from OBSERVATIONS ON THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS / Nanni Balestrini

MANALIVE

There are men departing only at stations
on the long autumn trains, IT IS
SECRETELY FORBIDDEN TO LIVE IN MIRRORS,
on the silver tracks
sunrises and sunsets whine
like a distant cicada.

………………………………At Easter
a postcard from Hamburg will reveal they have put on some weight,
it will be on us to take care of plantations
deserted by lemons – and to drive out
the encamped circus, Murillo’s children,
the gipsy woman reading
hands among the bougainvilleae

while she shepherds the Camel who defeated the Eye-of-the-Needle.

*

SHELL

……..In the dried out
city seasons die at dawn, without
ankles, when within a hundred walls
traffic lights light up
a silent street
or on the rooftops the white
sleepwalker hides a comet
in the new jar. Tonight
we’ll bet ouselves […]

_____________________
[ from Nanni Balestrini‘s Osservazioni sul volo degli uccelli: Poesie 1954-1956, Scheiwiller, Milano 1988. Translation by Damiano Abeni ]