smart garbage systems/gondolas &the waiters smile just if they want to(which i frankly liked a lot)



the last warm sunrays hiss
playful from the day’s fat yellow spraypaint can

it’s Yom Kippur
&we’re in the jewish quarter of Venezia
a tiny restaurant
bustling with waves of voices

“if you want a friendly waiter
Don’t go to italy” my bro in law said
i smile, try to catch the sea with one long gaze
decoding snippets of the convo

the menu is italian only
“so what is cavallo?”
“horse” i say
“i don’t know– let’s just order something and—surprise”

we sit tight against the wall,
the housewine served in waterglasses
“rosso per favore”

“can i get some pepper?”
“there’s already pepper on it” snaps the waiter
i laugh tears

“see that channel?” i say to my husband
it is filled with guests that dare complain about the food
or ask for extra pepper”

later we walk home
through deserted alleys
hardly lit
the sirens
of an ambulance boat cut the night in even splints

garbage bags hang on thin threads
softly swaying in the alleys
so the dustman can collect them in the morn

the clothes line just above our head is empty
&i feel the city streT c  h iNg
into me

around the bend///
i rub my eyes&

later we make love
the soccer field next to our flat lays dark
and lightly breathing, dreaming,
sighing in his sleep

“i saw you” i say “in the alley”
as the moon climbs his last steps
a lone cat’s shape in search for prey

&the whisper of the waterways
swallows his answer


20 responses to “smart garbage systems/gondolas &the waiters smile just if they want to(which i frankly liked a lot)

  1. While I haven’t been there, I am use to the cafés and restaurants here in France and am sure you know how it is. “The customer is always wrong.”

  2. the last place I ate with Steve the entire menu was in Italian. we shared a chuckle over trying to figure it out and how to order a pepperoni pizza for my son. your adventures in Venice sound like A lot of fun. so making love in the field sounds adventurous as well

  3. I like how you engage so personally with Venice. You interact with its people and its unique character. Enjoyed reading this Claudia. So nice of you to share your experience.

  4. An enjoyable romp, & as stated by others, we love traveling vicariously with you over these many lovely years. Your poetic rhythms, wordsmithing, & line-breaks are impeccable, as terrific as always; hell of a fine poet. Your last line is killer.

  5. Interesting that your brother in law says that if you want a friendly waiter don’t go to Italy. Ha, I would guess you didn’t find that true! And how cool to spend Yom Kippur in the Jewish section of Venice. Lots of celebrating going on! Walking home through dark alleys would be a little bit eerie, but all is well that ends well…and making love definitely is a good ending!

  6. I will be careful of making remarks like that to the waiter ~ Love the title, conversation and night’s romance ~ Hope the trip and adventures are good, smiles ~

  7. My agent, who has visited Venice, says he likes the Jewish quarter. He visited it with a Jewish friend, and they stood for a long while, very quietly, in front of the Holocaust memorial. There was a chess set in a curio ship, and all the pieces were Chasidim. I’m loving your Venetian poems.

  8. Thanks for your comment on my latest post. I did Portobello on my bike, too! 🙂 What a coincidence. I’m in the middle of writing that post, too. I did a market tour of three or four of the more famous and popular markets in London and Portobello was my final stop.

    I have done a couple of Ottolenghi’s recipes. Yummy. :-).

    Greetings from London.

  9. … few things I wanna say, C … u mind if I write a book … rite here? … smiles … tears … I remember Yom Kippur 1973 … day of atonement, purity, forgiveness … and then … war … ya … happy Thanks Giving holiday week end here in Canada anyway … (Ernte Dank Fest?) … I will not celebrate this thanks 4 nothing day … haven’t in 29 years … ever since my baby died on this very day … she was cremated thanks giving day oct.12 1986 … thank u, lord … not! PS: Why is ur hair so short? … tears … s’cuse my rambling on and on,C …it will not happen again, promise, hmmm? Love, cat.