Monday, December 2, 2013

hop-on hop-off

I have spent many hours trying to think about the structure of the book I am writing. Getting the structure right, finding a shape, a form, a narrative thread is one of the exciting parts of writing a book.

Structures can also change, so this could be temporary or have a permanent role. It’s too soon to know. Among the characters who have appeared in the text are two: Diana who runs with the hounds, her friends are wolves and wild animals; she is Artemis and possibly a wolf goddess. She has teamed up with Agnese, a Christian martyr, friend of sheep, perhaps even an ancient sheep goddess, maybe a descendant of Medea. These two have come to Rome for a massive party (I might tell you more about that later.) But they have arrived early and so they are travelling around Rome, in love with life and one another.

They live both in the ancient past but also in the contemporary world. On this day they are trying to do some sightseeing in Rome. They visit the temple of Venus in Torre de Argentina and then discover the buses are all stopped, so they head off on foot. They need to find an open-air hop-on hop-off bus.

Diana wants to see all the wolves of Rome, Agnese is endlessly enthusiastic about the sheep.

hop on hop off

from the temple of Venus where we made ancient vows
our witnesses wolverine and ovine
we head across the city but all the buses are stopped

there’s a demonstration against the excesses of the pharmaceutical industry
they have patented yet another formula of an old potion
claiming originality against the herbalists’ memories

we pass Pantheon and parliament where a rock band sings its protest against
thousands of years of corruption from the excesses of Nero Caligula and Domitian
to Mussolini’s megalomania and Berlusconi’s bunga bunga dissipations

we press on to the architectural wedding cake with its winged women and wolves
but we are stopped yet again banners across streets buses emptied of passengers
at last we can catch the bus to Labia visiting at Agnese’s insistence Costanza

Photos on this page (top to bottom):
Wolf, Colosseum.
Flying women at dawn, Piazza Venezia
Wolf head, Piazza Venezia
Flying woman on wolf head, Piazza Venezia
Mosaic sheep at Costanza
Statue of Saint Agnese in the Pantheon
Saint Agnese's sheep, next to her in Pantheon

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