12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice

NaPoWriMo • 4 April • Un Salto Nel Buio / A Leap in the Dark

(Oggi, la poesia e stata in italiano prima e poi (più giù) in inglese/
Today’s poem is in Italian first, followed by the English version)


After reading Che Fece … Il Gran Refiuto BY C. P. CAVAFY

questo era quello che fu

l’altro giorno ho letto quei libri ancora
di una donna che contatta un uomo che non ha mai conosciuto
solo vede lui attraverso le immagini che lo dipingono
vivono in terre diverse , lei manda
le lettere , le cartoline , i disegni , e lui
sconcertato , colpito , innamorato , rispose

con la disperazione crescente di lui, decidono
di incontrarsi
e quando si lasciano andare
come frecce impennate fatte a mano
ciascuno per la terra dell’altro
l’atteraggio di loro ha messo in discussione
come se fossero ciascuno finzioni
nelle fiabe degli altri
infine, anche se lei
ha visto , ha descritto , ha toccato
non era mai stata dove
egli era ,
e il viaggio di lui non poteva
affrontare le tempeste del territorio di lei

questo era quello che fu
quando ho scelto
quando ho detto il ‘sì’
che ha fatto pallido tutti i ‘sì’ passato
il tipo di sì
potrei dire solo una volta

il martellamento , il destino , la gravità nel mio cranio
una nenia bronzata
che mi si è contratta , mi ha svegliato , mi ha lanciato
quel salto gioioso
senza la luce
( come dici tu )

nessuno osava esprimere :
e se non funziona ?
cosa fai se è troppo difficile ?
non avrei ascoltato comunque
era , sopratutto, il mio Sì

mi sono trasferita in fretta
quando tutto era a posto
mi sono scorragiata , per un secondo , perché
cosa succede se
prima del mio arrivo
te ne sei andato ?
cosa succede se, al momento del mio atterraggio
la finestra tra i nostri mondi
scivolò chiusa con un suono secco ?
cosa succede se uno di noi ha dimenticato quella deliquescenza
il grido di gabbiano, piumato d’oro
quel momento quando il cielo incendiava
senza toccare
sapevamo :

ognuno di noi è la musa per l’altro ?

ma peggio è come avrebbe potuto essere :

che avessi fatto se avessi spinto le dita nelle orecchie
e avessi canticchiato un ‘no’ – netto, sicuro, basso?

~  ~  ~

this was how it was

I read those books again the other day
about a woman who contacts a man she’s never met
only sees him through the pictures he paints
they live in different lands, she sends
letters, postcards, drawings, and he
baffled, stricken, enamoured, replies

in his growing despair, they decide
to meet each other
and when they let themselves go
like a pair of hand-fletched
arrows each to the other’s lands
their touchdown mooted
as though they are each figments
in the fairytales of the other
in the end, though she
saw, described, touched
she had never been where
he was,
and his voyage could not
weather the storms of her territory

this was how it was
when I chose
when I said the yes
to pale all yes-es past
the kind of yes
I could only ever say once

the hammering, fate, gravity in my skull
a bronzed dirge
that twitched, woke, launched me
that joyous leap
without lights on
(as you put it)

no one dared voice:
what if it doesn’t work?
what if it is too hard?
I wouldn’t have heeded anyhow
it was, after all, my yes

I moved with haste
once all was in place
quailed, for a second, because
what if
before I arrived
you were gone?
what if at the moment of my landing
the window between our worlds
slid closed with a click?
what if either of us forgot that deliquescence
the gull feather cry
that sky on fire moment
without touching
we knew:

we are each the muse for the other?

but worse is how it could have been:

what if i’d pushed my fingers into my ears
and aumed a flat, low, safe no?



2 comments on “NaPoWriMo • 4 April • Un Salto Nel Buio / A Leap in the Dark

  1. angela highstead
    April 14, 2014

    Too often in life there is a safe “No” and then we are left with the “If only……”

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