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198x-carlo-talamo-da-giovanni-cabassiI met Carlo Talamo many years ago in Via Niccolini when he gave me one of his books with this poem:

“Days. No, months. But no, years. Not even. A lifetime. I have taken a lifetime. To transform what was torture for everyone into a game. I grew up hearing that if work was healthy, it was better to have leprosy. Neapolitans say ‘to labour’ instead of to work. But I don’t recall one day of labour. I remember a warm room with lots of toys and me in the middle holding my hands out to touch glossy paint. Sweet chrome. Strong steel. And now I am here. In this Number One where those called Harley live outside time. I was only four years old with fat little wobbly hands, but I was already drawing confused squiggles that I called motorcycles and, even if I didn’t know it, I had two V cylinders. It never went away. It will never go away. This mild illness that ties me to something I don’t know how to explain. That I have never tried to explain. Some understand it. Others don’t. It’s not important. There are a thousand things that I will not understand, closed as I am in a world of bolts, handles and cylinders. And motorcycles that have been copying themselves for 90 years. Always the same. Different from each other. Always new. Because I will never tire of playing with them.”