Tuesday, June 19, 2007


i kept running into the same figure over the course of a day. it seemed coincidental at first, but when you consider our movements and patterns, there are very few fatal intersections. our coincidences are driven by habit. i broke habit and coincidence, following her.
she lead me through a series of dark rooms and mazes. i did not focus on her face, only her movements. she could have been anyone. in the end, we both stood at length to look back at each other from a long hallway. she never saw my face.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

a two hour siesta with calvino's "invisible cities"

"He was thinking about these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is a wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories."

"As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands."

"From one part to the other, the city seems to continue, in perspective, multiplying its repertory of images: but instead it has no thickness, it consists only of a face and an obverse, like a sheet of paper, with a figure on either side, which can neither be separated nor look at each other."

"You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter. All the rest is silent and interchangeable; trees and stones are only what they are."

"But in vain I set out to visit the city: forced to remain motionless and always the same, in order to be more easily remembered. Zora has languished, disintegrated, disappeared. The earth has forgotten her."

"It is more difficult to fix on the map the routes of the swallows, who cut the air over the roofs, dropping long invisible parabolas with their still wings, darting to gulp a mosquito, spiraling upward, grazing a pinnacle, dominating from every point of their airy paths all the points of the city."

Monday, June 11, 2007

i have a few maps

that i don't know how to use, so i usually don't--but i have them, just in case. and these maps will show me metro stops, bus routes, pictures of infamous monuments and landmarks, but rarely does it show me the way home. i'll probably buy a few more maps while i'm here. maybe start a collection of unhelpful things. the street signs look like grave markers to me. everywhere i go, ends up in a piazza. now i know why they say, "all roads lead to rome". they don't use these maps.

the narrative of trash and things left behind

this is broken and waiting
for a foot, i think, bitter
from being used and tossed away:
but i found it, instead, and made
a poem about love and what is
broken is sometimes more
beautiful than what is

this is wood that once was
a chair, but it has been
plotting for years, i think--
notice how dull and beaten?--
making a plan to return to the
earth. so this wooden chair breaks
and just a piece of this leg remains,
basking in the sun.
a perfect roman tragedy.

the flower keeps its perfect shape
even in the street, after falling
beside a table for two. i pick it up
it keeps it's perfect shape for days
on my bedside table. it falls off
the table, i almost step on it--but don't.
the flower keeps its perfect shape.

i am not afraid of lost

as hana would say: "'lost' is good. 'lost' is our friend. we don't get lost enough."
well, i do get lost quite a bit. i once told someone that the only way to really get to know a place is to get lost in it--a few times--and find your way home again. 'lost' and 'fear' are relative, though, and i now find myself 'lost' not only in the landscape, but in a culture. i am dealing with 'lost' on foot and in everday scenarios. italian is 'lost' on me and therefore, communication is lost. this picture represents 'lost'. the bus driver is lost, his friend is a stranger we picked up at a gas station, and none of us know enough italian to ask what's going on--much less to get us home again.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trastevere, Finally

we finally made it to trastevere, which did not seem as touristy is everyone had warned it would. it does have a sort of custom-made charm, but is still very Roman with it's ancient buildings and modern graffiti.
we wander as a group, looking for the jewish orphan and the heterotopia, which are easier to find than recognize.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Mapping the Private Space