Italian Futurist Poem

Talking with Ben Gwalchmai (see my blogroll for his wonderous musings) about Italian futurism has inspired me to not only begin writing some lectures on the transformation from Futurist to Cubist, but also have a quick crack at writing a Futurist style poem. Now, I have always been heavily critical of this movement, it inspired some amazing sculptures, some brilliant uses of colour and form but an awful lot of dross and overhyped nonsense. Nonetheless, it was hugely important, like a spiked and gilded zootmobile driving through the ashes of romanticism, nicking the pocketwatches and gobbling down the pretty trinkets the dying romantics had left scattered anywhere. I don’t think the poetry was all that special, but its fun to write. Here’s my attempt a la Cavacchioli


When walking, I twitch to clicking
Heels on upward-punching light, and
Clouds get sucked back
In belt-brass streets.
Look left, and left again; these houses cover
themselves with weather, sick-yellow,
and humid strangers rent stranger women.
Nothing echoes, now
No water passes, but something is watching

And something is ripping as thirteen
tangible shots cleave that which hangs
on the old crackling skeins of off-white linen –
we all cover this filthy place.

The drainage billows, great nebulous voicemarks
boom and grow from splits in the lead.
Days are leaking, many hours will pass
before someone looks inside:
something like a tree was growing.

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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