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

The way I discovered the Berlin wall has fallen

Over the almost three decades the wall stood in Berlin, it was referred to as Antifaschistischer Schutzwall by the authorities of the German Democratic Republic, a legitimate concrete curtain incubating the socialist state. While from the East Berlin side it soon became the dull edge of the death strip, from the West Berlin side it often served as a natural, urban canvas for politically engaged graffiti art, claiming freedom for all. When every ideology needs a precise vision of the world to be conveyed, these pages state a well pondered sense of annihilation rather than of revelation, avoiding any speculation on icons and mass culture. The debris of the wall are the latest generation of the wall itself.

The book is available on | .de | .it | .uk
The Way I Discovered The Berlin Wall Has Fallen, Federico Federici, Morrisville 2017. ISBN: 978-0244930172

AFM – Asemic Force Micro/Macroscopy

AFM (Asemic Force Micro/Macroscopy) is some sort of word play with Atomic Force Microscopy. This latter is indeed a scanning technique, whose imaging capability is connected to the tiniest stress of a spring-like cantiliver, equipped with a sharp tip, flying over the sample surface and getting countinuosly deflected by it. The point by point intensities of the atomic interactions established, proportional to the tip’s displacements, are in real-time mapped to form the topographical profile of the sample. To depict it in a more captivating, though less proper way, it’s like an atomic driven turntable, sensing and recording microscopic interactions beyond the optical diffraction limit.
This project doesn’t actually rely on any such microscope, but tries to use common optical scanning devices to establish and exploit new asemic interactions to create and edit textual artworks.
As in most experiments, the first step consists of the sample preparation, to make it responsive to subsequent analyses. In this case, I picked green leaves from the lemon tree in the garden, I typed and cross-typed the same sentence on them over and over again, and let them wither. Despite this was necessary for another conceptual installation I am working on aside from the AFM project, I draw inspiration from it. I started combining these marked living objects together with asemic papers to build three dimensional asemic still lifes. To keep track of these unstable compositions, I decided to rasterize them with the help of a portable pen scanner and a table scanner. In order to embed signs and writings from different layers and project them onto the foreground, I put additional light sources behind the leaves, to counterbalance their opacity and obtain a substantial luminous increase in relation to the surroundings. I then overlapped semitransparent written sheets to probe those attractive asemic bedrocks full of unknowns. This made it possible to merge separated levels into some sort of topographical image, in which new patterns are spontaneously reinvented, depending on the interaction between the scanning light, the optical properties of the surfaces and the different pigments used for writing. Even the background noise, conveniently edited, has offered a raw underlayer of digital artifacts, scratches or residual particles, against which the primary forms stand out saturated or silhouetted.
This approach, still demanding further exploration, insists on the interface between manipulating and digitalizing existent documents or textual objects. It allows light to be the integrated as dynamic, constructive element and engages the purely mechanical scanning straight into the creative process, in the same way as, within asemic practices, handwriting is charged with formal traits far beyond the likely meaning to be shaped.

Symmetry Breaking*

we can’t be in love at once:
that’s a real quantum state
weird matter inwardness

no care if we know it or not
if we’re quantum physicists
or blind guides in despair

its exclusion principle works
no calculation needs
the world to arrange itself

we’re so anti-symmetric
though we would not say
wrapped, bones-framed

spans of fingers measure
convex curves of skin
on reticulates of veins

these are quantum jokes,
tears and dots, draining
estuaries of blood map genes

many quantum traps await us
between eyebrows and nose
kinds of singlet, doublet states

but no real pair of us remains


*Editor’s Pick on The Unrorean (vol. XV, issue 2, Farmington, 2016)

Peter Fechter (1944-1962)

August 17, 1962: Peter Fechter was shot while trying to make his bid for freedom. He bled to death in agony right behind the Wall in Zimmerstraße near Checkpoint Charlie.

Walled in, death
by wall and concrete,
neither too tall, nor thick
but an empty zone
open to the appointed
West. The last jump,
the spark long since kept
lit against the spying
of the dark, Continue reading “Peter Fechter (1944-1962)”

On foot to Ost-Berlin (from an old guide)

Take the U-Bahn line 6 (direction Tegel-Alt Mariendorf), or the S-Bahn line 3 (direction Wannsee-Friedrichstraße) or the S-Bahn line 2 (direction Lichtenrade-Frohnau). At Kochstraße the conductor will say on the mic: “Kochstraße – letzter Bahnhof in den Westsektoren, letzter Bahnhof in den Westsektoren!”. The train will proceed slowly then under the wall, reducing speed (without stopping) through Stadtmitte and Französische Straße station, that has been closed and kept in half-dark since 13 August 1961. Rdt police officers control the passage of the train until it arrives at Friedrichstraße, the frontier station. The atmosphere is quite unreal there, for it’s unusual to cross an underground frontier to move from one place to another within the same State. You’ll immediately notice the quite impressive coming and going and especially the huge number of old people, retired women and men, who are for one day calling on their relatives living in West Berlin.
All you have to do now is to follow the Grenzübergangstelle and stand in a queue at the Andere Staaten gate waiting for your turn.
Being there no later than 10 o’clock is a good trick not to be standing too long.