Valerio Cruciani

Valerio Cruciani

Valerio Cruciani (Rome, 1977), novelist, script and screenwriter, poet, critic. In 2003 he was selected as poet at the 11th Biennial of young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Athens’ edition, and in the same year he participate in the realization of the documentary titled “Per non morire – Rifugiati a Roma” (about refugees), selected by the Roma Doc Festival, Med Film Festival, La città in corto and by the Rai 3 Television.

Between 2000 and 2003 he makes three photographic exhibitions in the Odradek bookshop of Rome. In 2004 he read his works in Rome, Venice, Bologna and Padova, in various theatres, bookshops and pubs, and he worked as coordinator and writer for the International Literature Festival “Klandestini” of Malta, with the support of the British Council.

He cofounded the independent cultural web magazine, in September 2007 he was invited to take part of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, organized by Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed, and in March 2008 he was also invited to take part of the London Festival of Europe organized by European Alternatives. With the literary independent project St. Louis and Lawrence Books he published a poetic work called Le città hanno gli occhi sempre aperti and a short story, called Millennio.

From 2005 to 2007 he cooperated with the board of artistic direction of the independent theatrical festival “Ubusettete”. In 2008 he participate in the Beograd’s poetry festival Trgni Se! Now he’s living in Madrid, Spain, and he’s working on a variety of projects, from novel to scripts. He’s represented by Nabu International Book and Film Agency.


gulp down your tears for me, woman
gulp them down as much as you can
look up and swallow silently

swallow them as your own blood
become a salt works of love
sad, lonely, unknown


ingoia le tue lacrime per me, donna
ingoiane più che puoi
guarda l’uccellino e deglutisci silenziosa.

mandane giù più del tuo stesso sangue
diventa una salina d’amore
triste, solitario, sconosciuto


the dogs are beaten on the summer beach;
when is winter, crouched on the livid sands,
they are thinking to the lapped ice creams
– raspberry or strawberry –
to the hot little pieces of pizza
that sometimes comes off and falls,
and to a bathing children mirage,
to their moms’ affection
(a pasta slag
a steak nerve
a cold bit of fat).
stray dogs between gusts of evening’s breeze,
amongst the legs of some table
turned over by the wind
on cotton fiocs’ arid heap
lured by the current, under some landscapist’s eyes,
all of them down, looking at the far waves
and the mythological tanker
from which rares helicopters move away
or vibrating boats under the gulls’ flight
hoping in some fish
cropped by the screw
tired of flying around and to dive
amongst the sky’s billows as the world
is far from us,
where we stay grabbing bones,
fish bones or breezes, depending on
the dull menu of the frail day.

then the dirty dogs rise up with their rheumy eyes,
they shake those cultured thinking’s off
and go gnawing at the bottom of some net
just hoisted
to don’t sleep outdoors,
below those far clouds
that definitely will come
loaded by salt and storms


i cani bastonati d’estate sul lido
d’inverno ripensano accucciati
sulle sabbie livide ai gelati
leccati (lampone o fragola)
alle pizzette calde di cui un pezzino
ogni tanto si stacca e cade
e a un miraggio di bimbi al bagno,
alle tenerezze di madri
(una scoria di pasta
un nervo di bistecca un grasso
i randagi tra folate
di brezza serale, tra le gambe
di qualche tavolo rovesciato dal vento
su mucchi di aridi cotton fioc
adescati dalla corrente, sotto gli occhi
di qualche raro paesaggista
tutti a cuccia, a guardare
le onde lontane e le mitologiche
petroliere da cui
si staccano radi elicotteri o
barche vibranti sotto il volo dei gabbiani
che sperano in qualche pesce
smozzato dalle eliche
stanchi di planare in tondo e tuffarsi
tra i flutti d’un cielo distante tanto
quanto il mondo da noi,
in cui pure sostiamo agguantando
ossi, lische o brezze, a seconda
dello smorto menu del fragile giorno.

poi s’alzano i cani sporchi
dagli occhi cisposi, si scrollano di dosso
quei pensieri da letterati e vanno a rosicchiare
il fondo di qualche rete appena issata
per non dormire fuori,
sotto quelle lontane nubi
che certamente giungeranno
di salsedine cariche e di temporali


it’s time for disappointment,
departure, separation.
after years that the boat is anchored to a mole,
you say goodbye waving the handkerchief,
you brake another champagne and you can sail again.
but when you’re waiting…
if we could close our eyes and, like in a cutting,
we could cut the film of our seas, it would be
easier to go towards hostile winds
that fill sails with a natural movement,
toward a jelly fish nation; or to the calm
that contrary leave the drying tissue
at the brackish air painted by sun and blue
without waves, smoke in the calm arid quiet of time,
close to the reefs blacks for valves and reds for coral.
but raise the fog in the wait
cutting the sight and tarring the senses.
the rapidity of the inner world
doesn’t correspond with the shapeless
slowness of reality.
so, life is dream, cloud,
sea, coral, boat and fog, sun, calm,
sails and wind.

to lose sight of all, less than
our story rudder. and to wait another berth,
another mole to smile to the people again,
to hug our brothers, eat together
in the split wood dive, to smell,
to love the cracks of the new where
and to talk to the mute signs of time,
to embrace the three at the centre of the square,
pivot of the new blooming amazing when,
because after all it says to us how much we still love
our old me, when it was disappointed,
and don’t recognize the friend’s eyes yet,
the arbour dives, the splits,
the pastures and the streets
which went far-away in the sea.


I leave
I fold you
I call you I guide you
transparent hard liquid
as you want
as I want
I drag you between sodom
and gomorra
mute god/lighthouse god
between meanness/upon the cross
I love you I protect you
I’m you-in-cage
mirror of what you are not
of what I am not
in the background
just perceived

you are here
and you don’t exist
while I cultivate sweat
upon my body


ti piego
ti chiamo ti guido
liquido trasparente duro
come vuoi
come voglio
ti trascino tra sodoma
e gomorra
dio muto/dio faro
tra le bassezze/sulla croce
ti amo ti proteggo
sono te-in-gabbia
specchio di quello che non sei
di quello che non sono
sullo sfondo
appena percepito

ci sei
e non esisti
mentre coltivo sudore
sul mio corpo


dispossessed of the language
and of the instruments of irony too
of the anger and of the argument
here it is this body
what I am
becoming past
vanishing and fading
while a new ghost
delay to come forward
with his new language
to rule over every shade
to be at the end
that one and this one.

no, I’m no longer that one
and I’m not this one yet


espropriato anche della lingua
e degli strumenti dell’ironia
della rabbia e dell’argomentazione
c’è questo corpo
quel che sono
che si fa passato
sfuma, svanisce
mentre un nuovo fantasma
tarda a farsi avanti
con la sua nuova lingua
per dominare tutte le sfumature
per essere finalmente
quello e questo.

no, non sono più quello
e non sono ancora questo

Poetry in this post: © Valerio Cruciani
Translations from Italian by Valerio Cruciani
Published with the permission of Valerio Cruciani