Luca Benassi

Luca Benassi

Luca Benassi was born in 1976 in Rome. He is poet, writer, essayist, journalist and translator. He published the following collections of poems: “Nei Margini della Storia” [In the Sidelines of Histor] in 2000, “I Fasti del Grigio” [The Glories of the Grey] in 2005, “L’Onore della Polvere” [The Honor of Dust] in 2009, “Di me diranno” [I Will Be Told] in 2011 and “il guado della neve” [the snow ford]. He also published the e-book “Duet of Lines Sen no Nijuso” (poems in Italian, English, Japanese, Junpa edition 2016, together with the poet Maki Starfield).

As translator, he translated into Italian the work of the Dutch poet Germain Droogenbroodt “De Weg” [Il Cammino- The Path] published by I Quaderni della Valle in 2002. As journalist and critic, he published a book of essays on Italian contemporary poetry “Rivi Strozzati – Poeti Italiani negli anni Duemila” [Throttled Streams – Italian poets in the third millennium] in 2010. He is one of the editors of “Antologia della poesia erotica contemporanes” [anthology of contemporary erotic poetry] (Ati Publishing House 2006). He edited the anthologies “Magnificat. Poesia 1969 – 2009” (2009) [Magnificat – Poetry 1969 – 2009] of Cristina Annino, “Percorsi nella poesia di Achille Serrao” (2013) [paths through the poetry of Achille Serrao] of Achille Serrao and “La casa dei Falconi, poesia 1974-2014” [hawks house, poetry 1974 – 2014] of the prominent Italian poet Dante Maffìa. He is editor of “Punto Almanacco di poesia contemporanea” [Punto Almanac of contemporary poetry].

Please visit Luca Benassi at:


I wish you were reversed in time
as if it was you to have be growing
looking at life
from a thin membrane of flesh.
Instead, you patiently
filter the sense of creation
become a great heavenly vault, sea
and wind that already whispering the name
of our offsprings.


Ti vorrei capovolta nel tempo
come fossi tu a dover crescere
osservando la vita
da una membrana sottile di carne.
E invece con pazienza
distilli il senso della creazione
ti fai grande volta celeste, mare
e vento che già sussurra il nome
della nostra discendenza.

[writless land]

We silently wait the flood
on the plain impregnated by rain
swollen like the the white belly of a salamander.
We have gathered here at the edge, at the useless embankment
on the bridge waiting to crumble, watching
the deserted delta. We are waiting for the wave
the one announced at a steady speed
that sweeps away the stream erasing the tracks.
Then let’s look at each other in the face, light
the torches, while the cathedral is waiting for the water
let us pray the idols of a gloomy
and writless land.

[una terra senza scrittura]

Aspettiamo in silenzio la piena
nella pianura ingravidata dalla pioggia
gonfia come un ventre bianco di salamandra.
Eccoci riuniti al bordo, all’argine inutile
sul ponte che aspetta il crollo, guardando
il delta deserto. Attendiamo l’onda
quella annunciata alla velocità costante
che travolge il corso e cancella la traccia.
Allora guardiamoci in faccia, accendiamo
le torce, mentre la cattedrale aspetta l’acqua
preghiamo gli idoli di una terra
torbida, senza scrittura.

[Mediterranean blue]

Where is it the blue becomes a night
made of drops, and drops like the empty orbit of the night.
Where is it light does not appear, terrestrial constellations
reverberating in the salty mist, the towers, the pipes
the combustion plants, the red chimneys, the cranes.

The deserted docks where seagulls peck stubs
stretch the hulls like slings, the foamy trails
throbbing inside the bloodless wounds of the propeller.
Here come the crafts, the tankships breathing like triremes
like gaping metal faces, an earless babau
and muzzle where corals, algae lianes,
concretions of bivalves and murexes sprout.

And yet a deserted place of the night exists
as transparent as a bottomless cornea
and darkness looks like a silent breath
ethereal sparkle of atoms reverberating
the remembrance of unending spaces, with no view, when sunset
is like honey in the mirror of the sky.

Here I stand, water in water

shining fabric without a sound, a hold,
a recess, but only a shimmering oblivion
of gigantic, silent days.

[Blu mediterraneo]

Dov’è che l’azzurro si fa notte
fatto di gocce e gocce come l’orbita vuota della notte.
Dov’è che non compare luce, le costellazioni terresti
che riverberano nell’aerosol salino, le torri, le condutture
gli impianti di combustione, le ciminiere rosse, le gru.

I moli deserti dove i gabbiani beccano mozziconi
tendono come fionde gli scafi, le strisce di schiuma
che vibrano nelle ferite senza sangue dell’elica.
Ecco i navigli, le petroliere che respirano come trireme
come facce stralunate di metallo, Babau senza orecchie
e muso, dove vegetano coralli, liane d’alghe
concrezioni di bivalve e murici.

Eppure c’è un luogo deserto della notte
trasparente come una cornea dove non c’è fondo
e il buio pare un respiro di silenzio
un diafano brillio d’atomi che riverberano il ricordo
di spazi infiniti senza un panorama, quando il tramonto
è miele nello specchio del cielo.

Qui sono io acqua di acqua.

Stoffa lucente dove non c’è suono, appiglio
anfratto, ma solo un lucido oblio di
giorni giganteschi e silenziosi.


We see geckos sneaking out of crevices
their white, translucent skin glowing
as light traps wading through the darkness
fighting their way into the light
of our civilized world.
They climb out of dreams,
inch after inch, every night,
winners of another time, electric legends
with their gluey legs clawing
at the patio wall, one inch at a time.
We look at them hunting,
chasing moths along the pathless panel
with motionless glaring eyes, we look at them
craving, catching the difference
between living and dying
making love in front of the faces of insects,
longing for artificial moons.
The look at us, standing still,
starving of life in a summer patio
while chasing off love and despair
squandering a mystery of a wild mirror.

*this poem was written in English.


Rome is a box, a blue hive, with violet TVs glow,
carved in a row of red blocks, facing nights
squared by the buildings’ heights. Concrete
has now conquered the lands of the sky
with marbles and scarlet columns
pushing away naked Gods
the ancient spirits,
together with their believes and bravery.

Rome is red sunsets
golden days swept away from the top of the hills
with nothing left
but ruins that nurture a romance
hovering above,
unfathomable like a faint ray of light
gone in a nick of time.

Rome is a red carpet
a dwarf, a language of despair
and endless circular flight of seagulls
getting drunk at the Emperor’s dinner,
like swine stuffed with honey and apricots
chasing the slaves through the empty rooms of the palace.

Rome is an old woman home
with palaces like furniture made from solid wood
squares as tea-colored letters and postcards,
alleys as little artifacts, all sorts of memory traps,
an abundance that cannot be taken in completely.
«Drink the tea» says the old lady.
«I made it from the water of Tiber.»
If you take the city offering
you will drink the river from a beggar’s cup
spiraling down somewhere, your eyes filled with artificial suns
getting small like a little girl in front of the giant
marble sculptures, hanging above your head.
Rome is a meadow
growing flowers with vivid colors
a big blue butterfly. A love secret is written
on her wings. But it flies away before
you can read it.

*this poem was written in English.

[A translation of Hotel Supramonte* from the Italian singer and poet Fabrizio De Andrè]

If you go to the Supramonte Hotel and look at the sky
You will see a burning woman and a man alone
You will see a letter, truthful at night and false over the day time
You will see excuses, accuses, excuses again, endlessly…
And now you travel, live, smile or you will be lost
With your discreet order within your heart
But where is your love, where is your love gone….

Thanks to God I am polite and it is not easy
Thanks to you I have a boat to write and a train to miss
And I have an invitation to the Supramonte Hotel where I saw the snow
On your body, so sweet of hunger, so sweet of thirst
This stop will pass by without hurting us
This misty rain will pass by as the sorrow does
But where is your love, where is your love gone….

And now I sit down on the bed of a wood that has now your name
And now time is a careless man, a sleeping child
But if you wake up and you are still afraid, then give me your hand
Who cares if I fall down, if I am far away
Because tomorrow will be a long, speechless day
Because tomorrow will be an uncertain day of sun and clouds
But where is your heart, where is your heart gone

*Supramonte is a Sardinian dialect word that can be translated into “the high part a mountain”. It indicates the mountainous areas of the island of Sardinia, in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, where shepherds use to put to pasture their herds.

[Hotel Supramonte]

E se vai all’Hotel Supramonte e guardi il cielo
tu vedrai una donna in fiamme e un uomo solo
e una lettera vera di notte falsa di giorno
poi scuse accuse e scuse senza ritorno
e ora viaggi vivi ridi o sei perduta
col suo ordine discreto dentro il cuore
ma dove dov’è il tuo amore, ma dove è finito il tuo amore.

Grazie al cielo ho una bocca per bere e non è facile
grazie a te ho una barca da scrivere ho un treno da perdere
e un invito all’Hotel Supramonte dove ho visto la neve
sul tuo corpo così dolce di fame così dolce di sete
passerà anche questa stazione senza far male
passerà questa pioggia sottile come passa il dolore
ma dove dov’’ il tuo amore, ma dove è finito il tuo amore.

E ora siedo sul letto del bosco che ormai ha il tuo nome
ora il tempo è un signore distratto è un bambino che dorme
ma se ti svegli e hai ancora paura ridammi la mano
cosa importa se sono caduto se sono lontano
perché domani sarà un giorno lungo e senza parole
perché domani sarà un giorno incerto di nuvole e sole
ma dove dov’è il tuo cuore, ma dove è finito il tuo cuore.

Poetry in this post: © Luca Benassi
Published with the permission of Luca Benassi