saunters over to the Nile,
looks at her world for a moment
from a bed of reeds,
feels the warm mud
ooze around her ankles.
On a whim, she shapes an image,
a man, from the mud,
no higher than her thighs,
his blank face pleases her.
There on the riverbank she watches him
hardening, in the hot sun.
Immediately, she kicks him to dust
and tramples him back into the mud.
She leaves, wondering what the red sun
is doing to the river
Can’t remember if today is the day
I’m allowed a coffee, or a drink, or both.
Clear until whirlingthought time.
Hell, I will remember what’s urgent.
Didn’t bring a list, would only confuse with previous in pockets,
be a wanderer in supermarket aisles to spark memory
which technique to be used to recall other missions,
stroll past post office hardware takeaway stationery,
doesn’t work today, maybe because of mystic gingerman
strolling, but with intent in small hometown
Forgot once, in wandering, rendezvous with Doc E
until other ailment presented, after how long?
Visit today, 5.15, appointment card refused for same reason as above.
Don’t wantneed to arrive too early, nothing in waiting room
but glossies of the beautiful but irrelevant people to be looked at only
but room cool and comfortable with print of Friedrich’s Wanderer
and photo of a vague literatus.
Now writing, in purple, new note to self on screen inside head,
if I am to be with M at weekend must call M (another) about R (dog).
M (the second) runs doggie hotel.
Tooth bummer ce matin, pain in crucial tooth that holds
pride and joy cool metal plate in mouthfront
that enables stainless steel smile.
Sign winks one degree, heard cold due to funny breast shaped
weather system having tryst with cold front,
often happens, with or without metaphor.
Hardware shop arrives, rows of gilets jaunes, Xtra large
Note to self, in purple; join some protest soon,
spectator only in 1968 because of exam throes.
Think if they want everyone to wear hi viz
then would anyone be noticed?
At door, green flowerpot of already hit golf balls,
proceeds to charity my foot. Cooking tonight,
onion soup, non-French, and pasta and prawns with lardons,
There’s the list, but with what wine?
Pools of water on pavement betrays for now
artisans’ imperfect level of spirit.
In neglected coffee shop again,
among aliens playing financiers.
Outside, here’s again one who walks with gingerman stroll,
where wowtall woman walks ginger haired dog.
on the happy haphardness of non grid pattern streets
with real vague signs and too unhaphazard flowerbeds.
Still semi-flâneur wanderer, walking now
to where I will ask, where’s the car?
“And besides, we lovers fear nothing.”
Our room was dingy, the only window
looking out on an opening that chimneyed
up to a heaven and down to the mouth of Avernus.
We had pushed the single beds together and
we were eating a cold pizza and guzzling
a welcome bottle of Umbrian vino rosso.
The hotel was on a via that led to another
and yet another, eventually finding a way
to the Circus Maximus, where earlier
we had sat watching the ghosts. Before, it was
a church of ghastly Medusa murals
that would turn sinners to stone.
Outside, a bejewelled girl in a scanty skirt
and a bitty top, her eyes, glazed over,
spoke with their emptiness.
The wine had brought some analgesia
from the discord of scooters on the cobbles.
The half-light set dark forms dancing on the walls.
In strange phrases, the TV threatened.
Still, we were grateful for the welcome
but troubled Lethe-like oblivion.
Tomorrow, a triumphant trundle to the aeroporto
to join the queues for the general judgement
and submit our bags, and souls, to a particular frisking.