Threetongued Creature: Maurizio Castè, Jean Chavot & Toti O'Brien

 

 

 

Born in Rome in 1961, Maurizio Castè has a degree in Theater and one in Philosophy of Language. He has been active for three decades as an actor, director, composer and musician. He has published a poetry collection, Libro Chiuso (Firenze Libri). His poems are also featured in the anthologies Porte e Tempo (Progetto Cultura, 2016-17) and Navigare (n. 84, Pagine, 2017).

 

Jean Chavot is an author, formerly musician and songwriter. Passing by dubbing dialogues from English or Italian for French TV, he gradually evolved to screenwriting, his main activity now besides his personal literary and musical production. The two movies he wrote for French TV were successful, a third one is in production for cinema and two others for TV are in process. He recently finished a short texts collection: 60 Minutes et des Poussières. 

 

Toti O'Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in DIN Magazine, Panoplyzine, Courtship of Wind, and Colorado Boulevard.

 

Toti O'Brien on the collaborative process: "Maurizio, Jean and I have the luck of each knowing the triad of languages we are playing with. Therefore, Maurizio has given Jean and me total freedom of pulling his words apart, loosely re-creating his imagery in another linguistic context. We go back and forth with the poems as they progress, enjoying to see how they shape themselves within different sounds/rhythms, cast against different cultural references, each time tuning our contribution by echo or by contrast ."

 

 

 

Le mosche

 

Mosche.
Descrivono l’orbita
dell’infelicità.

Piccoli punti neri
piccoli universi 
inutili
ronzanti
ruotanti
ignari architetti
di strutture geometriche del nulla.

Solo l’istinto le salva
dalla mano invisibile
finché l’autunno
non le sorprende
fuori dalle finestre.

E allora non distingui
la loro impercettibile morte
da una goccia di pioggia.

 


Flies

 

Flies. 
Outlining 
the orbit of unhappiness.

Dots of dark
useless universes
buzzing
whirling
vain architects
of geometric 
nothingness.

Instinct saves them 
from the invisible hand
until fall catches them
finally
in the open.

You can’t tell
their imperceptible death
from a raindrop.

 


Les mouches

 

Mouches
Décrivent l'orbite
Du mécontentement.

Points noirs minuscules
Univers minuscules
Inutiles
Bourdonnants
Virevoltants
Ineptes architectes
Figurent la géométrie du néant.

L'instinct seul sauve 
D'invisible main
Avant qu'automne
Surprenne
Devant les fenêtres.

Discrète agonie
Pas plus de bruit
Qu'une goutte de pluie.

 


Effimere crisalidi

 

Effimere crisalidi 
Affidate al relitto d’una foglia
Al sole che barbaglia
Nel fitto delle nubi sui crinali
Mostriamo nudi 
Le ali.

 


Ephemeral Chrysalides

 

Ephemeral chrysalides
shipwrecked over a leaf 
to a shimmer of sun
hitting the mountain ridge
barely piercing clouds
we expose 
our naked wings.

 


Ephémères chrysalides

 

Ephémères chrysalides
Confiées aux lambeaux d'une feuille
Sous le soleil chatoyant
Au creux des nuages sur les crêtes
Nous déployons nues
Nos ailes.

 

 

 

Occhilessi (la talpa)

 

Piccola talpa, che scavi segrete
Le tue gallerie nel buio profondo
Infaticabile, cerchi riposte
Schegge di oro celate nel fondo
Lampi di quarzo racchiusi nel tufo.
Gli occhi stanchi aguzzi la vista
Nel fango; poi di colpo il tartufo
Vibra più forte, sollevi la testa
Ferma, piccola talpa solitaria,
Verso il mistero; alla parete
Tendi le orecchie, fiuti nell’aria
Dove nascoste compagne ignote
Tracciano le loro vie sconosciute.
Tu ritrovi la strada e la spinta
Rincuorata dalle altre tue mute
Invisibili complici, mai vinta.
Non importa che il corpo muova
Incerti e un po’ goffi i suoi passi
Se il piede inciampa e non trova
La roccia, se i fianchi sono grossi
E s’incastrano ad ogni passaggio.
Tu continui a cercare frammenti
Di sole, con ostinato coraggio
Segui le tracce di stelle lucenti
Nell’ignoto; al tuo corpo dolente
Non badi e non pieghi i ginocchi
Scavi la tua galleria incessante.
Finché sarà solo luce negli occhi
E nel cuore un calore splendente.

 


Boiledeyes (the Mole)

 

Little mole digging secret 
tunnels across dark depths 
restlessly seeking gold flakes
concealed at the bottom
shards of quartz in limestone.
Your dull eyes pierce the mud.
Your nose briskly vibrates. 
Tiny lonely mole 
head lifted towards the mystery
ears eavesdropping the walls
you smell unseen companions
excavating their paths.
Cheered by invisible mates
you recover momentum
you start onward again.
Your step awkward, uncertain
your paw stumbling on rocks
your inelegant bulk 
stuck  between narrow walls
don’t matter. Ostinato 
and uncaring of soreness
unbending, you seek fragments 
of sun, follow traces of stars
unknown. Stubbornly
you keep digging 
until a sudden warmth 
fills your heart. Into
your eyes, light only.

 


Les yeux bouillus (la taupe)

 

Petite taupe, dans le noir profond
Qui creuses tes galeries en secret
Infatigable, tu cherches à tâtons, 
Des paillettes d'or cachées dans la craie
Des éclairs de quartz sertis dans le grès.
Tes yeux froncés scrutent la lumière
Dans la boue ; tendue, aux aguets
Le museau palpitant, la tête en l'air
Figée, petite taupe solitaire
L'oreille collée à la paroi
Tu écoutes, tu auscultes le mystère
Où d'anonymes compagnes, comme toi
Tracent leurs imperceptibles voies.
Muettes, tes complices inconnues
T'e redonnent courage, tu retrouves en toi
Ton chemin et ta confiance, jamais vaincue.
Peu importe que ton corps soit fourbu
Tes pas maladroits, mal assurés, 
Que ton pied qui trébuche ne trouve plus 
la roche, ni que tes flancs boursoufflés
Te bloquent dans tous les passages.
Tu continues à chercher des esquilles 
De soleil, tu t'obstines avec courage
Sur les traces d'étoiles qui scintillent
Dans l'insondé ; à ta chair pantelante
Tu ne cèdes rien, même si tu vacilles
Tu creuses encore ta galerie obsédante.
Tant que le jour n'envahira pas tes yeux
Et ton coeur de sa chaleur resplendissante.

 

 


Effetti collaterali del collo della giraffa

 

E mentre lavorava l’evoluzione
Il collo della giraffa s’allungava
Garantendo così la sopravvivenza
Spingendola alle foglie più lontane
Quelle poste sui rami più in altezza.

Ma pur un altro effetto sviluppava:
Spaziare con lo sguardo più in ampiezza.
Su tutto questo un dubbio ci rimane,
Se della visione meno pragmatica
S’accorse e serbi consapevolezza.

Interrogata, resta enigmatica.

 


Side Effects of the Giraffe’s Neck

 

Evolution went on. 
The giraffe’s neck kept stretching
granting the beast’s survival
as it reached the highest leaves
perched on the top branches

and, as a side effect
a view immensely wider.

We are yet doubtful about 
the giraffe’s full awareness 
of enhanced perspective.

If we ask, it remains inscrutable.

 


Effets secondaires du cou chez la girafe

 

A mesure qu'avançait l'évolution
Le cou de la girafe s'allongeait
Assurant ainsi sa perpétuation
Car l'espèce dorénavant mangeait
Les feuilles sur le haut des frondaisons.

Mais l'allongement eut un autre effet : 
L'élargissement de son horizon. 

Un point cependant nous laisse sceptiques :
La girafe un jour s'est-elle aperçue
Qu'elle avait gagné en hauteur de vue ?

Interrogée, elle reste énigmatique.

 

 

 

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