Gràcia

Well hi there, Blog.

A lot of the graffitti here is thankfully more "art" than "marking your territory like a dog."

It’s been over a month, but you might be pleased to hear that good stuff is happening, and a lot of the stuff troubling me last month has disappeared, leaving much more minor problems to fix. First off, I found a flat. I signed a contract, I moved in, I bought a bed and some basic furniture, and I now live in Gràcia. For those of you who don’t know Barcelona, Gràcia is my favourite part – quiet in the day, fun at night, trees and narrow streets and sunlit plazas without the smells and petty theft of the old city centre. It’s also MUCH MUCH quicker to and from work, and I even sometimes have time to go home for lunch.

Also, I have more teaching time than I did, and can afford the rent on my new place. Which, by the way, is only mine. Sharing a flat is so much a part of life in Barcelona that when I tell friends I have a new place, they say, “What are your new flatmates like?”, and I get a little thrill when I get to tell them that I have privacy, independence, my own space…

Also, despite all the busy-ness with this, my writing hasn’t stopped. It hasn’t flourished... but I suspect that now I have a chair and a table (and no internet connection at home yet), I’ll be writing a lot more. In fact, watch this space, because I might instigate a personal NaNoWriMo as I have in the past – by which I mean, I give myself a month to write 50,000 words. Of anything.

So now the only problems are things like getting an internet connection working at home, and buying furniture, and getting a couple more private classes. And you know what? These problems are fun! So, life is good.

Here’s a pair of haiku for you to kick us off:

“Prolong this winter – ”
knowing you will leave in spring,
I thank the frosts.

Though time will not slow,
you watch clouds form from my sighs,
and make memories.

And second up. I had a little go at writing a Ferlinghetti style poem like I mentioned back in January.

When I’m old
aaaaaaI will cross the road just before
aaaaaathe light starts flashing green, then red
aaaaaaaaaaaaso the busy busy cars
aaaaaastop impatiently
aaaaaaaaaaaacaught between their self-inflicted stress
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand real,
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame-inflicted respect
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa(‘coz I’m old and slow)
aaaaaamaybe I’ll stumble
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafor kicks.

But I won’t do it now
aaaaaaaaaaaaaas they won’t wait yet.

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Hopefully I’ll see you all in a week or two, rather than the month-long wait you’ve had since the last post.

Disentangle

It’s been a busy week, busier than usual. I’ve dedicated myself to posting once Mid-Week (so Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) and once at the Weekend. That said, my Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays have been my busiest days, and Friday, usually very busy, is empty of plans. It’s “Labor Day” (to translate to American) here in Barcelona, so classes are cancelled.

That said, I shouldn’t accept excuses from myself, especially not this early in the game. Planning ahead, getting work done ahead of deadline – skills I don’t have, but I might as well use this blog as a chance to practice and learn to organise myself.

So here’s an old poem that I’ve recently been looking at and trying to tighten up. It’s called “Disentangle”, and it actually has a partner poem (“Enrage”) that’s supposed to go before it. However, that one’s in a much sorrier state, so I’ll post this one, and if I ever fix that one, I’ll put it up too.

Disentangle

Disentanglea

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I see now, as I step away,
that that sick feeling
tight in my stomach
was knots. A tangled train
of thoughts – each intention
thwarted by the next
or the last, creating my
imperfect whole,

aaaaaaaaaaaso as I walk
away, I breathe out, and
slowly the rope uncoils
behind me, each part drawn
out onto the path, laid out
in an unfrayed line.

When I need to return,
I pick up the threads neatly.