Tag Archives: Post-modern

Umberto Eco : A Footnote

When production ceases

( and ) the production line rattles

to one last final halt ,

who then shall have the surplus

if there is no surplus to be had ?

Arising then out of the contradictions

of their own material production ,

what difference is there

between falsehood and truth ?

Imprisoned in the echo chambers of reason ,

all that is

is all that remains

all that remains is


laden with meaning .

Footnotes for the benefit of the Reader:-

Umberto Eco OMRI (Italian: [umˈbɛrto ˈɛːko]; 5 January 1932 – 19 February 2016) was an Italian novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher and semiotician. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 historical mystery novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory. He later wrote other novels, including Il pendolo di Foucault (Foucault’s Pendulum) and L’isola del giorno prima (The Island of the Day Before). His novel Il cimitero di Praga (The Prague Cemetery), released in 2010, was a best-seller.

Winter Palace

Our lives are painted

like rainbows across the sky ,

our lives are noise

modulated by reason ;

We sit and stare

at endless vistas ,

we ready ourselves for work

tidying the chaos into

an order which stray winds

will cast once again

beyond our grasp

beyond our reach ;

We live like the last Czar

in our Winter Palace ,


waiting for the Revolution

that has already passed us by.

The Girl With The Needle in Her Arm

The Girl crouches
by the railings at the
Tube station entrance,
her knees together
mucus running down her chin,
watery eyes
sticky pale skin,
vomit stained hair
hanging down in two
big tangles over her forehead;
The Girl massages her calf and thigh,
her right leg feels bloodless and numb,
her mascara streaked face a mask
where tears were forced out as she spewed;
Above her rainbows strobe across
the tourist postcard skyline,
proclaiming the nomenclature
of aspirational desires,
Apple, Cartier, Chanel, Mercedes-Benz;
The space around the Tube Station
entrance railings is opaque,
no – one sees
no – one wants to see
the Girl’s life exchanged
for an emptiness of nights;
Nights illuminated by gleaming giant screens
all evangelising how,
the Financial Times stock market Index
has just ended the day,
higher .

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject ,
Danna ,in front of a shuttered building
at 6323 Hollywood Boulevard ;
Her story is a familiar one ,
the fresh-faced girl who came to
L.A. in hopes of hitting the big-time ,
a time that never was ,
instead there is this time ,
right here and now
lingering in parking lots and windows ,
looking into the life that ,
once was within her grasp ;

The photographer ” snaps ” her subjects ,
Zoe , with her cigarettes and coffee ,
outside a diner at Fairfax & Willoughby ,
geographical surroundings affect emotional behaviour ;
Elizabeth , hanging around outside a club
at Sunset & North Poinsettia ,
circumstances determine consciousness;
there was something about their small town ,
something wasn’t satisfactory ,
so they moved here ,
to embrace a future where
their dreams eluded them .

Saleswomen , dancers , strippers , junkies ,
fetishists , unknown actresses , out of towners ,
all of them at the end of their rope .

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject ,
outside of 4306 Beverly Boulevard ,
Kelly , smoking a cigarette ,
pensive , reflective , vulnerable ,
waiting for her big break ;

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject…

( Footnote:- poem inspired by newspaper article on Lise Arfati’s
photographic exhibition, “On Hollywood” )