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Madrid Speaks, April 2013

On the wide avenue the city whispers its details. If you could hear, but you have had trouble recently in crowded places, cupping your ears. New streets gesture to you. You should really be attending this conference on cancer. A city without underground trains would not be a city at all.

You pass the green-vested street cleaner. His broom bristles at the little trash, a kind of key, speaking in a language you nearly understand. A message waits in the wide basket filled with garbage, the graffitied garage. A message beats in the parrot hidden between orange leaves, the carrots, the bleeding fish in the stalls,

a white leg stump, the man in his wheelchair, thick scaffolds, seeking cranes, skyscrapers half glassed in the wind, the pasta shop where dinner is three fifty. Interesting how poetry and photography are sisters. This day veers towards ecstasy. It could drive you mad to collect everything, inspect its message.

People walk in the wide streets, through underpasses, each holding the desperate daffodil of their separate self. You see clouds above cloisters, the old woman at the fountain.

In the underground you lower your eyes before the muttering man rolling and unrolling sheets of handwritten music, his body a strung bow.

8 the poems

Can we really recognize the crazy from the way the body tilts and shifts? An immigrant gives you a tiny piece of paper advertising the services of Professor Kaousou, a medium.

No problem without solution: love, work, health, deportation, impotence. Call for immediate results, including the return of your beloved. You should be attending a conference on cancer, but your meetings are cancelled. You are here in the streets, getting closer.

Anja König

Coin-Sized Wishes so much more than a penny-worth cantilevering a watery stairwell as silent prayers or fragile pledges. They scissor waters’ buckled ledger, we send them down to our wish-bone calling water as witness, plighting our dipped fingers. Wishes in free-fall, buckets of them or single spies. They settle dark as spells at the brink shimmering.

Simon Kew

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