Victoria Highway

Drive through the shadows
Of small clouds that
Dot the road
Lined by fire blackened trees
And termite towers
And baobab bottles
Standing stoic in the sun-
A giant glowing sun
Daring you to look at its heart.

Drive past the russet red rocks
Past the endless army of twisted trees
Past the lost cows
And the black cockatoos
That fly like sedate silhouettes of themselves

Watch the open road in front
With its own shimmering horizon
The road may pause
For secret grottos or transient towns
But the road does not end
Not even at its borders.

The Leech

When I was but a child, I ventured into the little lake thinking I might get a better look at some cattle egrets. They flew away, scared by my presence, and I returned to the shore. Back home, I saw a trail of blood from my feet. It was a cattle leech., now completely engorged with my blood. I ran outside, shook it off, and in a frenzy of rage, beat at it with a broom till all the blood it had stolen from me was now staining the ground. Die, die, I shouted, why won’t you die. The leech, now only a fraction of its former self, merely slipped down the drain.

The Crossroads 2

We met at the crossroads of improbability.
We sought to trade
After we bartered and bargained
All the usual goods-
Gold and shells and glass devices
And when there was nothing more to trade
She said- How about ideas?
Do you want to barter ideas?

If I offer you the concept of zero,
how will you respond?

Zero, I said, what is the zero?

She explained how the zero
was
nothing.

I was incredulous…
you want to trade nothing?

and we stopped our trade.

She laughed and departed, saying

Only when there is nothing
can it be filled.

The Crossroads

Here at the crossroads
I’m pulled on all sides
Each path is a promise
Of untold contentment
I venture a bit along each
but the others beckon me
I cannot choose one over other
I will make my home here
Here at the crossroads.

On Invisibility

I stepped out of the house and suddenly no one could see me. My body was intact and had been given a period of grace to settle my affairs. But how could I, if no one could see me?
I went to the priest’s office where two hirsute monks mechanically signed documents allowing such others as myself to be visible for a brief while in order to settle our affairs.
I frantically moved about returning those long forgotten videos paying off some debts, taking a last few drags of the cigarette, thinking to myself: it was good that I lived my life then and had not waited for the perfect time.

Absinthe (in Barcelona)

Watch the flames eat the sugar cube
Watch the absinthe drink the flames
Light a cigarette or two while
Faces blur and settle into other faces
Words turn and twist and lose meaning
Stagger among the revelers
herded by mimes
Hear the music roar into
the old baroque ballroom,
and drive away the ghosts
of graceful dancing
Cause its the season of flames
and the night is melting
Everything is melting
Wallow in the formless void
of a decaying love.

map 3

We spent years making this map
We spoke to hundreds of natives
We guessed at the ranges
the heights of the mountains
the depths of the forests
A seer told us of the twin whirlpools
A former slave, of the secret tunnels

We poured ink and sweat and tears
We mixed stories and fact and science
We drew myth and stone
on the parchment

The map is finally done
It’s a thing of beauty
Why visit the land now?
Why spoil the dream?