juin 02, 2004
my italy journal, volume 3

More Italy journals (there will be 2 more after this, then that's it!) I'm glad that I'm posting these, BECAUSE I am wearily recovering from my extravagant, golden-lilies-and-tequila birthday yesterday, and also because I just ate a soft-baked cookie that seemed to be covered in some kind of stinging poisoned chicken grease. Gross! More on all of this over the weekend, I suppose, when I run out of Italian for you.

31 March 2004
The rest of Florence, almost the whole second week, was kind of a bust, after the haircuts (which seemed, at the time, incredible, but were revealed by showers to be all smoke & mirrors! the brassy Italian lady who did them was pronounced by all to have been a strega!) On the day of the haircuts we saw the lovely, lovely, lovely Brancacci Chapel, the life of St. Peter and that banished Adam & Eve, at S. Maria del Carmine, and we ate a good delicious lunch, but! I most certainly had a head-flu, or powerful cold, since the night before, and was hopped up on Sudafed or Aleve Cold or something all day, so that the cold water and the hot water on my scalp as the shampoo girl washed my hair sent me into mystic, synesthetic raptures, and language was sometimes confusing.

We spent most of our visit to Siena running around in our rented car, looking for the Europcar office or the city walls, but at last we gave up & took a cab to il centro & although shopping mania consumed most of the day without me even getting a 300-euro sailor hat, I got a useful purse & visited with the relic (a tiny slice of bone set in a plastic nun-shaped doll) of Saint Catherine of Siena (yes, that conjunction of sentences seems sacreligious, but if you understood some things, which I cannot explain here, you would understand that that useful red leather purse and that tiny plastic shrine with its tiny relic and its rows of electric button-operated candles are not so very different.) And also beautiful, beautiful was the duomo, which I visited alone, the thousand heads of popes, the dark blue madonna chapel, and the heaps of pink clouds in the blue-gray sky as I waited for Momma & Ana to meet me, & watched the pigeons (again pigeons! who am I, Rilke?) fly among the saints & prophets & philosophers.

Posted by anonymousblonde at juin 02, 2004 11:24 PM

After having kind of left this spot for a time I came back and I have to say I really like your writing all of a sudden. Not hte articles but on the Blog. It reminds me of the flowing tones of the beat poets and I love the subject matter as well. I hope to see Italy again soon and I'm sure that some day I will. I've started my own Blog now and once I get it sturdy enough I might even post the URL here. I sympathize with your problems with your publisher, they're so busy trying to manufacture books that people will buy they hardly seem to have time for books that people will like. I certainly don't see anyone in a few decades reading courtoom dramas to get a feel for our age.

Posted by: Political Boy on juin 4, 2004 04:12 AM

Wait, so are you dissing on my articles? No, I'm kidding; thank you very, very, much--you're very sweet.

Thanks also for the sympathy. Although people may well be looking at John Grisham to get a feel for our age. Popular culture is the most authentic culture, and John Grisham and The Bridges of Madison County and Who Moved My Cheese will probably be the topics of countless graduate theses in The Future.

Posted by: the A.B. on juin 4, 2004 09:30 AM

And I look forward to seeing your blog!

Posted by: AB on juin 4, 2004 09:31 AM

Well I made it back from the protest without a scratch on me or a criminal record so that's a good thing. I wasn't dissing your articles I'm just saying that they don't reflect your full literary ability. Not just your articles but anyone's I imagine, except of course for Hemingway who wrote novels like he wrote articles (like reading a two hundred page newspaper and there's no comics!!!) The articles are kind of limited to one subject so I never got to see a flow like in the recent entries here, it's the flow that really reminded me of Ginsburg and Kerouac.

I think that popular culture is often wrong and it only becomes interesting to next generations when it is very wrong (such as nazism, the red scare, or the terror of the french revolution. Or when it is right which is rare, that's why America's ww2 generation and hippies still fascinate us and have movies made about them. Hmmm I think Anne Rice will be in there because her novels (excepting recent ones) are timeless and grand. I wonder if Scientology will still be commented upon as the failed 21st century philosophy.

I'll post my blog URL somewhere for you when it's filled up. It's just a generic blog sicne I'm rather inexperienced.

Posted by: Political Boy on juin 7, 2004 12:47 AM
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