Monday, August 2, 2010

(Please) Bella

Influenced by Il Postino (Neruda), I tried to write Italian in English while at an Italian café. I wrote down “Bella” for a title. Then Angelo arrived and said, “Please, Bella.” Those were his first words after Sarah, a dancer, spoke and knew what he wanted.

I was watching Italian television: “Jim Morrison é vivo?” Bruno translated: “That means, `Is Jim Morrison alive?’” I then asked, “Bruno é vivo?” He replied, “é vivo.” Strangely, there was a lot of déjà vu with this Italian show. It showed a photo of Arthur Rimbaud's Une Saison En Enfer. I did too recently.

What are the odds of that? Jerry had a stomach cramp. Then suddenly the TV showed a diagram of a stomach in Italian. Sarah saw it too, after I pointed. She laughed very hard. Her stomach hurt too.

I was speaking to Sam, reminiscing about walking in the streets of Rome. “Can you smell the Mediterranean Sea?” He then gave me fresh melon.

Fresh: It melted like butter.

He poured a glass of Grappa. Our friend Kim was in Roma. She worked here. We were here: Toronto's Il Gatto Nero (Black Cat). Randomly, years ago, Sam once bumped into Kim in Italy. They both live in Toronto. The world is that small. 60 million people live in one boot.

Then I started to write a poem. I wanted to translate this into Italian later. I thought of an Italian grade school friend, another friend sailing (now in Italy), and a friend in New York who showed me so much beauty.

In Italian, there are two languages: The words and the meaning. This is first written in English to understand the meaning first.

(Please) Bella

The smell of an Italian woman

is the scent of the Mediterranean Sea.

Fresh summer breeze.

Her clothes are the sails

That drape her.

Her shape like the waves.

Her eyes like the center

of the Coliseum.

Where cats, Rome.

Her words like the Vatican.

Do not cross.

She can do more.

Do not ask.

Her soul like St. Peter.

A Rock. But warm like the sea.

Put out the fire with Grappa, Sam.

To Italia.

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