Posted by: Ron DuBour | March 7, 2018

“Like Hemingway On The Streets Of Spain”~by Michael Graves



“Like Hemingway On The Streets Of Spain”

Image may contain: food

The road stretches long and empty
when the Muse leaves.

The heart aches to capacity, and then overflows
with emptiness.
The wooden palette lays
against the wall, stained
with faded pigment:
A brittle, hollow gourd, once filled with unending
rapacious inspiration and promises

of a future where
creation is as effortless as the sparking
of two ideas moving together in the wet, sultry night.

Water is not coming.
There is no quenching the thirst at
the death of the soul.

I sit and remember times
when life was much like
Hemingway on the streets of Spain. Walking
the cobblestones of Pamplona, already working
on “Death in the Afternoon.”

The pulse of life pounding. Coursing with
the weight and texture of that which falls
with night and rises with the streaming
bleeding color of the new day.
And which finally ends
when she leaves
for the last time.

Now, at the end, the winds
of the Pyrenees scrub
the air of Pamplona clean
of the foul smell of blood.
The roar of the crowd has gone home, and
the bloodlust (having served its purpose) is politely
folded and placed back into pockets and
purses, like some used, dirty handkerchief to be taken
home and laundered clean in private.
To be reborn in a pristine state.
As though this could hide its nature.

The carcasses of the fallen
have been hauled away
leaving only drag-marks in the dirt; baking
in the languid afternoon.

The matador, so proud of his cheap rhinestones
hums a small tune of the bullfight
tightens his borrowed mask, and
leans back on a thin, unsteady, green chair
in the shadow of the crowded cafe.
He tunes his small guitar sharp from flat.
Waiting for the attention he considers
his due; now that the “noble”
slaughter is over.

The hands of beggars in the
red-dirt road that leads elsewhere, are
lined from overwork
clutching at the air
hoping to get her attention
in the end, fatally
unaware that
the only way
to attract the Muse
is to continue to create.

— Graves 12/30/14

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