A journal of TMI

My dream of the river city of museums and trees

My dream of the river city of museums and trees,

of marble and barges – was it a necropolis, a funeral city of a queen?

The ghost shells of houses abandoned in woods

haunted by memories and crystalized bric-a-brac

dotting the woods surrounding small towns

A city likewise with abandoned houses- now that’s a shame

the central district, wiped clean for procession

No one can live there, a wandering fox’s ear perks if he hears, sees something

just over caution and reflex, nothing is there

If one wins a battle with the city, they fold and then fête you

Present you with the key – the people throw themselves at you

Differently then a battle, but

God save us from a mob, from the local team winning

Do you join them in turning over police cars? The people unleashed,

You should run and hide, or join them

You can’t just watch – unless it’s actually a parade

presenting the key – then it’s all good

So the barge sailed on the main canal

Classical antiquity laid over the present

One and the same

A ritual of community

purity and purpose

but also stark, lifeless

scanning and finding no one,

except you – you were there with me

of course

on the barge

Everything else was empty

So unlike the pub-ridden alleys of my initiation into decadence

I sneered then like an odd farm boy

to shame the sodomites

but there I was, ordering a drink

with the rest of them

unsure about the vision sent to soothe

of the frolic of lasses and lads bucolic

the hazy fantasy of real companions

clumsy, another alive, unlike the locked water closet

with soap and musty towels

None of this was but a moment’s assurance

But still, it was a rough refuge

We were hardly in a natural state back then

of nudity

blanketed instead by leather and boots

black underwear for the ladies

black shirts for the guys

to remind us where we came


Satan’s outhouse

and could be dragged back to

My heart was possessed by the demon of Arcadia

Was I a mere man of the crowd?

I learned to get what I asked for, but it was never what I expected

I didn’t expect nomadic camps of workers, overalls, motels, whiskey

I didn’t ever expect to join a team of men

I only wanted to draw on my best activities

I wanted the total experience

there are always ruins out buried beneath the vines

there are always those hiding from judgment

To be condemned by the crowd however

became a mere fad among the morons,

unwelcome cousins

bent on foul acts

I prefer these sleek, polished canals

built with a cosmopolitan sensibility

the monumental, empty city of polished stones

And you on the barge, your voice behind me

though I can no longer discern your language

and the city devoted to the sun

beyond this place that I dreamed of

with particles imported from what I have seen

its slums endure

the particular placement of its paths

and avenues

and canals

do not




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