Emilio Villa

(1914 – 2003 / Italy)

What's New


What's new is that one can no longer keep
the eyelids of swept away young men open
with sharpened toothpicks, they're no longer alive:

what's new is the whitish eyes of Milanese
men upon the wires of trolleys, trams and poles;
don't tell me it's sad to go on looking sadly in each other's eyes!

what's new is that between flesh and bone there's something
that turns a girl either hot or cold, who has eyes
like a countryside plowed by war, outside the city walls;

what's new is that few plants continue to grow;
and hands ruined by lesions and soot
light the cast-iron stoves, there is no gas;

is that the universal substance trembles, and our heart
not out of pride, nor power, but it seems good, and a sound
of water ways trembles, water ways and train tracks:

the wind has left furrows of rain and greasy stains
on the plaster of facades fifteen meters wide, and
furrows, that is wrinkles, in the old folks' polished square;

windows are a seed among headlights: and I
sow breath and great goodtime, and you
walk up and down the main streets of town;

and I make ragged comparisons, and you carry
the stingy and melancholy beauty within the red shade
of still being beautiful, a girl like a countryside;

and I know how to give forgotten compliments, and you move on;
and you think that one needs to watch what is needed,
and I think about shivering animals that will once again

piss close to the air like they used to; and you
make me a musical list of clothes to dry
in the generous and hapless air of our camporella.

Submitted: Saturday, August 02, 2014

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