Obstruction #11: Bibliomancy


Based on our experience at the Poetry Library and our wandering between books while flip them open and notice the best sentences and lines, Ron gave us an obstruction that was based on Tweets by poet and fiction writer Alexander Chee, who introduced the concept of teaching “Bibliomancy“: he tweeted prompts to write poetry by getting inspired by books in a library. Among these prompts, there is the idea that Ron gave us to reach out for the books, flip them open, notice and write down the best sentences. Then, maybe, write a poem that is inspired by those quotes.

As I said before, I was deeply fascinated by the first line from Allen Ginsberg’s poem America: America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothingI do not know if it inspired a poem or not – the piece I wrote is written in prose and sounds like a monologue addressed to someone. But, still, it inspired something that I liked and that I may shape into a poem for the final project. It is about the way I feel towards my home country, how Italy is so beautiful, how me and my peers all studied and worked hard and many went abroad to find more opportunity because, in terms of jobs and economy, Italy for students and young people is a very bad place to be at the moment.

This “piece” is called Cosimo, just like the name of the guy I imagine performing it. Cosimo is an important name for the place where I come from. Cosimo de Medici is an important figure in Tuscany and Livorno’s history.


So I am back. If I was a superhot girl or an evil killer, that would be such a badass thing to say. Look, the hottie is back in town, watch out, wives, I am going to steal your husbands before you can even know it. Or if I was fucking Machete, that’d be supercool as well, speaking with that low voice and all. But, to get to my point, I am only a regular guy who smokes too much pot and has grey hair at 29, is back in his hometown and doesn’t know that to do about it.

To be honest with you, I know I wasn’t really thinking about it when I moved to London and decided to start working as a freelancer from a fucking shack. And I also know I couldn’t have afforded it if my parents weren’t rich as hell – but there’s no need to tell you that the main reason why I did it was that I was tired of living in a city were everyone was putting so much pressure on me. Find a job. Make your relationship work. Get a grip on your life. All the cliché things that you say to a guy who’s just graduated and spends his time vegetating in his room, piling pizza boxes and stubbing out joints in his mother favourite good china glasses when she’s at work. And of course there was you. Let me talk and don’t interrupt me because I feel like I am speaking my mind for the first time since I have run away from that total wreck otherwise known as our relationship. There was you, always saying what I needed to do and who I needed to be. And it was fine. I’m sure in your mind you meant to help me, but you didn’t. I am sure one of the reasons why I got grey hair at 29 is you, and how badly it ended up for the both of us. I am sorry I run away. It wasn’t a nice thing to do. But I had to. We couldn’t make it together.

And now I am here. I am back because our best friends are going to marry tomorrow, and since I got off the plane I have felt alternatively like I shouldn’t be here at all and like this is the only fucking place in the world I should be. And you know why? Because if I just look at the sea, if I just stop ranting and try to hear its sound and to sense its smell, I just curse myself and my decision to move to a fucking wood in the middle of nowhere. And the same goes for you. If I just look at you, I see how you decided to keep your hair long and wild as when you were 22, but I also see that you have some new wrinkles I had never seen before. And when I just notice all these things, I just can’t stop thinking that I was a fucking fool and I should have stayed here with you to watch those wrinkles come out everyday and to tell you that even if we are almost 30 now, you’re sexier than all those 18 year old girls around.

But when I stop smelling, looking, hearing, and I start thinking, then I know there’s not much left for me here, and those things that I miss wouldn’t be enough, or simply wouldn’t work out. There’s not much in London for me as well, but I feel like I am doing something there. Even if it’s just smoking pot, drinking and trying to write some shit while my parents keep on paying for everything. Even if it will never be home.



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