Monthly Archives: July 2015

Trio Lescano, Tulipan (story of Italian vulgar music trio, Dutch Jewesses who fled to Italy in 1935 )

Quoted from Gregorio Nardi’s paper on the Orel Foundation

“One sad story has to do with popular music, and specifically with the most famous vocal group in twentieth–century Italy: the Trio Lescano, made up of three Dutch sisters (Lescano was an Italianization of the original Dutch surname, Leschan) who had arrived in Italy in 1935 and had quickly achieved extraordinary success. Their 78 r.p.m. record of the song “Tulip” sold 350,000 copies. Although they never joined the Fascist Party, they were chosen to launch the first experimental television broadcasts in 1939, and in 1941 they obtained Italian citizenship.”

“But their Jewish origins meant that all of their programs were cancelled shortly thereafter. They were arrested in November 1943, accused of spying and imprisoned in Genoa. The ridiculous accusation was that their rhythmic songs — a witty combination of swing and jazz — contained hidden, coded messages for the enemy. While they were in prison, and because they spoke German, they were forced by the SS to be interpreters during the interrogations and torturing of captured partisans. When the war ended, they were unable to gain back the popularity they had previously known, and they quickly disappeared from the entertainment scene.

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from a series of poems for Greek revolution

Soldier for the daughter Aphrodite

(prayer against Hypnos)

I have heard the critiques of the envious and stupid of Hypnos against her, Aphrodite,
the ciphered clerks spoke against the cipherless,
who swallowed some beer, constituent of pride,
the old clerics now have no orison, nothing to say,
they bite their beards. *Kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison, kyrie ele-eiso-on*
In megalophantasies
I am an anarchist general who will put down the rebellions, the slitherers
kill the rebels who are against her,
Aphrodite, fill my rifle
saddle an elephant
with missiles, poems engraved like on a hungry soul-rock–
I hope she is not another demagogue,
like Ishtar, or Hera,
or Orcan, Modernity, or all the others
of megalophantasies, fed on shadows and Greek fire on bride
The towering clerks on a pillage are drunk of the mercury stolen from the wind-broken compasses of the island Hypnos, they sucked it out
like grease from a quail bone on Christmas Day.
I am weary of thinking critically,
am filled with hatred and courage and want to fight
Murder the envious who sentenced Medusa to rock
I prefer stupidity before caution
Aphrodite may your light
not divide from the glory of your Cycladic body–
I have been a butcher,
So you will walk upon the feathers of thieves
and not on the dirt road
during the day of the devolution,
the last cash-withdrawal sought in the mount Pallas Athena.
I will seek to proof the ceilings against their
mercurial compassion,
with the tar sediment I scraped out from wings
to un-shroud you from filth, cigarette pocks
and throat-hocks of spit they cast upon you
before they hurtled you over the miracle bridge,
near Larissa Station,
like you were some cardboard to be recycled into Peace and Justice.

–((Arturo Desimone 2012, Athens)

*(the poem was published in an alternative revision among poems in the 2015 winter issue of Knot magazine,!arturo-desimone/cop9 )

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