before i left germany, duarte, the portuguese gondolier who has been my residency chaperone (carrying all the coins) warned me: "sure (he didn't quite say "dude"), venezia is beautiful, the biennale is great, but the place is a fucking swamp". sure enough, my clothes smell worse after i wash them from hanging on a line in some courtyard. i am covered with mosquito bites. feeding the bugs is part of this residency project, i now seem to recall. expect things to get worse for venezia with global warming, me (and duarte) warns. despite all this, it's otherworldly. corto maltese's presence can be felt at night on the lone piazza, by the greek lions of the arsenale. and in conversations with cats.