Seduced by a question

Every now and then, while smoking a cigarette, I like to ask myself ” Does  the cigarette smoke ever reach the sky ? “. ” ask” because that’s where it has stayed. I never moved to the answer stage. More precisely, I didn’t even try. Almost from the moment I first met this question on a ” I am a poet ” trip , I was overwhelmed by the fact that I  actually asked this question. Sure, there had been references to smoking in many of my earlier “poems” but this was no ordinary “smoking” , it was a bloody metaphor. Being as instinctively ethical as I am, I had immediately Googled to confirm if it was a new find. And you know what ? No one before me had  thought ” Does the Cigarette smoke reach the sky? “. Can you imagine it ? I mean, when you “have” and others “have not” ?  I spent the next few hours reflecting on my unique glory as I experienced a huge outpouring of self love in that state of self hypnosis .That joy, that ineffable bliss. And because of what? So you can see what that question means to me. This is why I could never move beyond it. When a question is so giving, so fulfilling, you Stop caring about the answer.

PS- Technically speaking, everything above earth’s surface is ” sky” and so Cigratte smoke doesn’t really need to reach the  ” sky”.


5 Ottobre

Non c’è acqua corrente, i frigoriferi sono riciclati come tutto il resto in questa stanza; Perla il gatto mi sfila tra le gambe mentre il divisorio di legno recuperato lascia filtrare della luce in questa cucina senza finestre.

Barcellona, 5 Ottobre. Io, lui e una ferma intenzione; quella di fare il Salame al cioccolato.

Una goccia di sudore mi scende lungo la schiena, dispongo gli ingredienti evitando le macchie sul tavolo, scuoto la testa; a quanto pare in questa nazione non esiste il cioccolato in polvere senza zucchero.

J. fa comparire una pentola da non so dove per poi mettersi alla guida del carrello della spesa pieno zeppo di stoviglie ancora da lavare. “ Vado ad aprire la canna dell’acqua e poi torno.” “Maledetta mantequilla*.” Borbotto mentre apro la bombola del gas.

Dalla porta improvvisata entra Machucao. Con fare distratto si gratta la testa, sposta una ciocca di capelli cinerei dalla faccia, poi si pulisce le dita sul gilet color zafferano. Ciondolando si ferma di fianco a me guardandomi da capo a piedi; io sto maneggiando un coltello: “ Eres una Bruja**.” La lama resta a mezz’aria, non ricambio il suo sguardo, sorrido di sguincio.

*Mantequilla= Margarina **Eres una Bruja= Sei una strega

How to annoy me.

I saw the surge of the tide grab hold of him. His two friends barely managed to stay put when the large waves came rolling in. Instantly the young man got pulled into deep waters by the currents.

They shouted to get my attention, but I was already on my way. I swam towards the head that stayed submerged for longer and longer. He was half meter below the surface when I arrived. I just grabbed him by his hair and pulled him up. He was terrified, but surprisingly calm… Good. I didn’t have to slap him, even if he deserved one.

The twenty meters back to where my feet could touch the seafloor took forever in my mind. The fight with the waves turned out to be harder than I expected. With only one arm free and the weight of an extra body, I had to push hard to even advance the slightest.

We were both exhausted when we sat down on the beach. They thanked me, asked for my name and a few more questions, but then I left. I was angry they where this far out in the water without knowing how to swim… I hate stupidity…

Heart of Summer

Warm summery sunshine gleemed off my sister’s golden curls as she ran across the lush grass toward an old, round wooden cable spool on it’s side – a makeshift table my dad had put in the middle of the yard. He was wearing a threadbare button down shirt, (as he usually did in the summer months) paired with his bib-overalls – the kind with the hammer hook on the side that makes a perfect gripping spot for little girls hands. He held a large and well worn butcher knife in one massive hand.  Under the other he steadied a well ripened watermelon, two tone stripes running across it’s oblong body, one side slightly flattened, with a yellow hew to its skin from laying in the dirt as the melon grew. My sister and I looked up in anticipation at his weathered face.  The ripe melon split with a crack under the blade as the pressure of the fruit inside caused it to burst free of the imprisoning rind.  Selflessly, he cut a sliver out of the center of the melon and held it out… selflessly, because as we all know, the heart is the sweetest part.

To catch a train

– We can make it to the next station, he said.

I looked down on the small man, not even half my size.

– 400 Baht!
– 200 or I’ll take the morning train.
– Okay farang, let’s go!

I jumped on the motorbike and took a sturdy grip around the waist of the driver, knowing this will be unpleasant, and we took off.

Speeding through downtown Bangkok, cutting red lights and zigzagging between cars at 110 km/h during rush hour… I was completely terrified… Certain to die for the first five or ten minutes, I could do nothing but to hold on.
Then suddenly my state of mind changed. My senses felt sharpened and I started to smile.

There were no fear present anymore when the driver stopped the bike, just as the train came to a halt at the platform. I got off and dug two wrinkled notes out of my pocket. As I handed him the money I looked him in the eyes and maniacally started to laugh
He said something in Thai as I turned around and started walking towards the train, still laughing. I guess it was an insult, but I didn’t mind. I never felt so alive.

2008, December 8th

I had quarreled with my colleagues after getting drunk at a restaurant.I walked to the rocks near the sea.I found this girl and boy,both Caucasians,mid twenties.They asked me to sing.As I started singing ,they started kissing passionately.Soon,I was just a background to their romance. I walked on .After a few minutes,I met a completely sloshed french girl who wanted my Beatles’ T-shirt. ” How much you want?” she screamed. I said “talk to me for one hour”. She agreed but soon her friends came.They were relieved she hadn’t drowned in the sea.They took her away.I walked on. Next, I met some Russians playing guitar.I started singing . They tolerated for a while and then went away,without saying goodnight.I walked towards the sea and saw a white man with silver hair, meditating. “Open your eyes!”I shouted.No response.I said he would never get Nirvana and laughed. “Please go away”, he said meekly.I felt guilty and walked on.I sat down on the sand.The night was getting colder when I saw a bald man in black robes walking across me. “Hey! Are you the pope? ” I shouted.He walked to me and said ” I am Italian but not the Pope.”We laughed and started talking.

2008, December 8th 

The mosquito net was wrapping me in a dark bubble, on the ceiling, the fan pulsed, in the distance, the thunderous waves smashed the sand in an other violent battle. 

A body was lying beside me on the mattress, slowing down my run towards death. 

The effort needed to leave that limbo emptied me of every ounce of love towards fellow humans that I had left. 

Outside the room the air was electric and the moon a neon bulb. 
I walked. 
From my end of the beach to the other it takes around twelve minutes. 
The fifth time I completed the route, balancing a plexiglass ball on the top of my head, on the point the scriptures call बिन्दु, a distorted voice came out of the darkness. 

I thought I misunderstood because it sounded something like: «And what is this, now? The pope?!» 

This boy approached, grinning like a maniac. He said he had asked a lighter to a guy sitting cross-legged in the sand, in the dark and this son of a bitch, poser! Didn’t even fucking answer! «What kind of meditation is it if you can’t even help a brother out?» . 


It was seventh class and we were in the middle of our monthly tests. I had done decently in the last two tests but being just three months old in the school, I was eager to establish my “intelligence”.This meant I had to score high and score higher than OTHERS.

And so, during the Maths test when Aman, sitting next to me , asked the answer to a question, I flatly refused. I mean he was competition,topper in sixth class and second in last test. You don’t give up your advantage with  guys like that ! I feared there’d be some angry retaliation from him later on but nothing of that sort happened.

Two days later in the English test,I needed the answer to a question.With no one else close, I turned to Aman and guess what,  he told me the answer !I went to Aman after the test. “Why did you help me? “, I asked.He casually answered” No competition with friends”.This hit me very hard.Somehow, I instantly accepted and internalized that idea.A complete transformation.Never again I’d be the old competitive me. A new mantra and a new hero had arrived. My world had changed. In an instant.

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