15 July 2012

Ibarra 3

On the far side of the city there was a small, one room bar that stayed open for men who were committed to their drinking. I was there at this bar, drinking a bottle of Club Verde, seated at a wooden table with an out of work carpenter, a belly dancer, a very drunken photographer, and the Black Poet of Ibarra. The carpenter was called Pablo Guerrero and he had brought me to this bar after the one we had been drinking at had closed.

The belly dancer smiled. She was not at all ashamed of her bad teeth. She wore a green sheer dress and sparkling bikini top and had just performed her belly dance. At the other table four old men leered at her. She was very much enjoying the attention.

The Black Poet of Ibarra stood up and announced that the poem he had been writing for me was now complete. He asked that the pastilla music be turned off. From the pocket of his corduroy jacket the Black Poet produced a piece of broken glass. It looked like the bottom of a Coke bottle. He held the shard of glass to his eye and looking through it he began to read the poem he had written on a small square of paper. The poem he wrote for me was titled “Pedro.”

The Black Poet was old and sad. His wife of 28 years had just died. We talked of Augustine. We talked of Nietzsche. We talked of the Pre-Socratics. For some reason he very much liked Kant. I explained to the Black Poet that the line in his poem about my having pockets filled with wind was going to stay with me a long time.


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