Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Alistair Noon - Four Structures (2)

Showing an Italian Friend the Redeveloped Potsdamer Platz

Si, si, it’s a piazza.
If cement and steel
perpend to the pavement,
sunlight in young branches
still tiptoes over it, as if
across a Florentine floor.
Angular glass
throws back the blue sky,
and squalls falter,
low steps lead
to flat-bedded pools
staffed by saplings,
and inside, the heaven
and hellward staircases
are fingers locked
in a mobile fresco.
Open stallfronts
stand behind, above
and beside us.
We excommunicate petitioners
and men in black cowls
who believe in no government.
No statues here but a sculpture
of upturned
steel. Yes, we burn
these red drinking tins
on pyres beyond the city
or ship them to Cathay,
and snip the promissory notes
we buy voyages through the air with.
Are you looking
for brushwood?
The Magistrati will be here
before you – a piazza,
a piazza, Savonarola,
such as the one
they strangled and burnt you on.

1 comment:

Tom Chivers said...

Love this. Brilliant opening line.