Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jon Hartmann took this photo in Benares (Varanasi). It is not the typical photo of Benares. Part of it levitated to the blog title. We've been trying to get through to that number to put a Green Hill blog advertisement on that nice billboard on the right. Jon's "In Dimapur" essay (part one) was posted in November.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Still in the frame of mind - anthropophagic, animist - of the last post, still perusing (thanks to Joseph Löbb's dad, who also pointed out this particular poem to me) Adam Makkai, ed., IN QUEST OF THE ‘MIRACLE STAG’: THE POETRY OF HUNGARY, Volume 1 (Chicago: Atlantis-Centaur, 1996) - wherein this résumé appears on p. 264:


In the past the warring nations
Did not follow any precept:
The strong plundered what he could, and
Everything he looted, he kept.

That has changed now, as the world has
A more legalistic flavor:
When the strong now do some mischief
They confer and - vote in favor.

- János Arany (1817-1882), trans. Peter Zollman

Friday, December 14, 2007

Poem by Curtis Bram


Wild Gazelle running in African plain, on his own he is himself
He is crossing the wasteland, thinking of saving, alone he is himself

He, running, reaching a village nearby, he coming, saving the hungry people
He is bringing them to the sand, to brave coming he is himself

They suffering, starving, he come with hope, a brilliant glowing to provide being
He stinging defeat, to the last stand, he, succumbing not, he is himself

Food approaching the villagers eyeing their enlightenment to save them alone
They excited realizing their potential preparing the excavation, he is himself

They digging making their constructing pottery art perhaps darkness he is himself
He entering village they standing looking he enters trauma he is himself

Club descending attacking him bringing gift he unconscious saving he losing hope
His glow fading his failure looming he enlightenment leave he is himself

He place clay dome pain heat flame scorching he on his own they chant food
His death approaching his mission fail he food give he is himself

This neopost-everything poem by Curtis Bram was written, as it turns out, under appropriate duress. About its unusual form, Curtis writes: This is written in the form of a Ghazal, a Persian poem consisting of five to fifteen couplets with a refrain at the end of both lines in the first couplet and at the end of each successive couplet. This Ghazal follows a short long long (^ - -) syllable scheme for the most part.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Fifth Diver by Alexis Romay

Two hundred spectators had gathered in the municipal stadium. Four hundred eyes followed each step of the fifth diver as he made his way to the twenty foot diving board, which had the distinction of being the highest point in the Sports Compound. At the beginning of the Contest, the pool was an ocean-blue that magnified its scarce twelve feet of depth. With the unusual configuration of an equilateral triangle, the pool clarified the moment of entry, since the focus of attention shifted from a man – spinning in the air, theatrically, audaciously, until he plunged into a micro-universe – to a triangle that received him prior to a consistent and euphoric flood of applause.

Sports Compound was a euphemism to define a space of circular structure, poorly roofed and crowded to its limits. Its diameter was sixty-five feet and, hanging from the four cardinal points, were low-intensity reflectors that looked anachronistic tied to the guano leaves that shaped the primitive cupola of the Stadium. The electricity depended on a series of extension chords that, a week before the event, were run from the nearest house and woven through the endless holes in the roof, becoming, thus, the most impressive electrical installation of the Third, Fourth and most obsolete of all Worlds.

The same as for the rest of the houses in town, waterproof here was an unknown concept, and this circumstance justified the dead-set date for the event: El Presidente's birthday, the Thirteenth of August, which always, almost prophetically, fell in the midst of a drought.

Since the ventilation had to be natural, the inhabitants took pride in having located the Stadium in a clearing, taking full advantage of the breezes that filtered through the walls. The afternoon heat, the flies and the rest of the insects also entered the Stadium, but during the most important social event of Las Palmas, amid the excitement of the competitors and the public, these minor obstacles were easily ignored.

The pool had only three sides due to an innovation in the building process. The idea was to save money on the construction materials, which were sent by the Government with a letter to the inhabitants of Las Palmas. The letter officially authorized them to build a modest stadium, as long as the residents took care of its design and construction.

The district of Las Palmas was comprised of about sixty houses with the same number of families tightly spread among them, to the point that sometimes there were four generations living under the same roof – two of which (the middle ones) had actively contributed to the execution of the Stadium, the only place in the community where all the Palmeros could fit, piled up in eight rows of benches distributed in a spiral shape.

This is the information that the inhabitants of Las Palmas were given regarding Diving: "An Olympic Sport that consists of a diver who jumps from a diving board or another high platform to a pool and executes all sorts of graceful and intricate turns on his way down."

A whole decade had passed since the sixty families living in Las Palmas ventured to build their own stadium. Subsequently, they spent years training their native athletes. The Annual Competition, now in its third year, had a few constants, the most notable being the public itself, presided over by the founders of the region who were accompanied by their proud offspring, forming a friendly and enthusiastic audience. Not a soul was allowed to sneak in alcoholic beverages or any kind of blade. And, on the belt of the President of the community, a revolver, which had acquired a symbolic and ornamental character, became rustier by the minute.

The Routine had been dictated by the President and was enforced with methodical religiosity: in the morning they celebrated a fair for the youngsters in the Town Park, and the diving competitions took place that afternoon. The rest of the year the Sports Compound remained closed.

The President of the community based the success of this tournament and his entire political career on a theory that he had inherited with the position of Eternal Leader of Las Palmas: "Regardless of its size, cultural level or aspirations, the only thing necessary to rule any social group is the distribution of Bread and Circus. It is crucial to provide the crowd with something to eat, along with a little entertainment."

In fact, since the President established a holiday for that hot day in the eighth month so that the neighbors could enjoy the Sports event, the impact on the dissident groups in the population had been palpable. They organized fewer street riots and painted less politically incorrect graffiti on the walls of the sad supermarket in town. Subversive gossip and social commentary had dramatically decreased and, at last, his opponents had allowed themselves to be pulled under by the euphoria. They joined the rest of the locals to share poorly fermented, home-made beer, and make bets that catapulted along with the divers, ranging up to three chickens and two bushels of rice.

The fifth diver proceeded towards the diving board, fully convinced that he was close to reaching (literally) the heights of his career. The theatricality with which he walked prompted the spectators to burst into shouts, whistles... pure excitement.

He was the last competitor and on his shoulders was the responsibility of closing the municipal championship. Although his severe training had prepared him for this moment, his nerves were betraying him publicly. He made a personal drama out of each step he took on the staircase to the diving board.

The fifth diver avoided looking inside the pool. At that moment, he was suffering from monumental vertigo; a vertigo that he had always interpreted as a symbol of dangerously approaching Success. When he reached the end of his journey, a tear emerged from one of his eyes. (Luckily, the public didn't notice this.) His body was rigid and his muscles were prominently featured, shining thanks to an unguent especially prepared from the fat of a Santa María snake (a reptile common in the creeks near Las Palmas). His bathing-suit, a pair of dark brown shorts, still bore the stains from his recent work as a farm laborer.

What was he thinking at that moment, the closest he'd ever been to his most elemental idea of Glory?

The Palmeros had been in full throttle – jumping, cheering and shouting hurrahs – as the previous competitors had walked through the Stadium to end standing at the pinnacle of their lives. But they quickly reduced their clamor to a respectful silence to allow the athletes to concentrate and climb above their own fears.

When the fifth diver prepared to execute his audacious flying maneuvers, the faces of the residents of Las Palmas looked petrified – as if they might stop breathing altogether.

Of the dives of the first four competitors, the most remarkable moment was when the second diver came one inch away from touching the ceiling with his feet: his limbs created a vertical human arrow at the peak of his parabola. The first diver, as well as the fourth, attempted a double front flip in which he turned in the tuck-position and entered the pool feet first. The third diver executed the infamous "one and a half," which was a complicated exercise that demanded one full somersault, after which the athlete had to stretch himself perpendicular to the pool and finish the dive head first.

The fifth diver tightened his arms next to his body, held his breath, and let himself fall.

The hush in the Stadium was disturbed by the impact. Upon witnessing how he broke into pieces, and joined the smashed bodies of the four previous competitors, the public burst into euphoric applause, shouting their joy.

The pool had always been empty. Nobody from the Government dared to tell the President that Diving was a water sport.

Alexis Romay is a Cuban emigre writer, translator, educator. Recent work includes a translation of Miguel Correa Mujica's Al norte del infierno (North of Hell), forthcoming from Green Integer. The excerpt above is by a character in his novel Salidas de emergencia (Emergency Exits), published by Baile del Sol. Thanks to Alexis and to Potomac for this brano del romanzo; we're looking forward to seeing Alexis y Valerie again, here & elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jung Min Park, who is from Seoul, worked from the memory of a photo to create this. More of her work is on the way - including parts of a sort of 'graphic novel' in progress.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Poem by Mebane Robertson


I’m writing you again, though I don’t
Know if this will make it through
The firewall or get pulled the way the last one was.
One never knows what the machine will flag, so

They are always calling me in. As per our last
Communication, I’m still being watched, but
Even when they know I know
They are friendly enough in passing.

“After all,” someone said, “We’re all on the same side
Here, Chris,” (what they call me). Since you asked,
My job description requires me to rotate
Often and aimlessly and to pretend I’m legally blind.

They can’t keep people where you are?
Try the turnover here! It’s a slaughterhouse! Your
Survival depends on not being able to see the butcher,
And not being willing to hear the crows.

Strangely, or appropriately enough if you look at the first stanza of the above, the last attempt to post a poem of Mebane's was botched, not by the firewall but by the program that doesn't like indentations. There's a way around it, of course, but in the meantime this poem without indentations is a decent segueway from the surveillance of the last post. Mebane's book is just out from the New Poets Series of Black Widow Press.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Jessie Tsai said she cut pieces out of Taiwanese magazines to create this. She said she tried American magazines first but couldn't get the skin tone right, as this depicts her own eye. So she made this in Taiwan, and because it's a bit fragile, that's where it remains.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Ted Rogers alert! The young man is too busy at film school (Emerson) to eat, yet his body is still vertically expanding. You want tracking shots? You got it. Just click da thingy:
It was a huge pleasure to see Ted & Sean Kelly here the other day. Sean, I hope you didn't get pneumonia. Check here for future links to work by both of these tall guys.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


And so – if it happens that I go –
something will remain
of me
in this world –
a slight trace of silence
amidst the voices –
a frail breath of white
in the heart of blue.

And one evening in November
a slender little girl
on a street corner
will sell chrysanthemums,
under stars
frozen, green, remote.

Someone will cry,
somewhere – somewhere –
someone looking for chrysanthemums
for me
in this world
when, with no return, it happens that
I have to go.

Nick Benson's translation of the poem below by Antonia Pozzi (1912-1938). When she took her own life at the age of twenty-six she was virtually unknown, but the notebooks she left behind were filled with terse poems of astonishing power and lyricism. Her verse places her alongside the ‘hermetic’ poets of the day – Montale, Ungaretti, Quasimodo – but her voice is unmistakable. Her poems are collected in the volume Parole (Garzanti, 1998), and a collection of prose has been published as Diari (Scheiwiller, 1988); a selection of her work was published not long ago translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti (Breath: Poems and Letters, Wesleyan UP, 2002).


E poi – se accadrà ch’io me ne vada –
resterà qualche cosa
di me
nel mio mondo –
resterà un’esile scía di silenzio
in mezzo alle voci –
un tenue fiato di bianco
in cuore all’azzurro.

Ed una sera di novembre
una bambina gracile
all’angolo d’una strada
venderà tanti crisantemi
e ci saranno le stelle
gelide verdi remote.

Qualcuno piangerà
chissà dove – chissà dove –
qualcuno cercherà i crisantemi
per me
nel mondo
quando accadrà che senza ritorno
io me ne debba andare.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Double shot

The aforementioned (previous post) TLS piece in one ear, tazza of Brasil Jacaranda espresso precariously balanced on my pince-nez, paging through Adam Makkai, ed., IN QUEST OF THE ‘MIRACLE STAG’: THE POETRY OF HUNGARY, Volume 1 (Chicago: Atlantis-Centaur, 1996), I was jolted from my pfeffernuss by the following two translations of a poem by Abraham Barcsay (1742-1806):

Blood-stained fruit of labor, sweated out of Black slaves,
Which the greedy English ship abroad for fat sales,
They fill up their coffers with delightful profit
from sugar cane — England gets rich from it.
Coffee bean, which of yore, grew around far Mocca,
You’re now in the West, too, slave-labor’s crude mocker,
The sage feels disgusted, seeing how a thin cup
Makes him an accomplice, sipping British guilt up.

Trans. Thomas Kabdebo [& A.M.]

Crop of sweat and blood, of African slave labour,
Sold around the world by the grasping English trader,
Sugar cane produced a sweeter taste to offer,
And to line with gold a wealthy English coffer.
And you, tiny bean, in Mocca cultivated,
By the slaves who pick you, so bitterly hated −
Thinking men are shamed to sip you in their parlour
And to share the guilt that the greedy English harbour.

Trans. Peter Zollman

The editor, Adam Makkai, writes: “The first significant poet of the Hungarian Enlightenment, Barcsay was a descendant of a noble Transylvanian family, of which Akos Barcsay, Prince of Transylvania (1610-1661) was the most prominent member [...] He was sharply critical of the colonizing efforts of the powerful European nations [...] He was the first Hungarian writer to have described folk customs without distortion or sentimental exaggeration. Toward the end of his life he withdrew to his small estate in Transylvania. While his thought was bold and progressive, he stuck to traditional verse forms such as the alexandrine in most of his poetry” (123-124).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Poem by Mebane Robertson


The city swallowed me whole like a long, squiggly bait,
Though I tell less than the truth very often.
My professors complain of this, my syntax.
My artist friends say different things depending.
Lately, I dream of silk: black silk
Tied around my eyes, and being led somewhere:
To a hellova party where I am always just arriving,
And, being blinded, I stumble and fall
Like a long ash into some stranger’s drink,
Like counting back from a hundred under chloroform,
Like ether dripping on my scalp, whispering goodnight.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bouts of lyric clarity and sudden plunges through cogitating thickets

If you feel you’ve been hiding too much in the open, it’s time to look into a new book of poems by an old friend, Mebane Robertson, Signal from Draco. I know, “this is a friend of his, so of course...” OK, but tell me if you find another book like this, the first volume in Black Widow’s ‘New Poets’ series (www.blackwidowpress.com). It is an uncommon collection, at once generous and unsparing. The book can be compared to a broad canvas, or perhaps a sequence of five canvases to correspond to the book's sections; mingling there are elements of imbedded information, a personal geography, and a psychic itinerary. Though tightly woven and economical, the poems are never reductive in tracing thought and emotion through the entire bric-a-brac of experience. The book’s layered soliloquies are as exacting as life: they refuse to broker an expedient deal with daily living and the nightcrawl to come up with something reassuringly tidy but untrue. As I read, I thought if Berryman were here, and he could mosh, he might say these lines.

I hope to post some of Mebane's work here soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yi-Chen Jessie Tsai is the artist.
She is from Taichung, Taiwan.

I asked her how she did this, and she said
the photo was over there, I painted over
here...I nodded, but have no idea...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Poetry of the season must include the following haiku:

Send application
Stress out while they pick and choose
Send the deposit

Applying to school
Just does not seem fair to me
Pay to be denied?

Part of the haiku epic series under construction by Alex Strelov - known as Farsh - his family is from Zlarin. Clever - once enrolled in senior classes, he announced that he was going to do the year again. This has many advantages. I think this post is over now, except I will say that the entirety of the haiku epic series is a kind of installation-art stroke of genius. Readers who know Farsh will have already figured this out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mark Rudman writes:

I just heard about Norman Mailer's death. Sad! It might be of some interest that I wrote a poem in dialogue with The Executioner's Song, called "Provo." Of course I had the misfortune to spend too much of my adolescence in Salt Lake City, and I still haven't stopped trying to recreate the sense of repression that gave Gilmore's fate such a tragic cast. "Provo" was first published in the London Review, where I hoped Norman might have seen it, and later became the first poem in The Couple, a bad move in a way because reviewers often fixed on the poem and used up too much of their allotted space, and it was hardly typical of the dialogic poems in the book, although this is in dialogue with Mailer, my stepfather, the town, its inhabitants, and the landscape which I doubt corresponds to how people from the east coast see Utah, especially now in light of the upbeat Sundance. Park City is not Provo.

I'll put a link to Mark's new website in the list to the right. He is a singular poet, in the best sense. I'm particularly fond of the use he makes of Italian places and influences. I'll have a review of his latest book of poems, Sundays on the Phone, in the Spring 08 issue of Prairie Schooner. More will be said about the considerable pleasures of reading his essays and the poems of the Rider Quintet - five books of poetry published in the years 1994-2005 - in future posts.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Poem by Emily Alter

Landour, Mussoorie, July 29th, 2007

I cried, or should have,
had I been more alone,
more at ease with my homesickness
and its new settlement –
that is to say its new target
at which to shoot the arrows of that pain,

a pain attributed to a small child
suddenly and unknowingly separated,
which I am not.
I am accompanied in this new and renewed
home by that which a homesick
child cries for.

Home, whose definition grows with
the stages of our lives, is an
idea which nomads refuse,
or so the story goes, and in this refusal
appeal to some higher sense of belonging.

Shoes sink into endless sand
that fortifies this belonging, an existence:
a connection and inseparability to land, earth, ground
so when these shoes are lifted from it,
it, quite often, is brought along.

The earth that I picked up to bring along,
has been returned.
As we drove up the winding roads, windows open,
I hurled it from my weathered hands,
and now I find – in returning it –
that I have lost my ground and found my

Poem by John Alter

Sum, some, Somme

He didn’t stand a
What in the mind is
Like fallen leaves,
In a day, a kind of
I don’t remember
Well. Walking at odd ends
We came across
Leading down to what
Once had been a
Graveyard, I think. Life
Shuts the book. Turns off
The microphone. Who’s keeping
Track of numbers anyhow?
58,000 British soldiers,
Battle of the Somme,
Some kind of single day record.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In Dimapur by Jon Hartmann

I was fast asleep when I felt something begin to shake my feet which were hanging off the edge of my bunk. It was the Hijras, a tribe of fancifully dressed transsexuals native to train stations across India. Even in modern day their supposed power over fertility and future marriages is believed to be true. It was my turn to pay up. Shifting his weight to his right foot under a sequined sari and lifting a henna painted hand, I, in my undying quest to live as an Indian, crusaded for a two rupee piece within my pocket. Rolling back under my railroad issue wool blanket, I fell asleep as the train again rattled itself up to speed along the tracks.

Three to ten hours later I still couldn’t quite sleep and sat awake in the open boarding gate of the train as it shambled deeper into the Bengal. Looking out into the moonlit countryside a thousand small fires dotted the fields, to each a few mildly cold and hungry sugarcane farmers. Sobering; a sea of candles.

The train would slow down and pass by these crossroads where the inter-village roadways happened to cross the railroad. The roads in between the villages have sprung up as an effect of jeeps burning the pathways into the dusty soil rather than by the government construction, as with railroad crossing gates along these roads. The train now began to slide by one of such stations and I looked on at the collection of villagers in jeeps and mulling around on foot and bikes waiting for the train to pass. It was a strange mix of moonlight and firelight that was cast upon the faces of the grey-shawled and jagged toothed farmers making the midnight journey from one village to the next. Strange how even in the dark, I could see their yellowed eyes look back in some askew nutrient deficiency, not accusingly, but in question.

I arrived in Guahati Nagaland expecting elephants and sugarcane, to find a starving urban setting not unlike old Delhi, apart from the greater East Asian presence. I strafed my way through stifling sidewalk crowds and quickly into the nearest restaurant. I hadn’t seen another westerner in weeks, excepting the three other Caucasians I was traveling with. Guahati was unsafe at night, it’s a city ruled by petty gangs and territory lords, full of prostitution and struggling farmers. I ate some ice cream and wandered back to my hotel, treading on stamped sugarcane rinds and old newspaper the whole way, walking in the electric shadow of run-down high rise apartments festooned with adds in Hindi. People here mysteriously have a pastime for snapping photos of any foreigner. Long after the women had been forced to retreat indoors I still remained outside rather unsafely as gangs began to gather and light their trash-fires in alleyways, chewing betel. An Asian phenomenon, a strange stimulant in the form of a tooth-hostile nut served with red dye and pickled sugar wrapped in a leaf. You can immediately recognize a betel chewer by their red and eroded teeth and highly receded gum-line. They’re mostly the shadier members of society and simply the bored. As I saw the traffic and families all but disappear I knew it was time to be getting back to my hotel room.

The room was spacious, empty, and stained heavily with betel, everywhere, the walls, the shower, bed sheets, couch. I presumed the couch to be the least of all evils and slept there for a hearty six hours, in full dress as I had taken to after a month of living out of a train.

Showers are a curious thing. Everyone in India enjoys a hot shower; however, in a single building, rarely is there a room with more than a minute and a half of hot water. It has become a custom to fill up a bucket with what hot water exists and then to use a smaller ladle to spoon said water onto yourself and wash with the aid of a 5-rupee packet of soap, available in the bazaar, when you do choose to bathe.

The next city I traveled to was Dimapur, north of Guahati. The city is significantly friendlier and less corrupt. Interestingly and unbeknownst to me somewhat of a pirate culture exists in Dimapur; the name itself indicates a more east Asian or Singaporean origin and this is also apparent in Dimapur’s system of ports and river markets.

At one point during my stay in Dimapur I decided to eat something. I had a powerful hankering for some Indian McDonalds, the Maharaja Mac or something to that effect doused in masala mayonnaise. I and my Afghan friend Montazer set out in a rickshaw journey not soon to be forgotten. We asked the driver if there was a McDonalds around he could take us to, and he nodded fiercely with one hand on his moustache and the other on a framed picture of Siva. This particular rickshaw needed to get a running start before the engine would go into gear or even start. So we all got out and ran with the rickshaw into the road, all the while amid fierce traffic oncoming in all directions. The rickshaw sputtered to life, our driver gunned the throttle, and the floor shook fiercely.

The next stop, though it was a McDonalds, was not what we were expecting. The mascot of this particular eatery was a clown but it was more swollen and scarecrow like, in 2D sign form wrapped with Christmas lights, as was the entire ceiling inside. Three steps inside and we were nearly choked with the thick cigarette smoke in the air. It was almost hazy; the sheer amount of smoke created a foggy atmosphere, but we were hungry. The restaurant itself reminded me of kind of a typical cheap Italian restaurant in the States, particle board tables with checkered tablecloths, mirrored ceilings, low light, and fake plants in every other corner. Except there were no Americans, or Italians for that matter, but Nagas, all very Asian and very surprised to see a white boy of questionable origin accompanied by an Afghan in their local hangout. We strode through the mood lighting and over to the table in this strange opium-den – pizzeria – lounge fusion of a restaurant. The food wasn’t particularly amazing and I knew nothing on the menu, so the first chicken item I saw, I ordered, and it happened to be some strange pile of shredded chicken on a bun. I think we must have been the first people in months to order anything other than beer; we were graced by two very dusty bottles of coke.

Nagaland is a place of extremes, or maybe just opposing generations. Opposing generations in that the generation of parents right now still appreciate Naga culture, still believe that the piles of caterpillars I saw for sale in bazaars actually held medicinal power, that it’s still proper to have tea, and to keep a Naga-spear above your fireplace.

At one point I walked through a bazaar deep in Dimapur. The entire block had been set up around probably what is a square quarter mile of bilge or cesspool water for the lower residential section. It was almost a story down in a sort of swimming pool affair except the water was more of a jersey –green than the ideal swimming color. And no one would dream of swimming here. This bazaar was typical in that it was all narrow alleyways covered in halogen light and cheap cloth. At one point I began to smell probably the most powerful odor I’ve ever smelled. It was a Naga fish market. There was sort of this hangar affair in the middle of the bazaar where no shops were around; so, dangerously curious, I went inside and almost immediately felt the need to vomit, even breathing though my mouth the smell still penetrated my lungs and created kind of a gagging feeling. There were shelves upon cabinets and desks covered in fresh fish and eels, freshwater stingrays, everything you could conceivably eat out of the local river, all rotting in the unrefrigerated glory of this fish-hangar. I was immediately greeted by a scaly young man, scaly in that he was literally covered with fish scales, and he urged me to look over his fine selection of moderately fresh produce. Underneath the tin roof halogen globe lights were hanging down the center aisle, casting yellow-red light. It baked the smell somewhat.

After only under 10 minutes, I hurried quickly back out into the market, carefully avoiding stepping on the piles of caterpillars being hawked by street-vendors. I ventured back to the cesspool market, and stopped to look out for a minute. The sky was grey and seemed to hang closely above the high rises bordering the square pool. All along the cement walls, holding the pool now below me, were painted Coke ads, where rats scampered over the heaps of trash decomposing at the pasty green water’s edge.

There was sort of a basement feeling to the surrounding bazaar, closed hallways full of fading clothes and discarded cookware, the occasional shady-stalker after your wallet, as occasional as a patch of natural light, or a glimpse out to the pool. Outside I noticed it was beginning to get dark, as less light fell through the tangled jumble of power lines creating a canopy over the street-tops, in-between the stained high rises.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Green Hill, What Izzat?!

Green Hill, what is that? A pile of money? Not here, no! An optimistic look at Purgatory? Why not. It sounds better than Route 47. Green Hill passes three churches as well as the green commons of Washington, before bisecting the Gunnery campus, after which it waves off Route 109 to Roxbury and zips past the Mayflower's driveway... if you're coming from the Depot. But what is this? Who needs directions in writing anymore? Besides, we all know very well where we are going.

It seems to me that it was out of this demented life-preserving certitude that this blog spontaneously emerged. Green hill must be a reference to the heaps of green coffee beans lying around the Zero Prophet roastery, waiting for their moment, waiting perhaps to be pulverized and taken off to McCutcheon. These beans have already undergone quite an extensive translation, having been cultivated, harvested, milled, transported multiple times... Finally, the disparate elements, the stray shots & highlanders & journals in english arabic hindi korean cantonese spanish german italian hungarian... all are meant to circulate and meet here, in a Zocalo of the imagination.