Saturday, October 15, 2011


« La follia è una condizione umana. In noi la follia esiste ed è presente
come lo è la ragione. Il problema è che la società, per dirsi civile,
dovrebbe accettare tanto la follia quanto la ragione, invece incarica una scienza, la psichiatria, di tradurre la follia in malattia allo scopo di eliminarla.
Il manicomio ha qui la sua ragion d'essere. »

(Franco Basaglia)


from the inside of inside, from a place inside each of us where no other approaches, i speak with a voice that demands quieting, even if such a voice can’t be heard outside, where we are all vulnerable, in our uniqueness, in our power, in our heartbreaking desire to desire, to be other than what we are by being with another, where we know we are like no other and can never be, because we speak, from the inside of inside, among the drowned, even as they try to save us, because we are outside of belonging, inside belonging's power but outside of its truth, inside an inside, put away, hidden even from the city that surrounds this city, the speaking deafness of our outward personae, the curse of humankind, drown in our own individuality.

there is a burning red wound in the night, a lamp lit before the madonna, another imagined other that some can hide inside themselves, here, where to make a sound would be a sacred taking up of sides, drowning in refusal, another symptom, the inability to take part, more than a simple silence, our fear turned outwards, from inside this inside, an internal escape, an illusory impulse to flee, down this tree-lined avenue, its omnipresent dogs, its expected squatters' graffiti, these desperate political measures, and the walking dead, its walls a monument to hiding my refusal.

survivors have some nerve, surviving, but the drowned drown easily, in politics, la lotta, in protest, committed to their causes, the ends supplying the means, mouthing others' words, other rooms, other voices, so many agendas, so many programs, we being committed because of our effects, the abandoned church here becoming central to our twilight perambulations, bleeding red and luminescent the whole sleepless night through, some nerve, surviving, our effects confiscated, in the belly of firenze, in the womb of the city, in san salvi, where they think that they're saving us from ourselves when really they're saving us from their own indignation, what they might do to us, and their church, built to faith, belief in something that they know to be impossible, the uncertain certainty that there is something called reality that we all know too much about, that could be squashed with a faked miracle or two.

i, on the other hand, have no faith, not in their science nor their god, their sacred belief in conquering disbelief, or the red wound they would cut into the night in the name of his mother, offer up to his mother, against the night's natural darkness, this voice spits on their desire to quiet the inside of inside, even though its speaking tortures me, i know that its silence tortures them, once and for all, the voice of trauma, the voice of protest, the wound, refusal and resistance, abnegation and fear, even in this tree-lined avenue, even in this garden-filled fortification, a silent fortress walled into the heart of the city, into the mind of the city—i will not say soul—images imagined or born of the day-to-day, the real, what does it matter? inside the inside, interiority itself, a new-town of non-belonging and refusal, an outsider internalized, encircled by san salvi, san salvi's walls, the drowned saved, drowned again in other voices, other systems, out of sight, misunderstood even as we un-wall our voices, from inside, speaking the speech of disagreement, to imagined companions, the freedom of non-communication.

but i will not be drowned, they tell me, i will emerge eventually and speak the fear of my naked aloneness in their world of agreement and reality, to their world of agreement and so-called reality, spitting, croaking, bleeding out beneath this abandoned madonna in a city of new uses, her candle slitting the night open, the night that must fall, a languishing wound in its comforting darkness, a world that must drown such voices before they are heard and cause some poor woman to abandon home and hearth by loving me and all of my quiet madness.

inside the inside speaks an isolated voice of disagreement, of madness, yes, and sometimes listening but never hearing itself.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

INBETWEEN --5 chapters


All that winter they were ripping up the streets of Europe, the streets of Paris and Florence, the streets of Rome. Scaffolding circles churches, hides triumphal arches, strips of green nylon tarpaulin stretched across its planks and frames. Streets have been uprooted, cobblestones stacked against the walls of black buildings. They're turning hotels into museums, letting the steam out of the sewers, putting statues behind glass; policemen are looking on, machine guns slung over their shoulders. In Rome they don't have any portable electric lights; instead they use little pots of fire that look like the old-fashioned anarchist's bombs in silent movies to warn cars of the edges, where the streets drop off into dusty pits. 

He looks across a muddy hole filled with heavy machinery at a museum. Closed for renovation, the sign says. 

A whole street in the center of Florence has been ripped up; the exclusive shops face each other across a dank pit of reddish earth, and the walls of green-shuttered windows seem to close in on you as you look up. A little rain slips into the narrow streets as Persey hurries home carrying groceries. Other Americans and the well-to-do Florentines pass slowly, laden with colorful brand-name shopping bags. In Paris, between snow flurries, he watches them pouring out cement sidewalks in long strips down the Boulevard St. Michael; they were laying out the streets of Europe that winter. People pass in a hurry, nobody watching the police frisking some Arabs up against a wall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The perfume vats have spilled,
flooding the streets of Florence with sweet
stink and there’s nothing I can do about it.

We don’t get paid a living wage
for what we do, her boyfriend
doesn’t do her when she needs doing,

and there’s nothing I can do
but sit and listen. There’s nothing
to be done when the cars continue

to rev and the brakes on my bike
don’t work, and the bank steals your world
away 9.50 € at a time—month in

and month out. And there’s no point
in touching the computer screen; you’re
two months out of touch, asking

for Gypsy change, wishing you were
Penny Rimbaud with a country
retreat safe enough for an anarchist

convention. And Max is dead,
a knife in his gut on the bed
where he let strangers fuck him

so as not to feel so alone
when strangers fucked him, alone
in the slow dismemberment that Psyche,

the goddess, never could have predicted;
her womb the center of an archaic worldview
Christ knew nothing about.

And your resurrection? Will it pay
these bills? Will it wash these windows
we look through? Will it make us whole

or wholesale?

Oct. 4th, 2011