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Prologue to the Albe


Prologue to the Albe

Don’t be an ass 
my friends 
tell me. 
It’s a word. 
How can I go against 
my asinine nature? 
I can’t… I can’t… I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan’t! 
I’m condemned 
by these enormous ears 
I’m condemned to listen to complaints  
all complaints 
with these ears I don’t miss a single one. 
Some complain of hunger
some complain of thirst 
some complain because they can’t breathe 
some complain of being tortured 
and some complain because their children are kidnapped 
and sold at the market like onions. 
I listen to all these complaints 
and those shrill voices 
like chalk on blackboards 
all recorded here 
inside this donkey’s nut. 
Don’t be an ass 
I tell myself 
I to me. 
It’s a word. 
How can I go against 
my asinine nature? 
I don’t even improve with age. 
How I envy humans 
and their pocket ears! 
Blessed are humans for they are deaf 
and the deaf shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. 
Earth for the asses, mournful 
and as if it weren’t enough I get moved
like an idiot 
always with shining eyes 
always with wet eyes 
like an idiot in front of the television. 
In front of the television I’m moved 
at the cinema I’m moved 
in station waiting rooms I’m moved 
in public lavatories full of obscene verses 
Giulio I’m your slut phone me 
I am moved 
as before the Infinite… 
Am I an idiot? Am I an imbecile? 
Am I an ass? 
Yes, I’m an ass 
and I can’t help 

From Siamo asini o pedanti? (Are We Asses or Pedants?) by Marco Martinelli, published by Essegi, Ravenna, 1989