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.


The white calf sleep*

some rabbit’s iambic leg
back bent in its tight articulation
keeps hanging few inches on the jamb,
right on the doorstep and a crown of seeds
is there, the spade thrust deep into frozen mud;
the roods collect the moan of prayers,
guttural lamentation on the water ponds,
white relics of boughs, plumes of birds

a white calf uproots the leaves of grass
with sharp strokes of tongue, moistens
the cold panes before its snout, hides
milky bones and sleeps in bare straw


* First published in Raum, vol.1 issue 4, Glasgow, 2017.

Fear of the empty closets

turn the dark to milk

blank planets, holes
blankets on my pillows

the cosmic egg
a crumb in my bed

pulsars, black holes
pricks, throbbing bruises

a bee the size of
the whole space hums

bodies stain the light
souls are lightning bugs

the poised word
the paused hour

till the grace
of not understanding

Asemic phenomenology

Full pdf download (Eng-It)
by Federico Federici

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Asemic writing points to a gradual weakening of the correlation between sign and meaning or, within the language of Biology, to contradict the «form follows function» statement. Any textual hermeneutics based on an archaeological approach (restoration of a minimum set of alphabet signs from fragmented subsets, recovery of the original syntax from noisy communication channels etc.) would hopelessly fail. The reason for this failure is programmatic. The flux of symbols does not tend to intercept and duplicate encrypted information. It works around the uniqueness of each code by blending familiar patterns out of context, devising new ones or introducing modifications. This is one of the most subversive traits, legitimizing the paradox of asemic communication. There is no recognisable genome, nor any implicit one accepted by the community. Each text, regardless of its extent, embodies the highest expression of a unique and obscure language, which constitutes its stimulus and essence. This powerful, iconic synthesis absorbs all the traditional phonic elements, turning the act of reading into a pure visual experience, contemplative, even where the persuasive sequence of figures on the page seems to encourage the recovery of possible narrative dynamics, such as in The Giant’s Fence [1] or Action Figures [2] by Michael Jacobson.
Each asemic form is not a statement in itself. It’s rather an unaussprechbare Aussage, triggering the interpretive schemes of the subconscious, making the idea of an a priori meaning redundant. Reading no longer consists of two contiguous but distinct phases, namely decoding and interpreting; it becomes a unique and creative activity, acted upon the free surface the text, drawing from unknown resources. The psychological effects of brief asemic activities, stimulated in individuals with schizophrenia and alexithymia, have recently been investigated [3]. The comparative analysis of the writings, Continue reading “Asemic phenomenology”

Breakfast tea

To begin the day with
some tea in a cup
and a wee bit of milk
as a cake slice sinks
in tiny puffs of heat,
halved, unhindered
to the lower side of it
the ground state.

Hot sugar dissolves
atoms gravitate a bit
more around outlines
of raisins, the crumbs
collide, balance the chaos
the sheer butter effect.

Weep with me then
droop over your breakfast tea
and make the sign of the cross
on the under-milk face of god
or voracious cups will swallow
biscuits and cakes up, the sweet-
natured world to begin with.


In Conversation Poetry Quarterly, n.6, 2009.

The pause of the wake

sometimes I tend to speak
to that half self leaning
to myself, as seeming
as the skin on my bones,
hanging to the sleepless
body by the thinnest nerves
and always in my reach
as the glance in my eyes

that half staring through
my darkness into the empty
corner of the mirror,
restlessly emerging
from the other side of the self,
like an inward waning moon
of which I am neither one
quarter, nor the full

for I cannot say how deep it will
fade under-skin or beyond
when it catches my last breath
in struggle with the air
and whether that is what
some call soul, whose sleep
is the pause of the wake


In Sand, Berlin’s English Literary Journal (n.10, 2014).

Bookcrossing: the books that do not want to be read

One intriguing puzzle remains: how do book-crossed copies ‘know’ how camouflaged their own covers are to a reader on a particular shelf? – Rose Anne Blakey

Resting out on improvised bookshelves can be a risky business for book-crossed copies. Out in urban or wild habitats, they have nowhere to hide and their covers, which show varying shades of colours are dangerously exposed to voracious readers hunting.
New research by Rose Anne Blakey from the University of Princeton’s Department of Contemporary Writings shows that each copy is able to choose its resting spot wisely and select a rock, a branch or a shelf in its natural environment that will make its cover less conspicuous to reading predators.
This suggests that book-crossed copies can choose to rest on the place they will most resemble, which enhances their own degree of camouflage against visually-oriented predatory readers.” – says Rose Anne Blakey – “This is the first result of its kind in book-crossing, and in book-crossed poetry specifically.”
One intriguing puzzle remains: how do book-crossed copies ‘know’ how camouflaged their own covers are to a reader on a particular shelf?” She adds.
Evidences strongly suggest that copies rest on backgrounds that heighten their own camouflage to reduce the risk of being picked by readers.
The researchers also found that book-crossed copies’ resting site choices, that heightened individual camouflage, are more evident in places with higher numbers of predatory reader species, suggesting that this behavioural defence is more likely to evolve in riskier environments. It was also more apparent in poetry books, probably because prose books have a conflicting need to stand out against the background to attract absent-minded readers.

The books that want to be read:

Alter Krieg barnes&noble | | .com | .de | .uk

The way I discovered the Berlin wall has fallen | .com | .de | .uk

Dunkelwort | .com | .de | .uk | dunkelwort only

Archivio apocalittico, farsesco ecc. libri della neve

The book that doesn’t want to be read:

Requiem auf einer Stele (twelve fragments) barnes&noble | | .uk