Reflections from an October eve

Last night, out past the northern gate, a different city, city similarly however split, the ground all split by roots, neglect, traffic, rains, the leaves and the litter, out through the northern gate where once most foreigners came (Piranesi was one of the few or one of the few noticed anyway to map the city from this perspective), a different silence there, and much different its socio-economics.

Old trams now replaced by the less interesting, if warmer in winter cooler in all-summer, green, the new. Out to Renzo Piano-designed Parco della Musica and exiting a stop too soon to walk through the back parking lots a small monument, a cenotaph /kenos + taphos empty tomb/ for two police murdered there in 1982 chilling and chillingly appropriate reminder of where, or rather perhaps to when: the opening of an exhibit un omaggio a Pier Paolo Pasolini. And once there, past the red carpeting laid out for the Rome Film Festival to start, past the paparazzi already circling looming the scent, beyond macabre (would Pasolini have appreciated have found a delectable irony? or horrible e basta?) not really the arrival of Alemanno, and to his left a gruppetto, Pasolini look-a-like, another be-leathered, and Pino Pelosi; but when they were all inside, by a replica of Pasolini’s car, the one within which he did not return alive. Something not simply sour, but rotten. And the instinct: this is bad. This is something you don’t get close to. And Pasolini’s work on the walls. And those last images of him on the beach, his face truly scavato, and his pain, his being by then a broken man all upon those walls, his words truly and finally muted, in the context and as cultural icon now it all bespoke bespeaks: consume. Eat away. But this will be no partaking with the dead. This instead is a scavenging, and a ravaging.

And then back through humid evening to Piazzale Flaminio, there below the gates to the Borghese, along the Muro Torto, both once the site of the city’s main slaughterhouse and its common graves of undesirables /actors, prostitutes, foreigners too they suppose/ now meeting place of traffic, transit, and cheap goods, steps and marble banks always occupied, somehow something of the greater Zone in it all —

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