I look for meaning elsewhere, because I have a deep chasm in my breast. They say, we are defined by what we do. And so, I am a thief. My trade is information. Resentment is poisoning your own well, and hoping your enemy dies. My body of glass is shattered every day as I wander through this or that calle or campo. A spy from Genoa in Venice, the lowest being in this amphibian swamp. I hide in plain sight, petrified inside. My mind fills the gaps in the shadows, and I see shapes. Winter in Venice is an event of silence. Waters lapping, eyes wondering, second-guessing. Dull eyes, glazed eyes, glassy eyes, looks of sorrow, looks of pity, faint sun rays smitten by smoky clouds, solitude as soiled coin. Long walks, black friendly eyes, short burning distances, judging me and you.
I have a safe space, where death or else does not exist. This is a city, an empire, an empty castle surrounded by walls of water. It gives the illusion of freedom, just to snatch it away from you. When you are at the edge of it, you can see the illusion falling apart. I have so many secrets inside of me and I forget so much. I am paranoid that I should forget the details of critical information, or that my corrupt mind should re-write the code of what has happened. Every morning I take stock of how much I have forgotten, and try to retrace what my breaking-through fantasy has been at work creating out of ghost stories.
Just woke up, the voices in the calle down below shout up to my window, the cold air bites my jaw. I feel myself sinking in the depths of the nest. Staring at the ceiling, I follow the steps of the old woman upstairs. Her footsteps helped me to keep sane when I first moved to the dead quiet of this nightmarish city.
Everything is simultaneously true. The faithful chanting in the temple that’s in the way of religion; the dark night of the soul, the mindless songs of butterflies, flicking way, worms in space, and all the backdrops to heavy drinking.
I used to have a sixth sense, a dreamer’s ability to connect to the body of the spirit, but now I have lost my spiritual senses, and the bottleneck has moved up from my heart to my brain, and the blood pumping has made me carrion-walking, material in a world of forgotten spirit, and yet, and still
haunted by ghosts. I can so see the light of spirits, but I am numbed out from their conversations, and only the light of the sun can reawaken me briefly to a world full of music and earth-shattering dreams. That was the real world. This is a shadow world, a grey-blue pantomime, brimming in silence and relentlessly judging.
The tarot cards assemble before my eyes, as the evening turns in. The seasons alternate, but there is a downward trajectory that I cannot escape. I have information for you. The empress is haunting me, sceptre above the pine trees: at dawn I faint see the destiny of my mosaic-broken soul. It has been taken, it has been stolen. Stolen from a thief, a spy in a foreign city, stealing secrets as to trade with corrupt men. A cosmic joke, the thief has been burgled.
As such, I drink to drown out the past, to melt the present, to stave off the future. The walls outside my window on three sides block out the light of day, and only the sunset comes to visit after another day that’s here and gone. The long winter of the soul, starving for attention, for approval. Seeking approval, seeking energy to steal from strangers, seeking contact, seeking mystery, seeking for seeking’s sake. The days slide in and out without me noticing, one constant night, only the light footsteps of my upstairs neighbour to set the tempo. Towards what, I forget what. I have forgotten my purpose here in this timeless city.
The distant memory of Genoa, of other stained alleys, of other cloud-murk skies, and of deep seas. The shallow seas guzzling up this lagoon are similar to the shallow depths of my spirit, invisible and unable to connect, a half sunk sandoleto, waiting for your judgement, sideways in the mud, under a leafless fig tree, toward the cemetery, where there is rest.