Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Poetry is

poetry is evanescence
 

poetry is life sentence, release
on words, liberté sur parole
 

poetry is a blind guide to an ancient
enigma, to an inaccessible
secret
 

poetry is an argument
dynamic and jarring
 

poetry is a rag tag cos-
mology we can
raise and wave,
it's a small (abregée) cos-
mogony: unaware,
seamless, unstitched,
breathless, in tatters
 

poetry is to forget
forgetfulness
 

poetry is to separate self from
self
 

poetry is what's completely
left out
 

poetry is emptying without
exhausting
 

poetry is constraint to the remote,
to the not yet, the not
now, the not here,
the not there, the
not before, neither not after,
nor not now
 

poetry is breeching
 

poetry is to burn and give birth
in the same vocal gesture
 

poetry is being-there multiplied
by not being-there, remembering
to trans-be-there traversely
like a watershed
 

poetry is a misunderstanding about
what I don't know exactly,
but a misunderstanding
 

poetry is infinite impotence,
limpid, lucid, hallucinated
 

poetry is intersection
interjection
intersession
interruption
 

poetry is a low blow
 

poetry is transit and exit
 

poetry is infusion and trans-fusion
 

poetry is memory of what is not
and what must not be; that is
the culminating, liminal Self
the Self as an incomplete cosmos
never to be completed
 

poetry is tying—untying
 

poetry is the ritual scene of
infinite uncertainty, of the
inaccessible Infermity
(Infirmitas)
 

poetry is a streak
a swerve
a splay
a spade
 

poetry is crib—cradle
it's nook—needlei
of the Trans-Organ
of the trans-organic
of the Indistinct
of the In(de)terminable
 

poetry is ash
 

poetry is diagonal
it's ramble
inside the manifest body
of Universal Inexistence
of Global Entropy
 

poetry is stiffened laziness
an arm hanging from the
branch of the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil; that is
a Monkey in Brazil
always hanging by an arm
from the branch of a tree (it's the Preguiçaii )
 

poetry is terrorism in the domain of speech,
a bang in the cloister of language
 

it's terror in the depths of rhetoric
 

poetry is liberation from knowing
escape from the known
a release from mechanics
 

and at the same time it's falling, sinking
into repetitive, obsessive, iterative
mechanics, which are also the
mechanics of hinting, of the
norm, of ritual (of strict
obligation, of rhyme, of number,
of essence)
 

poetry is the implosion of zero time
and in(de)finite degree
 

poetry is unleashing, un-phrasingiii, a potential
threat, breaking, robbing,
destruction
 

poetry is smashing, shattering, shaking
 

 

it's a clash between
strength and restraint
that tends to erase.
We are truly
infinitely mad

 

poetry is almost everything: that is everything, less
what it really is
 

poetry is impermanence crossed with
trans-manence
 

it's impertinence
 

poetry is counter and encounter (spontaneous
and predestined) between neurosis and unconscious,
between archetype and Self
 

a monotonous and perpetuated ring between
impulse and obsession
 

poetry is aggression
 

to write poetry is to cut slits, produce cracks,
point out filaments in the
curtain, in the Barred
Wall
 

poetry is a fight against the night
 

poetry is night against the night
 

poetry is a rub against the voice
 

poetry is friction against the Dragon's skin
 

poetry is this
it's this and that
and so be it
 


iIn the original Italian, this verse literally reads: it's cell—eye of the needle. Villa may have been thinking about the passage from the New Testament "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19: 23-24)
iiPerguiça literally means "sloth" in Portuguese. Here Villa uses it in reference to the mammal that dwells in the trees of South America, specifically those of Brazil, where he lived for three years.
iiiSfraso might derive from the verb "sfrasare," meaning to disrupt the phrase. It is, however, one of Villa's many neologisms and the interpretation offered here (un-phrasing) is merely hypothetical.

Credit


Copyright © 2012 by Emilio Villa and Dominic Siracusa.

Author


Emilio Villa

Villa had a strong influence on the next generation of neoavanguardia Italian writers—including those involved in Group 63

Date Published: 2012-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/poetry-0