And the invention of punctuation, from an edition of Pietro Bembo’s “De Aetna” (“Of Etna”). Hasn’t anybody been bold enough in her tongue over the past half-millennium to invent breakages like the semicolon as Aldus & Griffo did? In any case out in Belgrade they’re inventing new saints to go alongside new cathedrals, tender, macaronic. [...]
As planes and trams move one through shifting tablesettings of alliances, in advance of a celebrated guest of the state cancelling flights, the street glimpsed in transit reliable as ever in rendering the difference in any e pluribus unum eloquent.
And being asked to answer, amidst collaborative conversation with Dubravka Djuric, for “American poetry,” against the charge that it wants to impose and disperse breakage of beauty, make a mess: at the Belgrade Cultural Center, listening by turns appreciative and curious, and in some corner of the theater, residually suspicious, mindful of the NATO bombings. [...]
As pavement, and wheelbarrow and plastic hoods. How often is it in the 21st century that you walk into a cathedral as active construction site? The pilgrims to the Temple of Saint Sava (“gathering: but it’s so much more than gathering: organic”)—citizens who aren’t annoyed by this massive occupation of the National Library plaza—are satisfied [...]
For Belgrade Cultural Center’s World Poetry Day Manifestation—UNESCO’s refreshing counterpoint to National Poetry Month— after a noon tram ride circling the city with live poetic soundtrack for unsuspecting commuters, Stanka Hrastelj of Slovenia reads behind a rack where poems have infiltrated merchandise— in our experiment which yields over the course of an hour the unstupefying [...]
In tandem with transfers of power and political fads, trading religious overtones in favor of interwar French alliance or communist and current nationalist gropings toward stability: a now-Serbian avenue’s changing names, alphabets, and purposes as the backdrop to more wildly changeful bids for attention 7 times over the past 139 years: is it the street [...]