We didn't have defence for the flu, the ball was running through the cars and the postmen delivering bad news had to stop at the traffic lights, like an open field of rye where your grandparents scythe.
Luckily the stranger hits the ball which hits the fence which hits the post which bursts an ocean of people onto my head.
That's when I understood pregnancy as want for people.
A society incubated in pipes relaying aliments, ointments, the vacuity of televised tournaments.
We are afraid.
We defer mortality.
Without flesh there is not love but we don't want to pollute and the touch is interdict and the love is in the making not in the abstraction.
Idealization, procrastination, post-gratification, extension of time always the more remote...
We put bodies to wail and in the waiting for something precious and aulic
But if in our genetic thrones will sit robots, who will inherit the Earth ?
We forget to be children of men.
We forget the Now, the Here, the present of Season in this hecatombe which is my love for you.
I''ll protect, I'll hang to my eyes the seed of loving, humid with tears untimely.
Please gift a facsimile accident to petrify my heart so may I free this love from the contrition of time.
Shave my days as smooth as bottoms of babies.
(The incident above is about the toddler in the cold chasing a balloon between cars with father aghast but the bold stranger is able to retrieve and normality is restored and the sedative reality may resume).
The swan doesn't retain the white they gift him for advertising ends
It honestly goes down as all the simple birds with a petulant beak
Never sated with his timorous eyes and moving to plea the kids who visit the stream.
What did they do to you, swan?
How can you be dependant on poor's stale when you have such a yield in fairy tales and this poem?
Go away, dishonour your feeder, peek in the kindergarten by the canal and do me the favour, to check if my daughter is well fed.
Swan, teach the babies ballet.
Cage our humanoids in the zoo in Fassnidge park and hit me in the face with peanuts.
Can I catch them? What do I live for?
You should reconsider your body weight, a white mass of plumes may discourage visitors.
Hazy between hugging or riding you, they abandon you.
You are bride in waiting … Our little ones are abandoners.
Kids and ducks catch worms nowadays.
The ducks quack, children choir says 'How are you, ducks?' and the ducks quack.
Without response you suffer solitude, swan, instead.
I strongly advise you to shock parents with words.
Tell them about nymphs at Bath
Tell of Englishmen with light-hearted sandals pacing atop snow
Tell when Albion was a peninsula, and swans were parachuted in a publicity stunt, to colonise the country with their purity.
With their purity.
Who takes the rubbish out
As the rubbish is taken out by me only noticed by me loved by me
as the frost is palpable in my hands unguarded on the dustbin of the skirmish we had pre dew
as your right to say: 'Not enough is done in the house!'
Let's leave it and mute it.
Please be silent please as gestation in a womb
I'll recount the scenery of what you missed
Because you breed discontent through words which may be imperfect
While images are so precise...
You still asleep in dreams and to ask your dreams if they were inclusive of me
It is a thing.
Amiss is my posture lifting the compost at 7 am and my brow creased to add semblance of labour
just to show the milkman's open cart going through the road, first of the ladies who go cleaning and feel the breeze most,
following whoever in veil guides school kids in dark anorak in the cold breath
of teachers, of big faced monsters, of places of captivity and no reward
We are we, the apostles of hygiene.
Spread a flamboyant white sheet on our unkempt alcove
to gather all the dew of the Earth.
The dogs' village
Silence. Absence. Stuttering. Incapability. Too much emotion. Help but the shutters are down!
WHAT'S SOLD HERE?
We debeard naughty men to make peluche toys, we clarify mermaids appointing new tails, we prescribe medications to old ladies and we make peace between generations.
Early mornings are spent squeezing the cows, milk is gifted to a tribe of cats in confined areas.
In a mine we send humans to work everyday, the battering of their hammers on stones is used to tell the time.
We are the dogs in charge of welfare, we do the assistance.
We push the wheelchairs up to the hill and descend prompt in the arms of relatives bound to accept the incapable.
But we love the toddlers and they call us names and imitate our woof.
They appreciate our custom, we run the big pharmacy in the square and take the drops of gaiety syrup, if not in The Dog's Village you cannot live.
To participate, ticket is needed from big Mandrake man when circus comes.
Leaving sticks and heels, we send lazy breeds to ride or lean on.
And the prams are conserved in the concierge where puppies read books to children.
Blond young boy is making a puzzle of London sharing with pretty baby girl in purple dress.
Optimistic image of the city.
Since the dogs took control, crime on moped is down – English setters chase and slash their tyres.
We tend our garden, the dogs dig and hide guns in the dirt, the hideous ones forced to roll up a Sisyphus' ball and transgender fairies crawl and howl at the full moon .
We gain the fireflies fly again.
You saved a wretch like me, you cannot even talk and put this mind in a sanatorium because I don't need to think to be all heart to you
The policemen in the city cannot breastfeed and raucous kids dishevel our roof gutters
and play at it like swords
It's unknown if Mona Lisa was mother but the lady in the park this morning
in these days of dead leaves, of November, of remembrance, of hallow's eve, of golden leaves
sat the toddler on those leaves and took a snap, and I like the confidence in how she did it.
Her smile was younger than her.
An unhinged blonde lady with a ripped jacket and a pink bra above it stormed into our cafe while we were having babyccino, yelling something but none gave her any attention. She was seeing later confronting an Indian lady in the square who in response throws a bottle at her.
There are good days and
buds of goodness even in murky,
And as my conviction the benevolence of the face is a proclivity for hydrated skins,
the repetition of good deeds makes voluminous hair and glittering skincare and contributes to the mental sanity of the people.
k here to edit.
My great-grandfather was the placidest person on Earth. Fact. He went in silence at 93. He was around for long. And what does it happen? I'll tell you what does happen.
His skin kept glowing till the last sloth of his life. He involuntarily took care of his pores with cold-pressed, organic, extra-virgin olive oil. The oil from the trees he planted and grow, from the fruit of olives he picked. A lanky man reclining on damp grass, rasping the terrain with old fingers for olives, wrinkled. You could see on his face that the ageing had not affected him much.
What's the best way to remember the beloved ones who are not more? What's the one, especially for a disgruntled relative when the 'other' has left us too soon and sentimental glitches are not healed? We don't have mummies, but in my endeavours to see him, he usually wears a brown-chestnut flat cap. To bring him back now, he dresses in rugged velvet trousers and a beige short sleeve shirt.
My great-grandfather as a mummy would have needed only few garments. I cannot picture him in a coat or in wool and pullover. He was a man of a benign sunny autumn or, to say the least, an exceptionally warm satisfying winter with the scent of mandarins ready to be groped from the trees, when the smell of oranges from dark green leaves is so astringent.
No doubt, harsh weather would have death brought premature. Can we imagine him in cold evenings, seating between fireplace and tv, hours and hours, imposing body who does not utter a word?
The good season? The nuisance of summer. The kids are out, remains of sweets and candies on cobblestones, an amenity for insects and flies. I can still see the big man dozing in front of the house, in the shadow of the mandarin tree and the most enduring flies vexing him. Plus the inconvenience that ice cream in the sultriness of August gave him cough - the coughing response affects certain people accelerating the production of mucus. Parched throat, no words.
My great-grandfather didn't have loquacity in him. No joviality, no big enthusiasm. He didn't give reckless pushes to little nephews on swings. He didn't pretentiously yell at the sky to make the hunting dogs howl. Just the rasping came to his voice in the last day and tormented my sensitivity that afternoon when he deceased. Wrongly seemed an act of disrespect, I took my cousin and we drove to the bar, while familyhood was at the vigil of the moribund. For too long the grating of the death spasms echoed in my internal organs, at that time when its were short of oxygen to breathe on.
Overall, my great-grandfather was a platitude of calm, a contended life which closes in a circle at 93 sprouting and withering of natural causes. In the arbre magique of my genealogy, the curious can find the early disappearance of both my grandfathers due to heart attack, but they were troubled souls. They had yearning and restlessness, they worked themselves into the ground and because it was too much to endure, wine and cigarettes accelerated their fall. Tendering the garden, and have his vegetables cooked for him was all great-grandfather aspired to. He was not receptive to stimulus coming from the environment so changes did not affect him. When something really changed, he showed total acceptance.
Nevertheless he's a mummy into my head now and the pigments of his skin are still intact and I blame the olive oil for it.
A fact is depicted on the walls on my memory, perturbing yet. Was it not at one of our family gatherings when everyone was present after work? Did it not happen around that manger where we overfed ourselves because 'when you eat you fight against death'? – that's according to my grandmother, who saw the second world war and food scarcity – We lived in the present.
I was rapacious, ingrate, fogged by an idea of prompt success because I resented my parents for all the material things I didn't get. They bared me of gifts and toys and my nemesis was fought at dinner. The quantity I ingested had to transcend all the diners.
The fact occurred with the great-grandfather in his last months, bovine, ruminating some fried broccoli. Chew and chew for long, sucking the green mush, keeping it long in his palate. The jaws involved much slow motion as he enjoyed not simply eating, but that feeling of activity and liveliness, even if just via mouth. Food processing lengthy, digestion postponed, extending the act of dining in fear of death. All seated around the table for dinner. I went to help myself with more servings of that peasant food, my father berated me for gluttony. I rated him very low, I blamed his ignorance for poverty, also he was irate, subjected to bursts of fury.
Insecurities grow on you and dress you down because your daring is subjugated by fear of volleys of rebukes coming from the Leviathan. The benevolence of purgatory was in my great grand-father, the imperturbable surface of a lake in the mountains. Though, the Leviathan was in the house and, father, unaware ,pushed my nature into unhealthy street racing with my emotions and continuous overtaking in society. It did happen that while I extended my greed on the dinner table to spite the Leviathan, he roared.
When the mantle of shame drops on you, after the spotlight has been cast on your sin in public, you retreat. That episode has stayed in me after my great grand-father passing. Some questioning followed. I didn't understand him fully because he was too similar to me. A seamless nature which likes promenades at dusk, the smell of scythed grass in the summer, content of getting the chance to trim vines near the house. What if we just despise the idea that we have to succeed ? What about the aridity in corporate jobs? What if mission statements are unreadable ? What if some of us are destined to be minimalist? We just want to mow our lawn and see the toddlers laugh. My great grand-father lives in me.
The most beloved
The most beloved are sanctuary cities where wanderers come back at night
Warriors in sandals guard the ancient gates
And you, old man, are not allowed in.
Tuns and canisters, swell in spices and ear rings snatched by flying ball fishes from lobes of princes and princesses in a time remote.
Love is persuasion and diaspora
Love is acceptance and consolation that the hot heads in the city ambulant in an electrified ocean
above paving of wings left by angels of martyrdom fleeting above
Gravitas pushes everything down
The old man says “The howl of the wanderers pesters the elderlies and the young crowds show us contempt”.
The shrines on top of buildings encircle banana trees in a ginormous bowl of yellow.
Potassium is required to conduct electrolytes in the bodies of mutants
who are stubborn in their defiance of old age.
“The statue of the general was defaced and regality is at loose end”
Oblong windows are in echoes of cithara, fiddle, lyre and pleasure moan has got a pungent essence of basil at nights
(In 2023 the crisis came, kiddos took refuge in grimy estates.
A diatribe with pharma lobbies left many dead.
To kill death, genetic mutation was employed
Smiles are frozen in collagen
Youth elevated to creed
Obviously the old men are kept
out of cities)
The most beloved are our mums who are pregnant with bloom and freshness
In orangeries the new Madonnas are the reveries of our time
And the policy is to hang hammock in the vice of cradle
And you, old man, are not allowed to rock in.
The child sleeps a sleep
The keys on the piano
play a minimalist swish
The man writing what I am writing had too much avocado for dinner
The mother in the other room trades secondhand robes on the Web
Erik Satie, Gymnopedies
It's quiet at night
It's quite dark just
as our women put babies in cots of linen
Thugs broke into the neighbour's this morning
stole shoes from the big woman living next door
jars of babyfood are reported missing
There is fear in our community
But the child sleeps a sleep
The keys on the piano
play a minimalist swish
Condoms to be found next to benches in playground in Hayes
Remains of absorbent pads played out by debeaked nightingales
at dawn, I suppose.
Unseen are milkmaid braids
Stern portrait of Doge, Joannes Bellinus, hanging in this den whom I am writing
Motorbikes are roaring the westway
Women are against husbands who lonely write at nights
But shutters in pubs are down
And a delivery driver left a take away box on my window sill
But the child sleeps a sleep
The key on the piano
play a minimalist swish
But an MP was hit in the face by a brick
Thirty first of July two thousands and seventeen, he made a public appeal, but I, who I am writing, don't know who was, and my wife doesn't know
We are losing control of our land
but my wife doesn't want to leave me alone.
But on the piano the keys play a swish minimalist
a sleep the child sleeps.
here to edit.
Johanna ( revisited )
Hey children, do you want to hear why mummy was so unlucky to end up with me? I can recall it for you.
My memories came back while I was painting in magnolia my flat in Hackney. I had visions of Johanna. We met while myself, even from deprived backgrounds, was off to uni. I was into Mayakovsky at that time. Johanna and her friend, doing classical studies, conversed in Latin to denigrate my poetic... soul. Johanna was short but powerful. Undulating blonde mane and green eyes framed in pale alabaster-magnolia complexion. I had never seen such long and clever fingers. I adored her as a duty, as autumn loves red leaves.
But I was fat and I never touched her. The intimacy of my reading – Dylan, Apollinaire, Rilke, Roethke, Haynes – brought me plumpiness and red cheeks. My buttocks were soggy and decadent and, when I walked the streets at night, lamp posts derided me.
But posing my school bag on the sofa when school was over, the guy who was me did not care about chubbiness in children. He felt empowered by the good looking genes in his father. You could see a willowy girl in my mother's student pictures. I had read about mermaids and Ulysses and Achilles who was strong but his heel. So strength comes late in life and beauty is everywhere.
- 'How much ham do you want in your sandwich?' My mum asked, then my grandmother: 'Have you found a girlfriend yet?'
While back from school in the afternoon, the table was ready for a fete. Like a food stylist shoot, you got the wooden table and the coloured bowls. As in Rimbaud and his synesthesia , I associated the colours of legumes to vowels, giving greens unique letters. As I ate I built an alphabet and dinner was a prayer. My religious grandmother could not see in my fork the spear, ungrateful , used by Roman centurions to deride Jesus, on the cross. Mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, women brought me up and gave me food but since a child, with a fork, I was reaching out for love.
That was a misleading feed. Food under the travesty of love and lovers get fat.
I met Johanna at the ice cream van in front of the philosophy department in Cassino. I was guilty to stare at her. But I really imagined her lollypop was a kiss and all the cone the hostia. She seemed reserved, detached from giggles, diaphane. She didn't notice my admiration and I swallowed all the cream because, I got apprehensive.
Disconsolation makes you fat.
The association of our spirits came between classes. Francis, my friend, introduced me to her one morning. At midday, with us in the gym for the physical education class, professor Silos, the technology teacher, as a clandestine sneaked in. He helped himself with the oversized sandwich my mother gave me for lunch. He was a joyful big man who liked to play tricks and didn't like when students were too quiet. Missing my lunch, my greed was stranded.
- 'Did they take your sandwich away?' She asked. 'Yes, but it doesn't matter, I am not much into food nowadays.' I boasted . I played the superfluous man above material matters and able to survive just on letters, pronouns, heavy adjectivation. Johanna was a bibliophile . We spoke about 'Last Evenings on Earth', 'Letters from My Windmill', 'Oblomov' and 'My Childhood'.
Children, are you listening? I came back home that night with a heart soaked with the hope of enduring love. I had the impression that Johanna was the calmest person on Earth. She conveyed exact listening skills as soft and accommodating as a slimfit ,pink pillow listening to dreams at night. I recall the day because of the two black men later on.
The visit of these 2 guys occurred in a classic weekday evening family gathering. We were peasant, labourer, sons of the people but strangely they appeared in a black suit . They politely saluted my grandmother. They asked the kids, my sister and me, to finish the homework in the other room. They engaged in small talk with my father about the drought, if the fields were rife with tomatoes, observations about the height of green bean plants in the summer 1992.
What did the black men want from us? All villagers heard the loud speakers with political announcements on top of the rusty car that afternoon. Hot days of political campaign. The black men suggested my family choose to vote for the local candidate. Absurd the rustic ceremonial of unsaid words, smart clothes, complicated jests, talks of the runner bean just for venial political gain. My intuition was to do the opposite regarding my heart soaked with love for Johanna. The next day I would pat my chest and tell her my feelings, unashamedly .
But my children..., I was a toad, a disgrace of a lover. I had already my hare in the reels along the river in Cassino. When the lines of our eyes met sitting at back of the English class, decency was lost. Older than me, she seduced me. This indecent hare was before Johanna. She had bends and precipices and abundance of flesh and greasy lust in which I got stacked like a feeble fly.
For few weeks, albeit my love of Johanna was still ineffectual, and hoping for a good twist of fate to push symbolically my tattoo of a heart with wings above the cliff of self-doubt, and into the arms of my beloved, I run the binary tracks of naughty desire and pure emotion.
The desires which keep burning at day and night make you skinny. As a fact I was losing weight. . .
At that time I got my driving licence, borrowed my father's car and one morning my morality came down and left me in shame. My hare and me had the indecent practice to skip university classes and have intercourses in that old fiat car, homely hand painted in yellow by my father.
-'Where are you going?' Good damn Cupid! My grandmother saw me, holding the duvet I seized to be taken into the car and to be laid on the back seat that afternoon. She said nothing, her look was enough to let me know she guessed my manoeuvre and it was embarrassment on my side.
At that time I was teaching myself about the art of love from the master, Pedro Salinas…. Children, you should read him before you are eighteen!The image I had nurtured through books was dishevelled in the situation. I appeared human, too human in front of the women in my household. The dark matter in my body, my shadow with vices, sins, adultery, promiscuity, jealousy was pinned down that morning in my life under the austere and religious granny's eyes. Sad!
The car was parked between the reels along the canal in Cassino, the furthest lane to any habitable spaces, smooth and dry terrain, only one random bird hunter on the opposite path. There, I gave my leaving to the hare and our part-time loving. There, it went to my head for uninterrupted hours, like a rehearsal for a possible philosophical treatise, the reason to really love Johanna.
Look just at the traits of her character... She always looked so consoled between others, so happy just to knock into things to make them sound of her. Most transforming than any other woman, she mirrored my acquaintances on herself to make them feel at easy. The reassurance of my loving came in the absence of her at dusk, in her departure from my circle of friends, her perfume saying goodbye. Atemporal mask, Johanna was all smile and consolation so we were attuned, out of any conflict. It was easy for my childhood to be understood. So she was my mother's breasts, she was the pink bicycle my sister had but me, her slim rib cage and an accomplished thigh gap antipodean to my body.
Children, why you should always love a woman... ? Of Johanna, I loved her diffuse talking, the pragmatism of her acts, the taste in buying me clothes, an extensive knowledge of the neighbourhood and places far away to go on holidays, the names of plants and flowers, tips on how to make culinary sauces, her innate sense of direction. She shut in anybody and in me the urge to raise the voice in a dialogue, swearing was an abomination…. Such a soothing butterfly!
How did the story end? The fat guy is timid. His diet relies on snacks and hope. He's hot in his dreams but he procrastinates. Past delusions and lack of real life experiences has turned him into a fatalist : accidental events will present the opportunity to declare his love. Johanna keeps seeing him, she's the prettiest voice in his dialogues. But apparently, he overestimates her politeness. Her affability and empathy are subjected to his misinterpretation. Although welcoming and available for outings, Johanna sees him as a friend. Only the blindness of his pure love negates him the evidence of plain friendship from her side.
Grimy was the morning when I overheard from some girls on the bus : '… No way! Johanna wants to marry her sweetheart and stuff like that…'. I run home feeling filthy, claustrophobic, I enclosed myself for weeks in my damp room between the wardrobe and the desk. My children! I pondered priesthood or monastic life to lull the pains of such biased love. I blamed the books I had read, the vanity of my over-education. The lack of a real apprenticeship, capable to deal with the invisible thread skirting our living, got me!
Then I met your mum, then the days came back bright. Johanna married the son of a factory owner in Cassino. They do spare parts for Fiat.
Spring/Summer 2017 Collection