LA | NY A Special Edition of The East Village

Douglas Messerli


Between the bends
of the night
are visions
of the city, echoes
of indifference sensed
from the pants
in the last field
of beasts. The young men
smell dirty, their customers
stupendous in their tough
turning. The errand boy sweats
along the facade
of his passion, the mute
brother goes along
with the crowd that seeks
invisibility, the olive man comes
from some other village,
the fruit of his own
theft of youth, the boy
in the cap was born
to complete his history,
and everywhere everyone
dazzles without giving up
light to black back alleys.
The scrawny kid in scorched
shorts screeches, the cock
that becomes a clock.
Time to leave? Some actually
do, and some stay and some
do neither, hanging
at the edges of possibility.

It is summer surely.
Still. It is not.
Quiet. Intolerbly noisy.
Almost peace.

[from Pier Paolo Pasolini]
October 7, 1998