Vana Manasiadis

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Apparatus of Devotional Forms

† The City (C.P. Cavafy, 1894, 1910, as translated by D. Mendelsohn)

You said: “I'll go to some other land, I'll go to some other sea.
                                        What are your boundaries?
There's bound to be another city that's better by far.
                                        Where is your lover? Your ensoma╠ütosi/
My every effort has been ill-fated from the start;
                                        embodiment, you are metres from the source
my heart — like something dead — lies buried away;
                                        Your house/my house. Rue Lepsius, no -
How long will my mind endure this slow decay?
                                        the junky alleys, warehouses, seafront;
Wherever I look, wherever I cast my eyes,
                                        impractical to separate the water, time
I see all round me the black rubble of my life
                                        the passage from the dealers to the first
where I've spent so many ruined and wasted years”.
                                        floor above the brothel
You'll find no new places, you won't find other shores.

Dear Gene, Let's suppose we got to Alexandria†. We'd have visited Rue Lepsius for Cavafy, The
Cecil Hotel for Durrell, Salah Salem for Forster gone that year. You'd have said: we need to get
away from Cairo, Karori, crouch instead under a table at The Trianon, and pick crumbs off each
other's lapels. And agreeing, I'd have fallen asleep on the bus while you'd have watched the
camels form waves and let my arm stick to your arm. Dog days. Sirius rising. Gas fumes in through

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