Europe: gestalt

Europe: gestalt


To the north in the Fundão are the true minds of Portugal,

the ones who live without the stink of cabbage drains and catacombs

of the cattle crush on all the blaring roads

of hyphenated walks on cobblestones

of sardines in stilettos climbing stairs floor after floor

to arrive in a closet called home out of the reach of soil and leaf.


Europe on its kapok bed

Europe the bitch with the open legs


Breathing in (as if its forever)

breathing out (all the earth gasps)

always the sulphur steaming from the pores of her poxy face.


Europe pimpled with churches

Europe lifting her skirts


Now the interred are gone to dust

their blood and bone mingle in the fields

and raft the rivers.

their ashes are the rain on verdant Polish ground.

All the land is fecund, all the fruit is sweet

basted by temperate summers,

the taste is deep with age

and this taste is always on the tongue

or fluttering fragrant kisses on the brows of children

whose faces are the profiles on old coins

turning up on beaches in the New World

it hovers on the brows of mothers

rutted with weeping

hard with desire.


There is no beauty here,

here there is simply an anger

such as that which takes a sickle to a throat

or bonfires books and people in the streets

or dives into the lakes of wine

or drifts in curlicues of hash and grass

(another continental analgesic)

or cracks the skulls of old men.


the old men are selling their fruit

and the fruit falls far from the trees

and the trees poke fingers down down down deep in the soil

and the soil is in the blood and the blood is in the fields of history

and the history floats on the turgid waters of the falling

and the fallen were the young men with the seed

and the seed was the people in the streets

or the ones shot in the forests of Verdun

or Katyn

or  fucked to death in Mostar

or hung in prisons or on gibbets

in this or that village on this or that day for something… for something

for something

that wrinkles the yellowing pages

and clearly states:

Eye for Eye and Slash for Slash.


We are all leveled by it;

by the blood,

by the smell of it

brought down by the gas

broken in the bone

blind in one eye

split  by dissent and opinion

reduced to a comma

ticked in the box

reduced to a dot

we are molecules and neutrons

we are the fine wine of a shitty god pissed out on a land

that is never really ours


but it is theirs and we must have it

we must have the fields of rock

with the skin of dust white brown and black

that now blows over the face of her

in the hair of her

in the eyes and ears of her

in the bronchi of all the returning children

who ever breathed in the reek of the drains of Europe.


Europe picking at hospital sheets

Europe shooting up under a bridge


There are remnants here in Portugal;

two witnesses in the last olive grove

two trees of men who cannot bear fruit

one has a madness and bites his hands late into the night

the other curls, a trembling mote, on his bed

waiting for a halt in hostilities.


Europe winks: a  promise of pleasure

Europe: the  eye with a black meniscus.


Portugal 2007










  1. Suggested added venue for your work: ‘Edge of Humanity’. Reading your prose I feel I am absorbing the work of a rare talent. Curiously, R & I will be landing in Lisboa 1st April and Portugal is the main feature of our 4mth biennial sojourn. C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much, nice praise. That’s really useful thanks I will take a look a it. Here is my email address, let’s catch up in Portugal as I am also going there I think after Vietnam and India. Why do you say prose though, when it is poetry, albeit free form but it has all the characteristics of it?


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