Old rope

La contessa Veneziana

Sun shining out your huge Arsenale

Fur coated, pushing the boat out

To every party on every canale

And blushing with too much rouge, you flout

Just so


Campanelli bells, gondoliers, and glass chandeliers

Swinging like heavy earrings

Against timbers stained by salty tears.

Indulged, with too much campari,

Eccentric, in your glory years, but

Just so


Knowing you now, from Palazzo Fontana

I am the one “torn from that lovely shore…

and am weary, weary O!” *

Un tavolo per una

Just one, signora?

Just so.


*from The Slave’s Lament by Robert Burns, as featured in Graham’s Fagan’s exhibition at the Scotland Pavilion of the Venice Bienale 2015.

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