from Venezianella the Futurist

F. T. Marinetti

from “In search of sweet simultaneity”

. . .
          Studentaccio immobile stiff as an old blown-out headlight of broken glass
          He remembers that he’ll have to light up again in a month maybe less to catch up with his university battalion though the wound in his thigh burns like the sirocco wind
          The name of Venezianella is so geyserlike and pealing in his heart as to lash out
          —Venezianella Venezianella Venezianella where why do you flee from me and why vanish in midair amidst so many of your starlets and stars
          Abruptly he stumbles nearly slides with a furtive movement of the pavement that fleshy and slimy escapes from beneath his feet
          Omen of the gloom to keep an eye on and Studentaccio sticks his elbows out over the quaggy water that scatters coils and clots all around him along the wood piles the low walls the prows the rudders in wrigglings of the farthest constellations like a licorice cream a boiling siege of Venetian rats swimming on the march by dives bounds clambering
          They storm the wall of the opposite bank and the waxy muzzle of a rat generaless commands them like the little headlight of a car
          To figure this out Studentaccio hurriedly cases the place and scrambling up bridges finds himself behind the parapet totally quilted by now with the heavy velvet of transfixed rats for fifty meters down
          Curled up into a ball and spied upon by thousands and thousands and thousands of tiny golden eyes he espies their imperceptible preparations to attack
          With the density of the dark wilting and tenderizing a bit Studentaccio discovers a bluish glittering in a ground-level window and it is crystal flowers
          They are of an ideal grace and Studentaccio abducts them in dream
          Returning to his daily creative labor on the promenade of the Riva degli Schiavoni he casts off would cast off to cast off without end the droves of technical artistic problems that assail
          Languid singsong of Futurists Ciliberti and Menin who undulating arm in arm from right to left and even more slowly from left to right lavish the stink of wine and advice advice advice
          —It’s essential to fluctuate and through a fluctuating shade-giving series of hanging gardens to crown the heights of the immense gown of New Venice that the critics accuse of cacophony
          Ciliberti anatomizes the much-discussed suture between the style of St. Mark’s and the style of the Ducal Palace detailing how to transfigure it
          —In the manner of indulgent and hygienic philosophical systems we advise you o inventive Studentaccio to plant many tropical thickets along the dominant hems of the numerous St. Mark’s Basilicas each one composed of date-palm camerus-palm bamboo-palm and banana trees and then the strident conjunction of the two architectures will be corrected and the belt will be soft caressable African most sensual and we’ll be able to stroll along it erotically and mystically overhanging the swaggering opulence of the great skirt and looking up from below admire the rising slenderness of the marvelous edifice fitted tight with the cloak of an immeasurable Ducal Palace juste-au-corps
          Studentaccio pensive approves calculates in the setting sun of long red pencils
          —Ciliberti Menin I agree and so will interject 50-meter-high hanging gardens
          Regurgitant with this exalted solution he then returns to rummage in the underworlds of the city lit with oil and fringes of reflections in the water
          Cosmically empathetic the weights of eternity and of the continuous flux of space collapse all the more upon the little courtyard become the synthesis of the most miserable pitchblack desperations in the march of rats
          So much that there is no longer anything there but the drawn-out shadows of distant corpses of beggars turned to dust who didn’t dare even hope for a mattress of straw and in this pain vanished before being born . . .

translated from the Italian by Jennifer Scappettone