Chichen Itza by Joseph Ridgwell


Chichen Itza

I was standing on the summit of the world’s second highest pyramid
When it occurred
A powerful whirring in the gut
And Egypt and the Nile nowhere
Tourists climbed up and down the edifice
With the use of a series of chain ropes
‘What a fucking great view,’ said Ronnie to my left
‘Fuck the view,’ I said, a rapid descent is imperative.’
‘It is?’
‘Undoubtably brother.’
Ignoring the ropes and tourists
I began jumping the ancient stone steps two at a time
Ronnie following a few steps behind
I remembered seeing a public convenience
At the entrance to the West gate
Down the steep-sided pyramid I flew
I hit the ground running and bounced into the toilet
Which was full of Mexican children
All cubicles taken
Another powerful gut whirl
I kicked open a cubicle door and dragged a startled child from within
‘El emergencio!’ I explained
Then I locked the door and hit the pan
Just in time
The stuff jettisoned out of me in tremendous torrents
Alas, it was not the torrents of spring
But torrents of shit
Wave after wave
Ah the stench
Must’ve been that last burrito deluxe – I ruminated
Or the fifteen bottles of Dos Equis
Maybe even the tequila
It was dark inside that toilet
Darkness at noon
Outside the cubicle my actions had caused a commotion
The Mexican school children jabbering in Spanish
Fucked if I cared for verily after several more torrents
I convinced myself I was dying
What a way to go, I thought
Found dead in a Mexican public lavatory
Covered in his own excrement
Then, finally
The torrents stopped
And something bit me on my inner thigh
Then on my ear, nose, arm, ankle, big toe
Along with everything else the toilet was infested with mosquitos
I scratched my leg, jumped up, wiped, flushed
And got the fuck out of that miniature hellhole
Seconds later Ronnie emerged from some jungle to my right
Holding a wooden bow and arrow
‘What are you doing?’ I said
‘I’m going hunting,’ he said.

joseph-ridgwell-profileJoseph Ridgwell was raised in East London and is a cult figure of the literary underground both in the UK and abroad. Ridgwell has published five collections of poetry, two short story collections, three novellas and two novels. A second collection of stories was published by New York’s Bottle of Smoke Press in Summer 2015. In November 2015 – Leamington Books – published his long-awaited debut novel – Burrito Deluxe – On the Road for the Offbeat Generation. His second novel – The Cross Part 1, 2 & 3 were published in serial format by Paper & Ink Press in 2015/2016. Also due for publication in 2016 are Jamaica & Mexico which will form a trilogy with Cuba, which was published in 2014. The trilogy is published by Pig Ear Press.

Ridgwell is currently working on his 6th collection of poetry and a prequel to Burrito Deluxe. Ridgwell Stories was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and was long-listed for the 2016 Saboteur awards. For further details of the authors work and current state of mind go to his website by clicking here…

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