The Black Box

The Black Box

The three protagonists of the book are painters and the narrative follows their biographies blending together, uniting and separating at some point. Tristan and Norman were born at the beginning of the 60s, in working class families, in an English industrial town. Their friendship emerged in early childhood, in a Catholic boarding school. The story of their relationship and of the experiences they are going through is told by each one of them, so that the reader deals with the same narrative exposed and focused from two different subjective angles. The third character of the book is a Belgian female artist, two decades younger than them. She is the disciple of Norman and, through his confessions, she discovers the fascinating world of London of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, with all its specific contrasts, temptations, fetishes, conflicts, illusions and disillusions. The plot of the book brings into the spotlight a part of the wonders, dilemmas and controversies of an entire generation of artists that had overthrown an aesthetical system of thinking that stood as a foundation for the great cultural currents of modernity and had anticipated the dawn of postmodernism as well.



The bitch

Erwin Blumenfeld



The woman I feared the most

dwells now in my living room

wallows in my bed sheets

uses my laptop every night


gorging herself with the chocolate that I keep for the neighbor children

The woman I despised with fury in my 20ties –

I used to call her bitch in three languages –

lays now in indecent positions on my brand new couch

I paint her nails, I adjust her eyebrows

I moisture her body with dozens of lotions


I invent stories for her to cheer her up

I promise her that she could seem as stupid as in the dreams of the prince


The woman I feared the most

makes gymnastics every day

counts calories

cries for almost nothing

she has no glimpse of pride

she stays locked in a books tower

making scenarios to tear it down


and to take all over again

from the level of primordial tides


She is a nymph that came to be naught in a foreign life

like a white whale brought by storm on a desert shore


I bemired her in my poems

I wrote humanist slogans against her


I had hives anytime when I thought

about how lustfully one like her

offers her heart to any hungry beast


And now she lives in my house

in my mind

in my desires

in my flesh

in my mirrors



Poem with lace dress



I’m dressed in a white lace dress as if I should go to the ball.

I write from the first hour in the morning as though it would mean a thing.

I’m struggling to make the autumn come as if something was going to happen.

I’m studying my face as a traitor, as if I had a choice.

I’m arguing with impossible and untrue things, then I apologize, as if someone knew.

I regret what I thought and felt in vain like an evil act, as if someone cared.

I run through the others’ illusions like a rat lost in a dark cellar.


I even have an icon at the edge of the bed as though I had faith.


There are terrible struggles given inside me and there are only beaten men in the end.


The last man



You seek understanding and you get advice

You seek empathy and you get a theory of approval’s need

You seek comfort and you get a Zen preaching

You seek passion and you get a quote from Freud

You seek an embrace and you get a self-help book

You seek lust and you get a preach on the pleasure’s principle

You seek water and you gain the precise information: H2O

There are no arms to get shelter into from the fury of the texts that come to swallow you like a tornado’s mouth.

There is only the notion of silence that violently lodges into the concept of anguish.

And the word conviction  bumping with much noise into the word controversial.

No shadow of a ghost in the sight. Only huge and heavy texts, yawn like the jaws of Saturn.
You scream Help and you are explained the notion of scream.

Solid garrulity, petrified. Billions of texts surrounding the earth. No kiss, no touch. Only knowledge. Purer and purer.

At one moment you think: I am the last human left.

You believe for a while that you have been spared, that you are the immune one. The surviver. Then  you add: ”Alone like in the book of H.G Wells”.  All of his words break in your skull. You try to explain the fact, obviously, making recourse to all theories you have idea about, while loneliness grows inside you like an alien body.

We are all beyond life, above life. And this happened from the very first moment when the first primate caught a disease that cut its being in two pieces and it heard in its head a voice that was not its own.


The falling leaves and the light that embraces them,
the frozen air and your burned lips
are the same
and the buses that will survive our happiness
and the coffee cups from the day with no return
and our shadows embraced on the floor
and the world that will continue after we have leaved
with its hospitals with its chosen ones with its dogs trimmed by the best stylists
and the air that passes from lung to  lung
and the wind that blows from the south
are the same

and the sun heating my temples over which your kisses have once passed
and all those unhappened
that are so hard to abandon

once buried in memory
are the same


                                                                                                                                              image Mirjam Appelhof


I’ve always imagined myself as an animal, one who takes himself for a human being.
I’ve been told: No. You’re delusional. This is just wishful thinking.
You are and will always be but a poor human being.
An unhappy creature, confused, a miserable dreamer, an outcast possessed by doubt like by a legion of demons.
An idiot contradicting himself every other day.
The animal is pure, it’s a perfect being. Don’t lie to yourself, they told me. What are your arguments?
I preferred to be used rather than contemplated, I babbled.
It’s not enough, they’ve retorted. The animal does not do any harm, he does not make mistakes, he does not know anything.
But your ignorance leads into the madness, your ignorance hurts, tangles, produces earthquakes.
Okay, but we’re born animals, and we turn into people. Perhaps some succeed in avoiding the transformation, I dared to guess.
They laughed and laughed.
Nice try! You cannot escape like this.
No one is excused, lady. From the very first moment we come alive, we do not cease to fall in man like in a deep pit
From which
Nor  love
Or fear

Could ever take us out