The Spaniard

1 August 2012

The not completely finished is life
~ Picasso, 1957

 

Federico’s roofs reflect the moonlight
that slides into my living room and
at midday they reflect the blistering
heat onto the side of my house.

He was a bricklayer
dyes his hair black
and we argue in Italian:

It’s the trees, it’s the leaves.
His gutters are full of my jungle.
I am land conquistadors invaded,
the Amazon
full of hot man-eating orchids
tendrils and fronds that
weave their way into cerebral cortex.

I’m something Indian
with strange ways and stranger music –
the tom tom toming of drums
sweet smoke rises for ritual
dancers wet with sweat.

His land is sanitised
concrete and mowing has cleansed and blessed,
retirement has expanded his empire.
We argue over his drilling and sawing
this music is tireless, virile,
he is Picasso
sculpting the landscape
building workshops, carports, illegal extensions
roofing and roofing and re-roofing.

His terriers growl and bark at the fence line.
Anna, his wife, tells Cheeky, Bartolo and
what’s-its-name to shuddup.
Federico hammers nails into my head at ten at night
while their cat, Paloma
anglegrinds my cat out of my garden.

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