Before the famed memorials designed by Eisenmann and Lin, in 1985-89, rose Alberto Burri’s high concrete sacks of a citywide Cretto: grey foundations as petrifaction and geometrical shroud for the rubble of the town of Gibellina—Gibbiddina in Sicilian, from the Arabic Gebel Zghir (“small mountain/height”)—medieval in aspect, though founded before the Greek settlements of Magna [...]
Henry James ardently to the friend (lover?) Hendrik Christian Andersen, coaxing his companion toward specific lived experiences and places, expressing doubt regarding “any use on all the made earth … for a ready-made city, made-while-one-waits, as they say, & which is the more preposterous & the more delirious, the more elaborate & the more ‘complete’ [...]
does the day feel like it has nullified a decade I took (thanks to power icons) as having acquired wisdom (that outmoded concept)— of the memory of trauma long suffered that nationalism doesn’t mend, of justice and higher solutions to conflict?
Just in time for the Poussin exhibit and a much-planned chilled coffee at the expensively bucolic Caffé Greco, the antique dealer’s daughter’s dealt a last-minute invitation to the Enlightenment-era academy of Arcadians you could tumble into down this hill were it not for the security cameras: where one isn’t sure what’s Rome and what reproduction, [...]
Thomas and the bronze flap of raw skin surging back into memory unbidden from the niche materializing, not rendering itself legible discursively, but as groping eager dawnagain girlish steps toward the water to Orsanmichele, named for a monastic kitchen garden that the present 14th-century grain market displaced: Verrocchio’s sculpting gesture of vulgar control, virtuosic as [...]
And a girl converted to colorism out of Venice returns as if in dream to its marriage with the linear abstraction of an ideal maturity.
And a picture of shifting into impatience, from imperial, now national, projection to wily individual fi in the face of entropy. “But when he came to the Forum of Trajan, a creation which in my view has no like under the cope of heaven and which even the gods themselves must agree to admire, [Constantius [...]
As defined against the fascist ossario, bone chamber for the martyrs of the Risorgimento glorified by the wannabe-Byzantine religion of the modern state (“veglia con voi l’angelo della patria”): “CUSTODI DELLE GLORIE PATERNE” “CUSTODIANS OF PATERNAL GLORIES” versus three animate kin.
In the handling of contemporary chiseler S. Verity, “one of the last in this strange trade, and that’s fine by me”: stone for an enclosing molding from Padova via England to Rome become palimpsest serving to remember the numbers of Fabio and others, as the rustic italics of Aldus serve to fit more names into [...]
What it means for the rhythm of every season to have been permanently reprogrammed by self-estranging years in a city on the opposite end of the earth—having been looking at plum blossoms popping that day because of it—I’m writing this out of step with the actual, having been paralyzed on the 11th—and for the trauma [...]
Graffi on the yanked-away object of poetry: reading a poem for Corrado Costa, “incomparabile,” and “chi sa se è grugnando” from embargo voice (Bibliophile, 2006) at the Circolo delle Quinte, for the Romapoesia PoEtiche Festival, Rome, Italy, October 2010. Milli Graffi, Milanese, was born in 1940. She studied Anglo-American literature, with a focus on semiotics, [...]
Patron of Dante, on Scarpa’s stage, 700 years on, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny— of the bells of Cangrande silent in bronze below and above, displaced from their official functions in the chronicle, ringing.
“Well you’ll just have to document them,” says Simon upon my inexplicable sadness. Dreams of limbs missing or tense after operation linking one to biology across the waters. Capriciousness of pixels and the strange emotional recovery implicit in digital salvage. Sharing the choice of representative image.
An hour and a half on a brilliant weekend afternoon through subterranean Naples, its voids the city’s own tufa quarries 30 meters profound to stack the ground shared by Vesuvius as so many mirroring shafts dizzyingly narrow and tall and tough: through sixteenth-century cisterns manned by climbing wellworkers, lowest on the social spectrum yet keepers [...]
Apocryphal etymology and probably wrong: but seductive the notion that this word derives from description of sculpture filed to a polish with successively finer tools rather than tacked-on surface of wax. Thinking these days about long toil, in finishing up projects that have occupied ten struggling years, as opposed to the clearly more profitable attachment [...]
Peter Rockwell on hand tools, marble holes, direct carving of the dolors of Mary crowned by monster base and ascension, illegal sculpture on abandoned chapels, illegal tri-headed rose sandstone window, & just plain liking monsters, massive stone monsters carved to be climbed: finally understanding the material dialectic of stone and thought in Pound’s Cantos with [...]
With Huck the composer at dinner the other night, marveling over the ever-echoey dining room’s sudden subsiding into silence, spontaneous: and how the composition of talk and nontalk would be of interest or non, even beyond the sixties: and of late from my tenebrous Galilean tavern much thinking about the writer’s unwitting vow of silence [...]
An apparition in Milan, her adolescent banks turning unliquid in a landed metropolis of lobbies requisite chic, reflected in the freshness of a cosmopolitan woman poet over twenty years of age— nearly “Christmas cake“— who composed pink difficulty (though unfortunately, in translation I was obliged to use the term “rose”). Nonprogress: in the brand-new vortextual [...]
Foreshortening in time and space; glimpse, also in hours.
And then it was back to time, its contour, advance, clinging, its weather, blur.
In aging the work of facade sculpture providing the scrim between community and a sacred vow of silence—which is to say, vow of two hours of song for every six—become more psychedelic, & in cessation of Carthusian rites, infant (which is to say, without speech), eaten at the border of a Duke’s hunting park.
And the anxiety of perched consciousness that here we are living in another, of an order of months: watching again the admittedly decent adaptation of The Wings of the Dove, with its big-screen filling in, vulgately opaque, of the contours of James’s every last floating it “swaying a little aloft as one of the objects [...]
Momentousness as infant hue captive in unexpressed digits, waiting to be discharged in the procession of daily remark, patient habit of this gift of time, of noticing presence, here inserted hurriedly in the place of the week’s missing record, wordless, taking on words: “[I]t is as if the acquisition of language were possible only through [...]
The shell become Ionically architectural, volute and cornice, and mer-boy graffitum stump, honey light standing in for water: Follies of fertility, artifice, drought and neglect within and beyond the confines of the eighteenth century, at the sacred wood of the nymph Furrina (“Thievish”; “Dusky”), where Gaius Graccus had himself murdered by his slave, where Caesar [...]