February 20, 2007

l'autobus è molto in ritardo

On Tuesdays, I take the 4:15 pm bus home. I love this bus. It is filled to capacity, in American standards. It reminds me of Roma: damp bodies smashed together, semi-chaotic. “Ma’am I’m sorry you can’t ride this bus, it’s too full, nobody behind the line.”
“It’s OK! They can squish together,” I tell him.

My body is trained now: I know how to bend my knees, limp my body, shift my weight into the turns, bumps, accelerations, and brakes, and how to hold the bars properly. Look like I’m minding my own business, when in fact, I’m attempting to eavesdrop on as much as possible. In Roma, less seats, more people. It’s fun to watch how uncomfortable Americans are in crammed buses. (And really, it’s not that cramped). And even more fun, yet appalling, to notice how many American men my age do not give up their seat. In fact, I will give up my seat to a man with crutches before someone else does. In Italia, we ride together; in America, we ride separately in the same bus.

In Italia, the bus is an adventure: too many people, too many buses it becomes impossible to know which one to take, and vague stops. Should I buy a ticket for the bus or not? They can’t possibly check when there are 80 people on a bus. But if I get caught, it’s 35 euro. Everything is a decision in Italy; every decision carries various factors; it’s all worth pondering. I’ll get to where I need to be, make a friend or two while waiting for the bus or conversating on the bus, and have fun all at the same time. In Italia, we ride together; in America, we ride separately in the same bus.

February 18, 2007


la storia di rachel e maria e rosina dice di fabio rocco oliva

February 12, 2007

siena, july 2006

eating figs.
we ate like the romans.
paolo pulled back the flesh. we pulled at the flesh. we ate the pulp. i let it drip down my chin.

he fed me the fruit. he fed me my heart.
the love i feel.... it's different in italy. it's better. passion becomes undeniable, filling every cell in my body. smiling and giggling naturally follow. i feel comfortable in my own skin.

in usa, i am deemed obsessive and crazy. in italy, i'm simply passionate. andy said one day i would meet someone who appreciated my "intensity." allora....

February 11, 2007

la megliore cena

this evening was by far the best italian dinner i've ever made. one of my friends, peter, lived in italy for 4 months as a study abroad. he hates beans; he ate them tonight. he even said, "meglio del sesso!!"

and this dinner sort of solidifies it for me. i've learned i'm no longer to say "i want to move to italy." instead i say "when i move to italy. or i will move to italy." i will begin the affirmations. beginning late last night and into today, i began to have distinct and vivid visions of italy. of my time there l'estate passato. how i used to call to paolo: mano mano mano mano mano!!! for to hold his hand. e poi, the back streets of napoli. how i took the subway back and forth. the multitude of street vendors. the anonymity. the joviality; the warthm; the closed down chiese (perchè??); the shoes i wanted but didn't buy; the ubiquity of dead sea creatures; unknown vias; strangers offering me dinner, caffè. and i think about what i shall name my children.

stasera, cucino:

attending guests:

shawna, zac, peter, ian

February 8, 2007

dear italy,

Dear Italy,
i think i started the school year wrong. you see, i'm letting things get to me. i'm letting me miss you. because i know right now you are still warm, the people are kind, and your food is fresh. i won't see you till june, maybe even july. i'm so sorry i left you, and i cannot wait to return. it's that i have to finish school. and i begin learning your language soon. because i want to curl up inside you and reside there. i'm so sorry i've been angry. i should have done what you told me to. i should have let go. i should be enjoying. (la prima lettera di 26 settembre)

e oggi (la seconda lettera):
dear italy,
i guess i feel compelled to thank you. for reminding me what passion really is. and that it is ok. for reminding me that american taboos are stupid and damaging. you make me want to be better. you make me inspired to educate myself, to demand a voice! you remind me that i have to fight for all the people. that i cannot let go of my ideals, of all the politics. love is crazy. and intuition... i must necessarily follow it. voglio essere una moglie e una madre e una artista. e con tu, so potere. ti amo.
non vedo l'ora di ti vedo ancora!!!! solo quattro mese!!
a presto,
tua rachelmaria.

February 7, 2007

blog statement

i think i had it figured out last night. at least most of it. but i talked about it, i didn’t write it. and now i have to remember, which seems so easy and so difficult at the same time.

i’m lost. what the fuck am i doing in this town? i mean… i know: going to grad school, getting my MFA. but italy changed everything. now i bide my time, wait to flee the country. to go and be happy. to go enjoy. i wonder if this is making sense.

i was named after my great grandmother, from the island of capri. falling in love in italy is much different; it feels more real. and it was. so i’ve rearranged my life: i’m learning the language, talking to the people, cooking the food, and spending as much time there (instead of here) as is possible. this is not easy: pretending you are somewhere you are not.

i will find my family; i will find my self.

and so, i have a writer friend in napoli. fabio says: “i'm a writer. searching for a lenguage-brigde between body and letters(madness).” when i read his words, i’m overwhelmed with inspiration. i’m fascinated with the language we have created together, and the connection made through a spoken and unspoken understanding. there is an understanding that i have not felt before, a longing. and for now, this placates me and my sadness.

do you know i've never missed anything so much in my life? not even oklahoma. i want to touch every inch of that country. i want to curl back up into his bed and i want anna to hold me as if i were her own. i want to walk the whole city with blisters and twisted ankles. i want to squish into the pockets of space in the buses. i want gnocchi and soccer and bicchieres of wine and confusion and giggling uncontrollably and strange showers and gelato every afternoon and sunshine and all the chaos. i want italian children.

in italy, i feel weightless, i feel carefree, i feel happy and beautiful and drenched in sun. i feel healthy, loved, loving and in love, ready and spontaneous. curious, a little hesitant, but devoted. i feel at home. and in this collaboration, i have potential to feel those things again. in this collaboration, there is potential. for understanding everything. for knowing all the stories.

February 3, 2007

la collaborazione

fabio scrive:
The reality I see is the reality and that is
the words: every single piece - fragment -
it is the
restlessness of the word.
I love going around for the city and to see
men's pieces thrown to earth,
decrepit buildings,
marginal fragments, the fragmented literature and
discontinuous it reflects itself in the fragmented reality and
discontinuous. it is advanced for explosions and I don't believe in the
history in any form of unity. the totality that reality embraces is
exploded, fragmented.

e io faccio:

fabio scrive:
I love walking alone for the city looking for my
shadowriting. it is an intense period of my life. I don't love to be
firm. And I walk in my black coat, and working on the street thinking
also at your pictures. I building something but I need time. And we
have time for our collaboration.

e io faccio:

quando passeggiato, penso a fabio e le sue parole. e poi, ho visto questa! la donna più bella, ballante. unexpected, overwhelmed: it was the time that my words could not be used and instead my eyes and fingers.

February 1, 2007

le attese

sometimes i am overcome with desire. and longing. i have phantom throbbing. like i will crawl out from beneath my skin. i want to scream and shimmy shake. today ann told me to give myself permission. to let go. in fact, she gave me her permission too. perhaps she knew i didn't have the strength to do it for myself.

why can't i let go?? why can't i just let myself enjoy this? dimmi dimmi dimmi, perchè no lo so. dimmi che mi ami. dimmi che sono OK. dimmi che sono vivo.

and don't tell me there's something poetic about the awkward silences.