The Berlin texts – 01

The waste wall, November 1961, Nassau Review Poetry Award 2019, «The Nassau Review», NCC editors, May 2019.
Further texts are available here: Vertebrae: a book of abandoned buildings and bodies, LN 2019, ISBN 978-1710418811 [Eng]
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Grass flower seeds will sprout…

Deep Wild Journal

Federici green leaf

Federico Federici, from hard-pressed northern Italy, offers us these hopeful words:

Grass flower seeds

will sprout in late spring

from under an inch of ice

when this birch, now fallen

silent, answers bud to bud

and leaf to leaf.

from “An Observation About Winter in Narbona,” forthcoming this summer in Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry. If you love wild places and good words, please consider subscribing at Thanks, and stay safe.

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The Place – Office of the woods

One day, I was sitting under the lime in my garden, with a blank paper in my hands. I didn’t know whether I was seeking inspiration about what to write or to draw. All of a sudden, an ant fell, from some limb hanging over my head, right on the paper. A tiny, excited, creature-like word, running back and forth to flee that waste leaf was an unexpected muse. After going all over the brim for a while, it decided to explore the back of the paper, so that I could barely see it against the light. It could hardly hide, not escape. Though seemingly flat, that paper set some steep pit, some unsurmountable fold in the space-time. There was/ there is some law preventing the ant from exploring the place surrounding the paper.


The place we’ve never visited
in the time we’ll never spend
the aim of the tools at hand
the next step beyond reach.

The always deserted room
the one no one enters twice
the threshold silence seals
the word that over us looms.

The name uttered once
drawn out of pools of dark
the name that nothing names
the wear that cut the thread.

The path from where we are
to where we are to go
the span to fill between
the not yet and the not again.

Known things against its landscape:
the blank buds back in place
the clay where all tracks stop
the cracked fields the river eyes.

The hallways held in memory,
the hollows of the dark, the walls,
the grip, the gaps, the first false
move and the next after that.

To have had enough of inaudible dust
in the fabric of light, of rattles of thought
encased in the skull, of shoring up
sleeplessness under a burden of eyes shut.

Unguarded threshold of the closest door,
forged key of all silences, goddess
not questioned but answered.
The point on the map
where tracks run out.

Last blink through the lens.
Last frame of the shot film
finally exposed to the sun.


Office of the woods, Zoetic Press, Santa Cruz 2018 (Eng).
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The wall jumpers

I shake my head. Dead days lie ahead of us at the trial.
We would wander aimlessly long after the shutters were up, unable to work or sleep. We had hardly spoken in years.
As she disappeared, after sitting with me on a pavement around Alexander Platz overnight, I must have discovered what wall jumpers felt like – who knows from what heights fallen. No shelter. No heaven. All books and papers burnt, all lines broken, all nails cut, all suspects confessed Continue reading “The wall jumpers”

Two stuffed texts: an experiment with T. S. Eliot’s “Hollow men”

Stuffed text number 1

We are the hallowed men
we are the duff-head men
keen to gather
head peace filed in row. Alas!
Hours drive choices, where
the will-o’-the-wisps are
quaint mien and our lenses
shield us, behind chipped
glasses, while gloves don’t fit
in with other laces,
sheep without norm, shirts without collar,
in a para-lizard farce, just an urgent notion;
on the snow that crusts
we draw reptiles, too deaf fathers keen on
remembrance – in fact, all note us lost,
violence howls against
us, hallowed men
duff-head men.


Stuffed text number 2

Ђeře ðe hollåƭn
Ђeře ðe tsŭÞedƭn
Lїnŋ togeðr Hїdþǝš
filð Ђið tsraЂ ŏr
drǝd voišs, Ђhen
Ђe Ђhisþr togeðr ře
qŭǝt alj mїnŋlsessaa
Ђilj in drÿs ğsaas
Or rąsfēt ovr borcken
glsaas inŏr drÿs šllř
šaþe Ђiðŏt form, šade
Ђiðŏtcolŏr, þřalÿssed
forš, gsetŭre Ђiðŏtmotnjr,
ðose Ђho hve corssed
Ђiðdirect eÿsse, to dїðs
oðr ckŋdom Reƭmbr
ŭsif ą ålj tnosaa ollts
Vnjlent sŏls, bŭt orlÿssaa
ðe hollåƭn ðe tsŭÞedƭn.

First appeared on «Ex-Ex-Lit», August 29, curated by Volodymyr Bilyk and Bil Sabab, 2018.