Chance. Luca Paci


There is this Oriental girl who enters Waitrose in front of St. Michael’s Church. She ‘s well dressed, a white linen dress and a black hat. I can see her from the window with the reflection of the church and the constant flux of traffic. I’ m waiting for you and whilst chaining my bike I’m struck by the sudden revelation of this woman. She’ s running her arms on her dress to flatten the creases. Her breasts are like birds about to fly. She ‘s gorgeous. She seems to look in my direction now. I flatten my hair and smile. She squints. She’s rummaging in her handbag now. She’s seen me. She disappears behind the toiletry section and for a moment I think she’s gone forever. I catch a glimpse of her naked calf. She’s tame. She’s staring back at me and I nod and smile again. She’s now coming out from the supermarket. She’s heading in my direction, looking at me, straight at me. I turn round. There is nobody behind apart from the ceaseless flow of cars. Whilst she’s walking towards me her expression begin to change. She’s frowning, her eyes narrow as if she’s concentrating. She’s in pain. A hairy hand is squeezing her arm. ‘You’ ve got something in your bag.’ He’s holding her tight. ‘Come with me.’ She glances at me and goes ‘Please. Please.’

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19 thoughts on “Chance. Luca Paci

  1. “Her breasts are like birds about to fly.” I love this line. This is a fine micro-story. That she is oriental, that you see her together with the reflection of the church… But where did the hand come from? Why did you not see the person holding her arm?

  2. The person was covered by a row of shelves. All ‘I’ could see was hairy, spider- like hand reaching for her arm.. The contrast Oriental-Occidental was triggered by her otherwordliness, I presume.

  3. Sometimes one sees a person who is simply not of her surroundings. Some kind of perfect creature. And so much depends on the setting. Later that same person may look quite ordinary. A numinous moment.

  4. True William, the surrounding are crucial. But equally crucial is one mental disposition.. I like drifting and sleep-walking. This state of ‘uncosciousness’ makes me alert, open to visions and sounds.

  5. Mi troverei più a mio agio con l’italiano. Mia lacuna, perdono caro Luca.
    Un abbraccio a te e William.
    Gianfry

  6. Luca – Your little vignette/fragment is very lovely … It is dreamlike, and I suspect it could be real or actually a dream (irreal) … Or both at once … The mirror (window) gives it away as such … The wickedness of it arrives with the ‘Please, Please”, because it dovetails in a horrific manner with the implicit (explicit?) desire on your part for this young woman … GK …

  7. And thus the wickedness of the ‘turn’ is confirmed … But, still, there is the question of how this all came about — the ‘sighting’, the ‘reading’ of that sighting, the mirroring of gazes, the tentative recognition, and then the wallop of the Real … Perhaps this brings up the half-conscious strings that tug at us all day long — the long gazes, the deferred (missed and/or avoided) meetings, the glances and such, all which pass in the ‘night’ of interpersonal (impersonal) exchanges … THIS is what the little fragment seems to set up, and then demolish … GK …

  8. Bravo will, well spotted! Will is reffering to “A Girl Named Carla” by the great Italian poet Elio Pagliarani ( Leceister: Troubador 2006)

  9. Ah! The odd thing about Pagliarani’s prose poem is its insistence that Carla is saved by submitting to the world (exiting her awkward, girlish inwardness) … This is a typical avant-gardist sensibility — i.e., to turn from subjectivity to intersubjectivity (or to find so-called ‘objectivity’), a la many, many turns in avant-garde art toward the not-I … While the prose poem is stunning, it is also automatically flawed, for me, by this attitude, which is not quite giving one’s self (capitulating) to the world as acquiescing in its interminable insistence to claim souls … GK … Luca’s little fragment sings a different song, while it is troubled by its not so subtle desire sent off the tracks (its car wreck) … What seems embedded in its brevity is the enormity of what does not happen (what the author wishes might happen) … And, thus, the fateful nature of the encounter is brutalized from within the space of literature … The two subjectivities never quite meet, but cross one another out instead …

  10. thanks Gavin for your dense comment on Pagliarani’s Carla and my short shot..
    Brevity is something I pursue in my writing in general. Subtraction rather than addition ( Calvino, Brautigan, Cortazar..)_

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