1st XMAS CAROL TO THE EXPAT LITERATI x Arturo Desimone

GHOST OF ARUBAN CHRISTMAS PAST’S

FIRST CHRISTMAS CAROL

TO THE ANGLO-ENGLISH WRITING SCENE

OF AMSTERDAM AND THE NETHER-NETHERLANDS

Arturo Desimone

The notaries, come night, grow wings 

that can barely elevate them up from the cobblestone paths,

Turning into poets, spoiled, un-tuned

un-taxed American wives of corporate ex-

patriates in Amsterdam,

the expat Yankee House-husbands

rest their callused cradle-crib-rocking 

mittens from chores in the light of the microwave,

Speed-typing poetic on their mini-phone, 

Reciting their Mini-Elliot and their Macro-Walmart Whitman

the Poetry expats flocked to the wrong place, certainly, 

Amsterdam no Mecca and less likely Jerusalem for Poetry,

(I’m just here for the welfare)
You poets envision Ars Poetica in John Kerry’s presidential inauguration speech, 

while playing cymbals with toes on Amsterdam street-corners 

to beseech the touristic droves 
Shouting frivolous on the Anglophone, 
Notary poet expats, you the under-taxed bohemians,

I beckon you by light of 100% of the public moon, come
And adorn these doors, of Private-public restroom stalls, 

private property for public usage, 

clorox-sterilized, 

the separation between the men’s and ladies’s rooms demolished,

just like the Berlin wall I so sorely miss. Ach du 

Remember to leave a tip. 

Argos, 1000+ eyed janitor, faces unemployment 

thanks to the sensors and cameras installed, for the safety of All. 

Why have different chambers of gents and ladies, what with

the Amsterdam genitalia, as the legal whorehouses, the whips and public phones,

all fallen out of usage– 

Adorn these restroom walls with public writing, 

But no mourning, in the ersatz candle-light of a moving pixel picture

of hermit’s stolen lamp aglow 

on the smartphone screen

like a rippling flag 

of all expat banking nations.

Arturo Desimone, Arubian-Argentinian writer and visual artist, born 1984 on the island Aruba he inhabited until the age of 22, when he emigrated to the Netherlands. Currently based between Buenos Aires and Bijlmer Arena. A collection ”Poems of the Costa Nostra / Mare Nostrum ” stands slated for publication this April with UK publisher of political poetry, Hesterglock http://www.hesterglock.net/p-008-arturo-desimone.html

Desimone’s articles, poetry and fiction pieces previously appeared in CounterPunch, Círculo de Poesía (Spanish) Island, the Drunken Boat,  EuropeNow,  Writers Resist anthology, Al Araby Al Jadeed (Arabic) and New Orleans Review. Last year he performed at the international poetry festival of Granada, Nicaragua, then had his first solo exhibition of visual art ”Bestiary as Autobiography” and came out as a finalist in the Dutch El Hizjra poetry contest for writing ”in celebration of Arabic literature”

Shinji Otani was a ceramist in Japan before he decided to become a photographer. In 2007 he finished his study in photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He won the Unseen Dummy Award 2012 from Unseen photo fair Amsterdam and selected awards including Epson art photo awards in Germany and Reymond Weil photo award in Switzerland. Shinji’s work has been exhibited in The Netherlands, Germany, UK and Japan (including Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, Galerie Nouvelle Images in The Hague, Foam in Amsterdam, Ibasho Gallery in Antwerp, G/P gallery, POST in Tokyo and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine Museum in Fukuoka) Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

www.shinjiotani.com

The identities of places can be understood by the activities which are found there. I strive to define these identities by observing and documenting the ambiguous relationships objects have with places. My work focuses on the residual information which people and history imprint on environments. The information I photograph is often open-ended which is most of the time the way I encounter it. The photographs which result are a means of analyzing space by observing the composition of objects juxtaposed alongside their functional and aesthetic properties in order to better understand the notion of human activity upon any given location.

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