I dedicate this poem to anti-vax doctors, brush-phobic painters, wrench-phobic plumbers, cement-phobic builders, flour-phobic bakers, broom-phobic sweepers, gun-phobic policemen, scissor-phobic hair-dressers, cleaver-phobic butchers….e chi più ne ha, più ne metta.

Il Ponfo

Fosco Maraini

Il Ponfo non smorbilla e non varisce
rosseggia e derma, rascia e poi s’acquatta
e quando il savalente lo ghermisce
esanto e matico, sovente schiatta.

Rossolio è il ponfo e pieno di liquello
sbercia imbolloso, luspo, mai dermiente,
e in compagnia sgraffendo questo e quello,
sbrucia e sbrucia con grattico furente.

Eppure il vecchio ponfo scarlattino
che papuloso invéscica prudello,
se istaminchiando scurtichi eczemìno

t’abbandona, ti tira lo sgramello
crostico, e nello spazio d’un mattino
resti sperduta in fondo al varicello..    
The boil  

Fosco Maraini  

The Boil doesn’t smeasle and it doesn’t beal
it pinkles and dermas, it brashes then squats
and when it’s seized by the ointmeal
exanthick and matick, it often splats.

Rubellous is the boil and full of liquidness
it pumfs blisterful, vigalant, never dermant,
and at once bescratching that and this,
it spurns and spurns gratingly ardent.

And yet the old boil so scarletty
which papulous everashing titches,
if histaminously cherubbed excemally

it abandons you, it pulls your crustous
scabbicle, and in one sole morning
you’re lost beneath a sea of poxes.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2022

This is dedicated to the Italian government, which wishes to reintegrate the no-vax doctors after over two years of death, lock-downs and overall emotional distress.

Cheers. May we “tiche” and “bescratch” be lost among a sea of poxes.

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