Purple Diary

[February 11 2021]

Abel Ferrara reads Gabriele Tinti’s poems at the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

In this momentous event, filmmaker Abel Ferrara reads Gabriele Tinti’s poems before Bramante’s Renaissance painting, “Cristo alla Colonna” in Milan. The poetry and Ferrara’s interpretation give a voice to the suffering and tragedy of the biblical episode depicted in the artwork behind him. This is part of Tinti’s long-term reading series focusing on ancient masterpieces, which has invited famous actors to read his poetry at museums across the world.


Christ at the Column
By Gabriele Tinti

Get up, let’s go on.
Hands will raise a whip,
skin will burn in the ritual waiting.

He didn’t open his mouth in the catastrophe.
Is this really how he wants to die?

Like this!?

Suffer then!
What is the meaning in you?

The pool spreads,
the body abandons you.

A cock crows
a dismal dirge.

Here is the laurel for you, made of thorns.
We will slit your chest to find out.
A new sky will wrap around the column
and we’ll be left waiting for a word,
for an answer that does not come.

Tell us how to do it
to turn away

to mingle with the earth,
to go slowly up in smoke.

Our tears
will streak the earth
with new roots.

Let’s tighten our throats,
make them wrinkle.

A pool of mire
ferments beneath the cross,
blossoms into a lament,
spreads in the night.

Fugi, tene me , don’t leave me.
Bare your breast for me, let me rest.

Forgive me
if I am defenseless,
if I am always in pain,
if I cling to the grave
of my sinking body.

I would like to drink from your veins,
in long swigs, as one should.

From mouth to mouth you traced
the way, the last pretense,


Your voice is counting down,
falling into the void, scraping the shadows.

I cling to its echo,
I close my eyes, I absorb

its dross. I am used to

it is a mere trifle.

I pay dearly for the words
you put into my mouth.

You fool me that I can see
the hereafter, to lose my way.

Your cry leaves me
only an empty gallery,

a longing for breath.

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