he says, and of tales I shall add. Reading this collection one moves swiftly from apes and wild beasts, to the fifteen poems of The Charter of Effects, an almost philosophical journey in the footsteps of a poet named Likeness (or the Likeness of the Universe) whose Muses are in no way ordinary:

Presence is the muse who says she is this very moment.
Every night I close the blinds she every morning opens.
I perform CPR but can never save her.
She dies in my arms, I can still taste her.

My favorite section of this collection is Chess. Following the King, the Queen and the Pawn along the Board, the poet invites us to revisit the game of chess, to put ourselves at play and to adhere to rules. Indeed, because even poetry has its strict rules, but with Fitzgerald

 the board morphs into countless situations,
I cannot say for certain if it’s finite
though the plane itself has edges.

There are infinite stories and as many poems in each of these poems, where the dark ultimately “reveals itself” from “being light. They remind me of C.M. Escher’s mesmerizing painting Metamorphosis III, where the chess boards leads us to explore always new and fascinating worlds to end up back where we have begun.


C.M. Escher, Metamorphosis III 

2/01/2015

"Love and Other Demons" & More Poetical News

If I look at my poetry accomplishments, it seems 2015  has started incredibly well. I have had 4 poems accepted for publication in Menacing Hedge and 2 poems accepted in The Más Tequila Review. My heartfelt thanks to editors Kelly Boyker and Richard Vargas. I also received feedback from Kristy Bowen that my fifth chapbook, "Love and Other Demons," will be published by {dancing girl press & studio} next year. I am so happy to have a second chapbook published by dgp after Diagnosis, which has been released just 2 weeks ago. Thank you to all of you who have purchased it already. I hope some more of you will follow the hare in this Plath-inspired chapbook.

My translations into English of a selection of poems by my fellow RBP poet Marco Cinque has just been published by CC.Marimbo Press in California. The book's title is At the Top of My Voice. The New Anthology of American Poets that I have edited and translated should be released by February, or anytime soon. I have almost completed the translation of a selection of poems by the Poet that will be published later this year and I have a forthcoming chapbook in Italian by Gilgamesh Edizioni. I am very happy to announce that the cover of this chapbook will be a portrait of me by a poet I am very fond of, that is Neeli Cherkovski. Neeli's drawings are sweet and amusing, I am curious to see how my portrait will turn out.

And, I am writing a poem on this gorgeous painting, Guardian by Chie Yoshii. I am totally in love with it!