Autobiographies

Autobiographies

I drank coffee over bacon and cheese
writing autobiography,
as easy to swallow as Rapunzel and Guinness.

The woman in a cream suit
shook gold earrings and munched
waffles from Idaho
soaked in organic maple syrup
with her mouth open

reminded me of my mother,
Paul, close your mouth when you’re eating.

I read the wine list
in the mirror
behind my back.
That was as difficult to do
as swallowing cod liver oil neat.

How many autobiographies live unwritten
within this life,
under the surface,
scratching for release
from Purgatory?

Am I lost in Dante’s wood,
or sunshine?
Is this Idaho real,
or escaping on the page,
a fleeting fairy tale?

I couldn’t catch her name.

This is pure cliché

This is pure cliché,

dappled wicker,

stone lit, shadows firm,

warmth of evening song,

comings and goings,

Spanish movements through the bar,

Bombay going down,

Schweppes on ice,

already a little pissed

– Martini Basarana Tanqueray

Ballantines Bacardi Beefeater

Zoco Drambuie Calisay

100 Pipers Ron Barcelo

Jack Daniels Cointreau –

even the Cutty Sark is too much

now company’s gone

and “Prohibido Fumar” reigns

supreme behind the counter

– what price a coffee now?

 

 

[Galicia August 2010]

A moment

 

The coffee’s bitter here,

beans dark, roasted hard,

flavour for waking up

– I see Cezanne on the wall,

a fire extinguisher,

a smoke-free zone,

even water can’t soften the taste,

exploration calls,

echo of earlier conversation,

poplars wave, leaves flash,

sunlight shortening shadows

under apple trees.

A bronzed girl hangs her jacket

on the back of a chair.

 

(Galicia 6 August 2010)

I will drink sugar

 

I will drink sugar,
pour stars of glucose
onto a tea spoon,
sprinkle refined grains
on a surface of Galician
Espresso.

I will cherish the remainder
lingering in this sachet,
wet pad of forefinger
– licking softly –
before cleaning the counter.
I like to flick fallen sweet.

I will go back to my hotel room,
leave behind a night sky.
There’s Venus there,
Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn
reflected from sapphire bottle
Gin.

(August 2010)

____________________

Tomaré azúcar,

Echar estrellas de glucosa

A una cucharadita,

Espolvoreando granos refinados

En la superficie del café exprés

Gallego.

 

Gozaré del resto

Quedando en el sobre,

Almohadilla de dedo

-lamiendo suavemente-

Antes de limpiar la mesa

Me gusta chasquear dulce caído.

 

Regresaré a la habitación del hotel

Dejando el cielo de noche

Allí esta Venus allá,

Mercurio, Marte, Júpiter, Saturno

Reflejados en la botella de color zafiro

De Gin.

(Translation by a good friend who isn't a poet 2017)

At the same time 

A woman leans 

elbows on a counter,

bends her right wrist

reveals painted fingernails

ring on middle finger.

She leaves a teaspoon in an empty coffee cup.

———

At the same time, 

a barista rinses stained cups in a sink,

heats a filter drip 

lets water flush down a drain,

replaces a glass jar of Columbian 

Tasting notes say

“stone fruits, milk chocolate, nutty”.

His hairy calves naked,

elbows sharp. 

———

At the same time, 

at a wooden bar,

two men play

‘Dungeons and Dragons”,

a fat crusty roll 

washed down by tap water.

A woman in a floral dress 

leans over, close,

demonstrates the best way

to lipstick both lips.

The men don’t ask to borrow her make-up.

——-

Bars explode and peter out…