April 27, 2009

Antonio Porta [Leo Paolazzi]

Antonio Porta [Leo Paolazzi] (Italy) [1935-1989]

Antonio Porta (Leo Paolazzi) was born in Vicenza in 1935, lived most of his life in Milan, and died on a business trip to Rome in 1989.

In the early 60s he was one of the youngest members of the editorial staff of Il Verri and, with Corrado Costa and Adriano Spatola, also edited the poetry magazine Malebolge from 1964-1966.
In 1961 his poetry was included in the revolutionary Italian anthology, I Novissimi. He participated in the various manifestations of "Gruppo 63," as a linear and visual poet, and was one of the founding editors of Quindici in 1967. For many years he worked as an editor in the publishing industry, with such houses as Bompiani, Sonzogno and Feltrinelli, and was also the literary critic for the daily Il Corriere della Sera and a regular contributor to the weekly book review Tuttolibri.

In 1979 he edited the well-known anthology Poesia degli anni settanta, and, from its inception, was on the editorial board of the influential cultural tabloid Alfabeta.

Among his publications as a poet are: La palpebra rovesciata (1960), Aprire (1963), Cara (1969), Metropolis (1971), Week-end (1974), Quanto ho da dirvi (1977), Passi passagi (1980), Melusina (1987) and Il giardiniere contro il becchino (1988).

As a novelist his published work includes Partita (1967), Il re del magazzino (1978) and Se fosse tutto un tradimento (1981), while as a playwright he published La presa di potere di Ivan lo sciocco (1975) and La stangata persiana (1985).


La palpebra rovesciata (Milan: Azimuth, 1960); Zero: Poesie visive (Milan, 1963); Aprire (Milan: All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro, 1964); I rapporti (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1967); Cara (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1969); Metropolis (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1971); Week-end (Rome: Cooperativa Scrittori, 1974); Quanto ho da dirvi (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1977); Passi passaggi (Milan: Mondadori, 1980); Melusina: Una ballata e un diario (Milan: Crocetti, 1987); Il giardiniere contro il becchino (Milan: Mondadori, 1988).


As If It Were a Rhythm, trans. by Paul Vangelisti (San Francisco: Red Hill, 1978); Passenger, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Montreal: Guernica, 1986); Invasions and Other Poems, trans. by Paul Vangelisti and others (San Francisco: Red Hill, 1986); Melusine, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Montreal: Guernica, 1992); Metropolis, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 1999); Kisses, Dreams and Other Infidelities, trans. by Anthony Molino (Las Cruces, New Mexico: Xenos Books, 2004).

from Metropolis


that orgasm is the basis of happiness
that happiness is necessary in order to achieve orgasm
that the number of things in our way are infinite
that once a block is removed everything goes smoothly
that cynicism is a way of survival
that desperation is the fruit of cynicism
that broken families produce delinquents
that he couldn't have died any other way than murdered
that when one thinks of a dead person one things of him living
that he was naked as he moved on the couch really naked
that freedom complicates everything

that there is no philosophy to support the exit from the womb
one who scandalizes an innocent person cannot be innocent
one who believes in sin is not christian
everything is sinful except obedience
it's easy to be tempted by rape
joy is mimetic
no one knows who's happy
everything can be traced back to superstructures
that instinct wins out
that words corrupt
that instincts are constructive
that if you don't believe in something you're lost


Reprinted from Metropolis (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 1999). (c) copyright 1999 by Pasquale Verdicchio.

Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.

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