A post-surrealistic experiment juxtaposing visual artworks and literary sources that apparently have nothing to do with each other

POEMS BY DARIO BELLEZZA
PHOTOS BY DOUG RICKARD

Translated by Tim Small

<em>#39.777110, Camden, NJ (2008)</em>, 2009; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

The sea of subjectivity I am scouring

The sea of subjectivity I am scouring forgetful of every other dimension.
What the critics want I cannot give. Only vocality ranting infidelity
cowardly petulance. And yet beyond my rather gutted self there lies the changeable surrender to the everyday. To suffer humanly
the rhetoric of all the normal days of normal people. To leave for a trip
anointed to all the civil charms: retirement for the poet damned by his obscure damnations.

<em>#26.431997, Belle Glade, FL (2007)<em>, 2010; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

<em> #30.635002, Saucier, MS (2007), 2009</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

God was dying on the sea


God was dying on the sea blue, on his rowboat where he had asked me to join him.
But the jealousy, the normality of the kids pushed me to decline, to shrug my shoulders at the salacious barbs.
The scent of the sea filled the boats and you sang in your eyes giggling with victory.

<em>#39.177833, Baltimore, MD (2008), 2011</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

 <em>#39.259736, Baltimore, MD (2008), 2011</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

Secret death

Now at the end of the truce everything is fulfilled; old age calls death and I know that youth is a distant memory. So without hope of ever knowing what was would have been more than a poet if so much death hadn’t choked and devoured me, I take infernal leave from myself.

<em>#42.418064, Detroit, MI (2009), 2010</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

<em>#75.214833, Philadelphia, PA (2009), 2011</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

For Elsa Morante

The junkie kids, bodyguards of the Absolute, go about the world of the morning until the evening of their survival: like little sparrows they distractedly eat wrapped up in their dreams of adventure.

The disaster that finds them in the street and strikes them completely dead leaves them prey to the human hyenas who write their obituaries in the papers.

Their fingers are filled with rings, their deceitful grace of lying knows that I do not need drugs.

And they see me as the poor outcast, the unhappy, but it doesn’t offend me too much. I know they go about the world their mouths filled with the taste of dust and of toxicity: a futile clamor is their childish toying, luciferine pride of those who wear away, struggle like wax. But even so my dying voice will always want them at my bedside.

<em>#76.278822, Norfolk, VA (2007), 2011</em>; courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery New York and Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco

I am afraid. I repeat it to myself

I am afraid. I repeat it to myself in vain. This is not poetry nor testament. I am afraid of death. In front of this what is the worth of looking for words to say it better. The fear remains, the same.

I am afraid. Afraid of Death. Afraid of not writing it because afterwards, the afterward is more horrible and unstable than the rest. Having to take stock of this: we are bodies and we die.

A sincere thank you to Gloria Bellezza who gave us the permission to publish the poems of her brother Dario

Dario Bellezza (1944-1996) was an Italian poet, novelist and playwright. His writings appeared in numerous literary journals, including Nuovi Argomenti, Paragone and Carte Segrete, as well as in various important newspapers and weeklies.Pier Paolo Pasolini deemed him "the greatest poet of his generation." His works include L'innocenza (1970), Invettive e Licenze (1971), Morte Segreta (1976), Testamento di sangue (1992) and L'avversario (1994).

Doug Rickard (1968) is an American photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His monograph A New American Picture was recently published by Aperture Foundation and Koenig Books. Rickard is the founder of the American Suburb X and These Americans websites.