Ode To An Undisclosed Catalonian Bar by Gwil James Thomas

Ode To An Undisclosed Catalonian Bar

Come dusk the neon light
flickered like some supernova
in a far away pocket of space.

Gangs congregated outside,
groups of embarrassed suits
and elderly men flocked inside,
while deals went down in the corner
and fights circled
in the centre of the bar.

The whole place was a
glorious cesspit of humanity.

I read Bukowski
(By now, what the fuck else do you you expect?)
drinking cheap ‘n’ strong cocktails.

I came to that bar,
like I arrived at their
beautiful and brutal city –
alone with no direction,
but full of wonder.

Sometimes I’d feel a hand
on my shoulder –
“Wanna fuck?”
A familiar voice would say,
which belonged to Anna
a Cuban prostitute,
a year older than myself.

“I have no money,” I’d reply.
Which wasn’t true,
but was close enough.

So I’d buy her a drink instead
and we’d converse.
Not many spoke to her
and even less to me,
but Anna was more interesting
than most.

One night two Americans
asked for real football on the TV
were laughed at
by those who understood
and those who didn’t.

Someone smashed a bottle
and I kept a low profile.

Many English speakers
I saw in that barrio were lured,
or lost.

I still don’t know why
the locals spared me?

Maybe it was because
I was a roach
not even worth squashing?

Or maybe It’s because they knew
that not one of those other
d u l l
bars could give a young man
the same material as there.
Where even the squeaking of the shoes
against the beer soaked
floor was

Gwil James Thomas lives in the historically infamous city of Bristol, England. His debut poetry collection Gwil Vs Machine is available from paperandink. His prose was recently featured in the Hand Job Zine anthology. hi-vispress.com. He was also once a member of the short lived Spanish/British band Irreparables. He is currently trimming the fat on his second novel and putting together his second short story collection.

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