Witness Statements (Poem)
Living amidst muses and crude groups of poets
sat waiting for life to happen
or halfway through the Great Adventure.
Don’t ask me what I’m writing in this bluey haze,
getting beaten down by the vulgar vocabulary of the modern and untamed.
Tightrope walker suspended between trees and speaking for all of us
without moving his tongue.
Time in minutes and days suspended between colonial street and bright, blood orange sun.
Sleeping in a light sweat behind a mesh for mosquitos
and waking early to meet white-feathered scavenging birds
on a terrace or balcony, on someone else’s terms.
Lost in another long deep coffee and nervous calm,
knowing nothing good ever stays ripe for long enough,
we walked from the coast to the city in a day
between boutiques, cafés and real real bookshops
staffed by families who really know words.
The ocean beats relentlessly beneath low-hovering police helicopter looking for someone and
the ocean is carrying carefree surfers or handkerchief-white sailboats and
the ocean washed us all up here once and can take us away in a matter of seconds.
Bolaño pushes the pen back into my hand while
they sit talking about Tommy who went to fly planes in Arizona
and told me he was really living.
Can’t stop once I’ve started this engine -
but make no mistake,
the romance of Europe is not here
and the tide is immeasurably less hopeless.
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