VENICE

  
Travelers travel in search of freedom and therefore should avoid Venice which is under permanent occupation and where their minds will be incarcerated in clichť. 

Unable to drown itself, Venice lacks even the power to drown others. The great drownees, Shelley and le Corbusier for example, gulped their last elsewhere. Although people do not drown in Venice, they do get submerged, trapped in an aqua fantasy between life and death, and instead of expiring they go on and on and on about it in their semi-sozzled purgatory, about this or that church, this or that palace, this or that restaurant. But nobody has an adventure in Disneyland or Harrodís. Adventure has been edited out of the programme because adventure is commercially unreliable. The true horror of Venice is that its fate, in a world of too many people, could well be the fate of all beautiful places: the fenced-off national park as much as the railed-off cameo township, trampled because protected, polluted because isolated, degraded because valued. Eventually the only beautiful places will be inside us. What a revolting thought.

-- Duncan Fallowell

VOICE

All these beautiful smart girls crying on reality shows about how they canít get a man. Well, your voice is the beginning of the problem, donít you think? The vocal pandemic that is the sexy-baby virus is a form of submission to men, as if youíre a twelve-year-old girl. I speak lower than my natural voice, especially when Iím on a panel with a lot of dudes. 

-- Lake Bell

VOYAGER

I have become an orchid
washed in on the salt white beach.
Memory, 
what can I make of it now 
that might please you Ė
this life, already wasted 
and still strewn with 
miracles?

-- Mary Ruefle