Second Dream

by Franco Beltrametti
     translated by Stefan Hyner

Dear Raffaello, the war had started
the Roman legions sowed
the counter revolution in Etruscia.
From the hills
above San Vincenzo
(entrenched behind the friendly shoulders of Volteras)
one looks out
for pirates on the sea. Plays chess
and already then the kept me imprisoned
the queen
          in one corner
          chained to a knight
          in range of a pawn
Outside Settimo was smoking
under a olive tree
leaned against a small tractor
prepared for cultivation.
a box car came up between cypress trees
one got out said: Comrades
the house is confiscated.
you said
now that I’m winning
this swine’s saving your queen
admit it she is pressed rather hard
in that bolted corner
by the knight, the pawn and
by your mistake.
Je regrette the former one said
beaucoup. Shortly the commissioner
          will arrive
          he doesn’t like
          (between you and me)
          he doesn’t like
chess, this occidental game
for urbanities
My friends
said the Chinese commissioner,
I only come to see
Korsika from the balcony
and the white Tunis along the sea
no reason to worry.
This confiscation
is a habit
of the revolution the house
is allocated to you for life.
And finally, o sculptor
one more notification:
You are nominated
as commissioner of the arts
for Toscany, Tibet and Oregon
later sometime
when you feel like it
you create a monument
for the origin of Yin and Yang
the great sacrament
for a square in Peking.
For you architect
some work also: homes
for the miners and combatants
of Colonnata
and in the pine forest
a shop for salt, olives,
wine and cheap cigarettes.
But first
we must with all means
convince the Romans that
what they are craving for
is an illusion.