A millennium of trade and empire

has pushed the wooden piles the founders drove

more deeply into the seditious silt

than they had intended.


In Campo di Ghetto, ‘Juda Merda’

is daubed: on Fondamente Nouve,

grammatically correct, ‘Venezia

truffa i touristi.’


On San Michele lie Ezra Pound, the

Stravinskys, somebody from Salop and

Venetian bourgeoisie almost safe in

their ferrara chambers.


Before dawn, carts spouting disinfectant

are trundled hastily through shuttered streets –

which, later, are pristine with human sounds:

laughter, footfalls, a song.




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  1. #1 by Ian Craine - December 15th, 2012 at 19:31

    And one day a Venetian by the name of Marco Polo, with his father and brother, reached the lands of the Great Khan of Cathay. The Khan asked to hear stories of all the great cities the Polos had seen. So Marco spun little tales, gossamer thin like the silk of Cathay. And though he claimed to tell of many cities he really only spoke of one- La Serenissima.

    All this is set down by Italo Calvino, the greatest Italian writer of the 20th Century, in his masterpiece “Invisible Cities”.

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