After “Abita-re”, a micropoem of mine, won the “International Publication of the year 2016” at the Spillwords Press Awards, whe talk about poetry.
- Where, do you hail from?
From Naples, I believe.
The “perpetually-wide-open”* , as I name it in one of my poems, “Monumenti anatomici” (Anatomical monuments).
I was born there in 1987. I think it is a kind of bliss, being born in such a richly contradictory and ruthlessly beautiful city. If I am allowed to say it, cruelly maternal. I never lived there, but I always walked over her lying mermaid body (the old name of Naples, “Parthenope”, comes from a legendary mermaid who died for love), moving between Campania and Puglia.
However, I think that my soul was born in the Silence, a non-place that was my greatest childhood teacher. He was pointing his fingers to the wonders of the world, showing them to me, whispering them to my eyes . But I was not able to speak out loud the wonders he was telling me, therefore I started writing them.* Otherwhise: (a) everopen/evergaping; (b) thrust-open ; (c) perennially-open.
- What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
The night sky, a place far away, whose stars shine upon our dark Earth . It is something uncontrollable. It makes me wistful to think about that, but I often had that feeling of incommunicability, summarised by a sentence I wrote in a poem:
“I can give you only a pond of the sky I have within”.
My home precisely represents the tear between what one wants and what one can give. The best thing? The eternal pulling. It is a romantic, desperate, enamoured, sad pulling towards what you want. This something, quoting the italian singer Claudio Baglioni, “it is nothing”, but “everything lies in that nothing”. I imagine it in this way: I am the archer, the bow is the mind, the arrow is the hearth, the deep desire. Without this pulling, maybe I will not even be alive. Something that makes me happy must also make me insatiable.
- What turns you on creatively?
The music, a landscape, a conversation, a picture, a deep thought, or a volcanic, immediate emergency. The words look for you, you do not have power on them. It is exactly like when you have to pee.
- What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I think that these words are “love”, “eternal”, “further”, “celestial ”. I like words that have no boundaries.
“I would like to be a spider to walk
on the eternal spider web of your hairs
turning silvery in the backlit
as the moon”
- What is your pet peeve?
Cruelty, daughter of Ignorance. As Socrates used to say, “know yourself”. Knowing and investigating who we are, we become more sure of ourselves and less dependent on what the others think of us. As a consequence [of this knowledge], we choose to not behave bad to reinforce an apparently grandiose image of ourselves to our insecure ego.
- What defines Maria Pia Dell’Omo?
I do not know. I felt in many ways, but I do not like categories. Once I wrote that I would have liked to be as adaptable as water, adapting myself to the shape of my container.
I like to slip away. It is hard that something forces me to stay somewhere.
I like places where everything is harmony and everything is as tender as a caress. A place where everyone can feel safe. If I have to define myself, I would choose the following things:
– Faith: I have a limitless faith in humanity.
– Love: I love what I know, and the hint of what I do not know.
– Vulnerability: once I said about myself that I am like a rose, that feels caressed just with a glance. This is a word play, as in Italian “touch lightly” is “sfiorare”, that could mean either “caressed” or “tearing away the petals of the flower”. I do not regret of being so vulnerable, it is a consequence of my love and my faith. The one who chooses to love the world, expose him/herself.
Thanks to Vincenzo “DaVinci” for the english translation. Special thanks to Paola Napoli, who gave me the permission to use the photo that appear on Spillwords’ site from a really insightful project of her. Thank, instead, to Pasquale Vitale for the B&W photo I used for this article on WordPress.