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from “A Desperate Vitality” by Pier Paolo Pasolini tr. by Norman Macafee/Luciano Martinego

As in a film by Godard: alone
in a car moving along the highways
of Latin neocapitalism - returning from the airport
[where Moravia remained, pure among his luggage]
alone, “piloting his Alfa Romeo,”
in a sun inexpressible in rhymes
that aren’t elegiac, because it’s celestial
- the most beautiful sun of the year -
as in a film by Godard:
under that sole still sun slitting
its veins,
the canal of the port of Fiumicino
- a motorboat returning unobserved
- Neapolitan sailors in their wool rags
- an auto accident, with a little crowd around it…

as in a film by Godard - rediscovery
of romanticism in the seat of
neocapitalistic cynicism and cruelty -
at the wheel
on the road from Fiumicino,

and there’s the castle (what sweet
mystery for the French screenwriters
in the troubled, endless, centuries-old sun,

this papal monster, with its crenelations
above the hedges and vine rows of the ugly
countryside of peasant serfs)…

- I’m like a cat burned alive,
crushed by a truck’s tires,
hanged by boys to a fig tree,

but still with at least eight
of its nine lives, like
a snake reduced to a bloody pulp,
an eel half-eaten

- sunken cheeks under dejected eyes,
hair horribly thinned on skull,
arms skinny as a child’s,
- a cat that doesn’t die, Belmondo
who “at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo”
within the logic of the narcissistic montage
detaches himself from time, and inserts in it
himself,
in images that have nothing to do with
the boredom of the hours in a line,
the slow splendid death of the afternoon…

Death is not
in not being able to communicate
but in no longer being able to be understood.

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  1. wildhotels posted this
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