In Which We Are Caught In The Grip of The City, Madness

Summer Reading

Part Three

by Andrew Zornoza


I am an architect.

They asked me to build a city. On the ashes of a village.

How does one build a city? People build cities. Not, a person.

I became unhinged. The books on the floor are not a symptom but a manifestation.

I threw the television out the window.

It does not matter, no one saw it fall.

A naked woman spread out on the books, I imagined this.

She sat up, put a hand on the inside of her knee and. . . .

Curling paint, air heavy with salt.

There is no honest work when all is in ruins.


Between the sea and sand is nothing.

Can you picture it? Guadalajara?

Not at all. Children sift through the trash.

The oldest mans the bulldozer.

Foreground, seagull. Bluffs.

A rope ladder prevents you from falling.

Cigarettes are harvested, ice cream containers are worn as hats.

To ward off the birds.

My wife and I are having a child in August.

I tore my books out of the walls.

Now I am an architect. . . .


For those confined to the city for the summer, Andrew highly recommends Bord de Mer by Gabriele Basilico:


And, Beirut 1991:


The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

Also a subscription to Paper Monument, the art offshoot of the magazine n + 1. Edited by Dushko Petrovich and Roger White. Read the editor’s excellent essay here.


Sadly, it may also be the summer of Thomas Disch, who killed himself this July 4th. Here are two excellent choices:

The Brave Little Toaster


And Camp Concentration



(for Thomas Disch 1940-2008):

“A Little Longing Goes Away” — The Books (mp3)

“Place Pigalle” — Elliot Smith (mp3)

Andrew Zornoza is the senior contributor to This Recording. He lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. His latest story is available here. His photo-novel “Where I Stay,” will be available from Tarpaulin Sky Press in early 2009. You can e-mail him at azornoza at

“Borrowed Your Gun” – Spiritualized (mp3)

“The Waves Crash In” – Spiritualized (mp3)


Stand up comics we can tolerate.

Becca got knocked up. Oh sorry, Knocked Up.

Indulging oneself.

3 thoughts on “In Which We Are Caught In The Grip of The City, Madness

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