Three McDonalds Poems:

Apagorevetai Tou Kapisma: (No smoking) Ledra Street, Nicosia, Saturday Afternoon:

The older style, the better way,
I run the risk of tripping to cliche
It's peaceful here. The mix and match
of people is appropriate. The young
are with their lovers the old are with their families,
and no one is alone;
(but me, and I am an exception)
The mountains aren't fertile here. ]The ground gives her gifts,
but sparingly]. The gifts she gives, she gives with all her heart. Women are doing their sunday shopping
Boys are playing; this world is still a mountain to be conquered; even the things that don't seem friendly, are so:
Advertising, sports-cars, billboards: all are at peace.

An ambulance goes by, lights blaring. It's siren is turned off. The cars give way

When man first tried to look at the sun, it burned his eyes. He thought of his more painful god and thought, who can look at you and live?
But man can ignore the harshness of the sun, and man can make an image of his god, although there is more danger in this image than the sun has to the eyes...
Let ambiguity clear and all difficulties here,
even the difficulties which are most dear,
It's time to let it go, eternity is not the flow
But life is.

Second Poem: Latsis, Saturday Evening:
In the play space of McDonalds here, a symphony; beneath it, in the park, is a cheap and empty eyed statue of Euripides; that's where the kids are playing hide and seek, or are perhaps in bands of warriors, cavorting; Across us, on the highway, is a three story apartments building, 6 apartments, four of them with balconies; below them is the Socrates Saviddes Music House (now closed). Above it, on the lower left hand balcony, a frizzled-haired young mother holds her baby in the air to watch the playing bands of children: they are climbing on top of the playwright's stony hair, mouths smeared with ketchup. She leads her boy, too small to play with them as yet, in cheering the young boys on, they shout to her, she shouts at them, the place is full of joy, and cars pass by on the highway, unceasingly; the children have moved from Euripides to the Plane Tree, and like Birds or Acorns, are perched in all it's branches.
I travelled fifteen miles to come here, Diet Coke is my home, behind me, at the counter, a lady, dressed in a charming flowing dress (which is filling me with yearning), and which is quite the Medittareanean smile, is ordering some Happy Meals for three of her children; she hides well that the right side of her face is badly burnt. I turn away although my gazing does not seem to bother her; I am too dreamy to bother her and the children have moved away from the plane tree to a big brown metal disk supposed to represent the sun; the frizzled hair mother has retreated from the balcony and I know that she is there, somewhere inside that apartment, petting and cooing and loving her child.

An old tanned man with a shrewd face is smoking a cigarette, all brown. His chubby wife is chattering beside him. It impossible to tell if they are good or evil people. I've found what I have come for. The children have moved from the sun to the sidewalk and are playing now, a little to near to all the cars; she snapps her head back; a wary mother, a wary animal; she calls them to the table, and they come; some of them filter to the indoor playspace, which I have no noticed for the first time; for most of the evening, it has been abandoned.

The restaurant staff and the nervous mothers herd the rest of the children indoors.

I could see the arches above the villas when I came here, above the palm trees, above the factory line. I took a long detour to arrive here, stopping only to ask two children playing ping-pong in the driveway of their homes, the way: the arches are above me, but the streets are a maze, and I have become lost. When they stop their game to tell me I must walk accross the parking lot of the benzine station, their ping-poing drops and I retrieve it for them, glad that I can help someone in this small thing. Perhaps the world is not the nightmare I once thought it was.

What gives these people the exemption from the fury that devours us? Was it the sun, the mountains, or the sea? The shape of this McDonalds in the middle of the city? Euripides' blind eyes?

The world gave me a gift that evening, revealing itself in her beauty to me like a woman that undresses for you, showing you that all her beauty is for you.

Poem III: Nicosia Mall Saturday Night
The enemy
has made it here, wealth is his carriage, and so
he is welcomed in, a plated horse in gold. Every gate opens to recieve him; the woman have a mission,
a sign in the shopping mall, sneering in high heels, turning down
a Euro note for being crinkled, and in front of the shopkeepers are the palaces of noise;
it isn't natural; there's a frantic quality to the rhythm and the light, escalator,
jutting out of the side of the parking lot; wide and flat, in enters the food court,
and the people are reduced to eating, noise and, beer
Who designed this place? The acoustics are all terrible, the voices are reduced to a loud, low buzz. A balloon pops, the light is artificial anyway, a baby is quite frightened; his horror is both cute and demanding, a claim; his father smiles, while stooping to carouse him; outside gangs of children with bags of food and alcohol, gather, seek partners, and threaten another. I look at them from up, inside the food court, holding a diet coke in my hand.

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