If you live on the 83rd floor of a hi-rise that lances the desert skies and they haven’t completed your balcony yet, don’t try this at home

Published in Black Market Re-View: Issue 1article-2161079-13A9FE3A000005DC-608_964x773

He squats
in a dhoti,
can see all
Abu Dhabi
from the
83rd floor
he’s taking
a break
from
building.
No rail’s
in place.
If he loses
balance
he’ll fly
for 30
seconds
at a guess.
Pakistan
spinning
to victory,
England
positioned
precarious
-ly below.
Still as
a gull on
the wire
he nods
when
another
wicket
falls,
rises
like a
yogi to
his full
height on
the edge,
dhoti
tumbling
round his
pencil frame,
raises his
arms to
stretch out
a yawn
before
turning on
his bare
heels back
to work
the next
floor up,
full of
holes and
misplaced
masonry.

 

Eco grabber: my one shot with Umberto

SPETT.UMBERTO ECO A NAPOLI(SUD FOTO SERGIO SIANO)

SPETT.UMBERTO ECO A NAPOLI (SUD FOTO SERGIO SIANO)

In 1997 Umberto Eco delivered a seminar at Barnard on semiotics & photography.  I crossed Broadway from Columbia’s School of General Studies with a couple of buddies from the Italian department, eager to discover whether the buzz over Eco – as with Žižek today – was worth it.

The hall was packed with 500 or so students/faculty/New Yorkers. Out rolled Eco to thunderous applause. He waited for calm, looked around the room, and began:

FukYouz!

Silence.

He repeated:  FukYouz!

Some shuffling, murmuring of the discontented cosmopolitan type.  This was a ballsy opening for NYC, I thought. It’s fair to say Eco had the room in his hand.

A third: FukYouz,

to which, this time, an immediate repost from one of the locals standing at the back:

No! Fuck Youz, UmBearDough! Fuck Youz! 

Some edgy theatre this, I thought, as the room combusted with inflamed egos.

Eco raised both hands for calm, continuing,

No photo is possible without FukYouz. Without FukYouz our world is unreadable.

The whole room collapsed but not UmBearDough.  He waited for the laughter to quell, betraying not a hint of comprehension – before sweeping in the next 90 minutes through the Parisian geography of ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’.

Always have a grabber folks, however unintended.

 

To every poetry editor ever

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The time it takes drags like a broken foot,
send me rejection instead of silence,
it’s as if you’re put out by my output,
I upload, click, forward the cold science
of my art to inboxes fed obese
by fretful parents waiting in long lines.
I won’t ask how my offspring are, they’ve ceased
to miss me, won’t have changed much with the times.
I never should have let them go to your
unfeeling homes though, to wait for their slot
on oblivion’s trapdoor. Reject? Sure!
At least you’ll find mine patient; but they’re not
the one’s craving the occasional bow…
My darlings can do nothing for me now.