“The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merely turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.” - Simone Weil “The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merely turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.” - Simone Weil

My Poems Won’t Change The World

Thoughts on Patrizia Cavalli

Text: Bug
Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli was born in Todi, a municipality of the province of Perugia in central Italy, and lives in Rome. Unarguably one of the greatest talents of contemporary Italian poetry, Patrizia Cavalli asks nothing of the reader. Cavalli’s work is confidently honest and without ego. Her poems have nothing to prove to you, but will gladly speak their mind when given the chance. The foreboding content of her poetry is so effortlessly paired with humor and acceptance that you feel at ease as a reader. For me reading her poems feels like eating blueberries. I can have one or many. I’m never really full, but enjoy the way they burst in my mouth when ripe. Having formed an affable disposition for their slightly sweet acidity, I will return to them later on. Although at times unassuming, Cavalli’s poetry presents an ethical standard through it’s honest language. Completely unique and beloved, her poems explore the self, the body, a couch, pasta, cats, and the city. The resounding topic above all is love. Her emotional sensitivity towards romanticism is felt without coming off as saccharine. She examines herself with unabashed rigor. Orienting her heart-wrenching experience through the nonchalant attitude of it being just another day in a body. Contemplative and cunning, her epicurean comedy reels readers in with deadpan delivery, and keeps us captivated with her profound sincerity. These works shed light on the joy and sorrow of everyday life and love, provocations of emotional intimacy found in the mundane.
To get out of prison do you really need
to know what wood the door is made of,
the alloy of the bars, the precise hue
of the walls? Becoming so expert, you might
grow too fond of the place. If you really do
want out, don’t wait so long, leave now,
maybe use your voice, become a song.
We’re all going to hell in a while.
But meanwhile
Summer’s over.
So come on now, to the couch!
The couch! The couch!
Lazy gods, lazy fate
What don’t I do to encourage you,
think of the chances I strain to offer you
just so you might appear!
I lay myself bare to you and clear the field
not for me, it’s not in my interest,
just so you might exist I become
an easy visible target. I even give you
a handicap, to you the last move,
I won’t respond, to you that unforeseen
last round, a revelation
of force and grace: if there were to be any merit
it would be yours alone. Because I don’t want
to be the factory of my own fate,
cowardly workmanly virtue
bores me. I had different ambitions, dreamt
of other kinds of judgements, other harmonies:
grander rejections, obscure predilections,
the fringe benefits of undeserved love.
Throw in the pasta, I’m on my way!
O bliss, I’ll be fed.
But the water doesn’t boil, not yet.
For someone to be there bringing
water to a boil and to get there on time
before the pasta overcooks
or God forbid grows cold,
in that exact always slightly hysterical
moment, yes, in that almost sacred
very moment of straining,
that happy haste sooner or later,
will come to all, even the unluckiest.
There she is turned into a lollipop
a large egg-shaped lollipop,
not passed around, but twirled in the mouth,
that she sucks on all by herself
Incapable of love, Physiological Love
tortures me by the basest of means.
It has at its disposal the vastness of the body
rendered even vaster by pain.
Blood rushes and presses against veins
and arteries, and the sternum that shelters
the heart shatters into sharp spurs.
A sodality of tears and languor
Gathers in the occipital zone
while a blade pierces the cervix
and descends all down the backbone.
Barbed wire electrified
penetrates the mantle of the pia mater
and sends shocks into the temporal lobe.
The vagus nerve by now terrorized
drops the reins and frenzies the heart.
Lymph without orders, ungoverned,
stops along the tracks wherever
no longer can make its journey
or jams the glandular terminals.
Nothing but terror is there and dismay.
And all this just to make me admit
that I am in no way ever spiritual.