Cadaqués

In Cadaqués in June the night air shimmers.
The heat from fish-grills punctuates the street.
And strangers try, not hampered much by language,
to fall in love with everyone they meet.

The coastal rocks that days host naked swimmers
are dangerous at night until the moon
illuminates the places you can cling to.

Soft laughter lets me know my world’s in tune.

The laughter’s hers and mine, until we still it.

Much later, we’re aware it’s getting cold,
but, high on stars, and salt, and us, we tarry
to watch the sun wake from the sea, take hold.

Watching Other Tourists in Moraira

I like to live in comfort and feel foreign
so I’m most at home when I sojourn in Spain
as a tourist with few language skills to lean on.

A man with a plastic bag clasped in his hand
picks up the dog-doo that his pet puts down.

He puffs his cheeks, the man does, then he gazes
at La Monde in the Spanish edition till his wife comes out

of the Boutique de la Prensa and it’s time
to look for lunch and maybe wash his hands.

Park Bench Perplexion

musing on a park bench in Valencia’s Placa Dels Pinazo

12:35
Oh the edge of death not sure which side is safer
I partake of wine and juju, chew a wafer.
The titles of a million books to read,
the half not written yet, pass in review.
The half of those, their authors being dead,
won’t ever be. I try to buy a few.
The cold that passes understanding calls.
I hope my bold not answering to it stalls
the inexorableness of history so far.
I am wishing on a nonexistent star.

12:47
In pointy shoes, the smiling dancing mother
and her husband and her mother praise her baby.
They are happy as they should be. Life is blooming.
The baby’s laughter lights the universe.

12:58
Where are we? I don’t know. I have no map.
I buy a map. I learn that I am lost.
An urgent call to action makes me nap.
I dream about the chances I have tossed
aside so often they have scars embossed
on every surface. Centuries elapse.
I warn heroic actors, ‘Mind the gaps’
but no one listens. All of them ignore
advice from ancients letting loose their clasp
on everything. The way I did. Before.

Alacant/Alicante

The cormorant,
no better
than he needs be,
eyes me with
faux recognition

before slicing
the front porch
of clear shallow
water
we share –
me to watch,
him to fish.

If he is not
from Holland,
and wintering
here,
like I am,
some of the gulls
are.

—–
One gull, confused

(as I am
by four
languages)

by the accents
of light
and shadow
in Alicante/Alacant,

picks up a rock
and
drops it
on a mussel.

The rock does
not break.

—–
Waves,
more memories
of waves

than real surf,

fast break
along the edges
of forever

ample rocks.

—–
The cormorant
watches
me
watching
gulls.

—–
When you
make
your living
sticking out
your neck

under seas
and lakes,

then you must
see more
cormorantly
than I do,
see more
cormorantly
then the fat
northern tourists
in that dusty car do,
see more
cormorantly
than those
short people
in that nearby steep
village do,
see more
cormorantly
than those
tall-backed
Barceloneans
do.

—–
I thought
sea fish
appealed
to the
cormorant’s
taste,
and all
the mussels
were
for me.

I am gulled.

—–
Four men,
of whom the tall
are Spaniards
and the short
are English
on the dole
and
in tax exile,
walk back
and forth
in the
tangible
tangerine
sun.

—–
The top
of Alacant/Alicante
is a very old fort
that I take
in one minute,
relaxed,
by lift.

—–
It is cold
for this month’s norms.

Norwegians take a dip.

The notary who plays
on the beach

with his children

keeps
his coat on.

Gargoyle at Calle Molina 17

The gargoyle on our front door’s name is Giles.
I mean the gargoyle’s name. The front door has no
name itself, far as Lucinda knows
and she’s the expert here, say friend and foe,
about strange creatures’ names. What she has read
confirms my observation: Giles just hangs.
He never moves a muscle. He just hangs
his tongue out in that way he thinks beguiles
the girl gargoyles, who turn away and red,
and act as if collectively they know
Giles looks the part but secretly is faux.
His tongue, for one, is longer than his nose
and that, among his kind, Lucinda knows,
means we’ve a loser latched to where Giles hangs
which makes her count like James Brown two, tree, foe
and knock the front door silly with old Giles
or try to twist his tail to make the no-
tarial tables she says Giles has read
rotate his innards till he’s copper red
from stub of tail to sooty snout-like nose.
The thing you’d think a gargoyle has to know,
who’s passed his way, he doesn’t — ’cause he hangs
the wrong way up to notice. Poor old Giles!
She’d melt him for the metal but he’s faux
and possibly mâché, a paper foe
for stopping demons. What Lucinda’s read
to me about non-starter gargoyle Giles
would fill ten comic books: his cony nose
and fairly flat-arched long left foot that hangs
across his right so long the crease is red
with rust. She says she thinks, or’s read,
in a book by some lost soul yclept Defoe,
that demons fear confronting iron that hangs,
and Giles ís hung: it makes his eyes go red
while tears track rills of oxide down his nose.
Inverted he’s a sight that doth beguile.

Oh, gargoyle moms, before you hatch more Giles,
ensure that no foe hangs around who knows
that Giles ain’t hung the way Lucinda’s read.