I have always thought
deep in the place I do no thinking
that for a market to be held
in a small European town
(stalls for bread and pottery
lambswool blankets, cheese and hats)
it must be amongst old buildings
and preferably beyond the sight
of automation, cars and electricity
or other things requiring wires
involving neon or sundry objects
made by man in his recent past.
This is how I want my experience
how I imagine its frame.
No cameraphones or radios
Te Deums only.
And there should be no preponderance
of rubbish for sale either.
No awful cheap earrings
or plastic magnets of peacocks
with their tails fanned out
asking in a handwriting never written
(some garish white font)
Does my bum look fat in this?
I do no want elderly German tourists
absurdly healthy and trim
in their plain well-made clothes
and shoes that will last
walking slowly, sometimes arm in arm
beyond the shade of the miniature marquees
with money in their pockets
but no intention of reaching down for it.
I do not want the scent of patchouli
aimless dogs on long untended leads.
Football shirts and the sun too hot
scruffy palm trees or a surfeit of talking.
But in the end
and with all these things
so obviously around me
I am more disappointed in myself.
In mostly not wanting
rather than only being
and it is in this moment
a friend sends me a message
as though an intercession from an observant God
who, it transpires, does see all (of me).
He mentions an old teacher who says
when we are ready to leave behind
the places we see as good or bad
full of our wants disguised as needs
he will be in the field and waiting.
But I do not want there to be a God
more especially so if he confirms
my own dark and furtive suspicions
and then leaves me alone here
beneath the weight of such awful knowledge.
Puerto de la Cruz
June 20th, 2010