Time is moving fast and faster. 3 years in Spain after over 8 years in London, plus many other countries besides. The thrill of new places, like the thrill of anything, has a short lifespan, but it is still good, overall, here. Madrid was the first city, before here near Barcelona, and it is a dry place, as opposed to this place, very damp. The dry place, not without its downsides, reminded me of places I used to live when I lived in the United States of America, mostly the west. The dry west. And when I left there, the dry west, and headed south, I didn’t miss it. And when I left the south, and the U.S. forever, at the end of 2005, I didn’t miss it. But then, all of a sudden, upon moving to Madrid, with all its dryness and a smattering of lizards, I missed America. It brought the good memories, and I mixed up Madrid with Mexico. The Mexican food in Madrid was the best I tasted since leaving America and living in Asia and Europe. So yes, I was taken there, to the dry desert and saucy enchiladas, with topnotch mole. I have also refound that part of me, what to call it, that is small town and rural, after trying to hide it through many years of education. Look at the onions! There is nothing in the centre!
The circle also came round in Madrid in terms of my love for the natural world. I wanted to reconnect, become earthly, after living in so many capital cities. And the sun, oh how original, the sun, is another reason.
Now here is the third circle come round in Madrid (is it an onion?). I reconnected to my love of surrealism, it’s where I started when I first started writing, but now it is filtered through, among other things, the light touch of NY School Poetry (Frank O’Hara, Bernadette Mayer, and especially Ron Padgett), as well as various other lived experiments.
So here I am. A nomadic surrealist. What does it all mean really?
Here is a prose poem, from my book The Green Monk. It was written right after moving to Madrid in 2016. It is called “Meat from the Stones.”