Juan Pablo Mobili was born and raised in Buenos Aires, during the cruelest of their dictatorships, and was adopted by New York, where he raised a family. His poems appeared in The Worcester Review, The American Journal of Poetry, The Banyan Review, The Mason Street Review, and The Fire Spirit Review, among many others. His work has also received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, as well as being a nominee for the Pushcart Prize (2020) and the Best of the Net (2020 and 2021). His chapbook, “Contraband,” will be published by The Poetry Box in April of 2022. He writes ultimately, to make the world a more hospitable place.
Duino, Rilke & Me
At some point, Duino compelled Rilke to walk on the ledge between two balconies outside his hotel room, he then went on to write the Elegies, gifted by the unnameable. Afraid of heights, and on a modest budget, my room has only a window, sealed to avoid suicides. My elegies are not inspired by any of God’s voices but the insistent memory of lost friends. I write from my own ledge, but closer to the ground. The only vertigo, some deep, unshakeable memories.
Moving without disturbing the world is a long-considered choice, like someone who stands in front of his home for years before he makes a fist takes a deep breath and knocks on the door. Traveling at their speed crossing a small garden is a pilgrimage, and every blade of grass a temple.
Why I Write about the Past
Too many young people still die and I don't even include the ones with unknown congenital diseases or fell off cliffs. I am thinking of those who were murdered, who were tortured and left to rot on empty lots or cast from planes, still alive. I am among the ones who made it, who grew old, had children, granddaughters, and write poems, poems an old man does not wish to write.