Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jerez Flamenco


Sharp beggars who shake their pesetas to shame you
And children who chase through the afternoon’s litter
See high-heeled young chicas with phones on their earlobes
The splash of the water below the stone general
In Jerez the home of Flamenco and Sherry

We sit in the cool of abandoned bodega
And sip at the table of Pepe Gonzalez
Outside in the night air the festival ferments
The bright lights are neon, the costumes all shimmer
And everything here in this world is inverted

The houselights are dimming, the stage lights are dawning
The flamenco baby, his guitar awaking
His face is a mirror, his fingers are slender
He trills the cool waters, he plucks a small fish
And his thoughts hit the air with a cascading thunder

A young man arrives like a bull in a temple
He paces the ground and his eyes are the soldiers
Who seek out the peasants who helped the stone general
He tells of his love for a shy senorita
She hides in the ruins of Alcalzar fortress

And teases and wails that her village is ruined
Her brothers are dead and her father is dying
He begs her to love him, she says that she cannot
Her heart is the dust that blows cold from the mountains

She raises her hand and she turns to the shadows
And spins to the sunlight and treads the grapes under
Her heels are the echoes of vultures and buzzards
Of gunshot and cannon. Reflects in the eyes
The bright fire of the young man, her fingers catch bullets

The dance of flamenco, as wild as the wind
And as crazy as fire and her heart is a mouse
In the vaults where the barrels of sherry are resting
Like graves in the darkness of Pepe Gonzalez

The youth with the guitar, his fingers spark lightning
The lovesick young man is dancing El Torro
He gives his life gladly, his heart and his soul
But the heartbroken girl succumbs to his passion
Too late.

As the doves on the general of stone
Fly up to the moon that is brimming with blood
And the stars spell flamenco
The click and the clack of the rhythms and circles
And crazy inversions
Flamenco my lover
Flamenco my saviour

Jerez

8 comments:

Roger Stevens said...

Off to Rome tomorrow. We'll be leaving the snow behind, which is a shame really. But getting lots of culture and eating some yummy food.

This poem was written on a trip to Spain a couple of years ago. We saw some Flemenco. It was amazing. The poem is an attempt to capture the Flamenco rhythm.

Amie said...

sad but beautiful poem. hey i've studied flamenco dancing when i was in my teens. my heart pumps everytime i dance it. oh and i specially like to wear my flamenco dress!

have a safe trip to rome!

Sunshine Coyote said...

Have a wonderful time! I just rented Sexy Beast by the way...fan-frickin-tastic! Moowah!

Ostrich said...

Bon Voyage Roger! Drink some good wine for me. And bring back more wonderful poem-travelogues with you.

michael said...

Yes, have a flamenco and pluck some fish. I always think the plucked fish sounds better than it tastes, don't you? I am making a cheesy lasagne - spanish ofcourse, like the tomatoes of love I throw at the gypsy clothes-horse.

Roger Stevens said...

Sushine Coyote. You have become inaccessible. Are you real? Or have we been dreaming you all this time?

Roger Stevens said...

Whoops. I meant Sunshine. Not Sushine. I wonder what sushine is?

Russell Ragsdale said...

This moves rapidly, with a real sense of momentum. I enjoyed this!