Mar 13, 2005

On the way to the Falles Festival

Lecherous painter
Originally uploaded by macnamband.

Malaga’s odd squalor, condic splendor for slavo tanners,
In the name of sol. Of old and cold. Ravenous for a light.
Bus neighs and quivers, swerves away, north-by-heaven,
To Granada, beyond the coastal range, Allah’s Allah:
Covered in olive oil and trees; corn-rowed hills like heads,
All dead asleep. The land’s labaisse. Labaisse? Hamdullah!
‘While the rest of Europe’: sewerless, lightless, or books,
Flea-bitten, and gray. Rat rich in gothy, goric clamor,
Meanwhile, far above. Al Hambra’s carved white verses,
Curving in the still, of faithfully protractered pools,
The water-master's geometric haven, but always sad...
Never quite Babylon, or Mecca, is it? Fez or goat enough,
Tent enough, Berber strong and warm enough...

Over the pass. My mind is at a run, contemplating El Rio
Guardalmedina; Hannibal’s retreat; the lasting insult
of unremembered dreams; two breasts vibrating,
a student's, rearranging credit cards; my father, forever
shaving in the nude, those bent blue eyes, under the shade
of martini glasses, and eucalyptus, on North Cordoba Drive,
Sounds of pirate masts, reaching, in sargosso’s still —
save for a witch’s crow.

Bus puts shoulders to the road, head swinging under a load.
And suddenly there it is, out of somewhere, baby paradise,
just as it would have been, in 732, spitting images of Atlas,
white caps over old Marakkech, but less rocks here, less
curse, more oranges in the air. But now. Disolve. Latter day,
Rolling through the gates of the city: under car-topped pillars;
Faschisti-taggers and signs of whizi-goths outside the clubs.

Ibn Khaldun's clock strikes twelve... Bus snorts — spooked:
that same scent of shephard's despair... Now where's home?
and the new Almovids whirling in the dust, disoriented,
unfounded. No, this is not a sweet Seville and never was....

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