Patrick McCauley

Three poems

1.

In the middle of red light Amsterdam
Flashing knives, bicycling Amsterdam
Rain dripping, crowd pissing
Herring roll Amsterdam.
In the graffittisteegs
Of old dutch shoe Amsterdam.
In the gracelace of sexy
Beautiful full liped Amsterdam.
In Van Gogh one eared explosions
Amsterdam.
In sunflower sanity Amsterdam.
In the silk blonde narrow streets
Of Amsterdam.
In the Gaugin flowers of Amsterdam
In the factory walled unemployed of Amsterdam
In those who travel to Amsterdam to die.
In the smaked out needle tipped AIDS of Amsterdam.
In the bubbled rolling pings
Of old Dutch women laughing.
In the slow roar of the moving wave
In an orange soccer stadium.
In Amsterdam in september
I want to paint with thick small words
A whorling Van Gogh poem.
Golden fields of spinning light.
Empty streets in the early morning.
A flat calm canal.
Ducks in the moon.
Spinning Amsterdam.
Drunk singing Amsterdam.
Stoned Amsterdam.
Foggy Amsterdam.
Iced Amsterdam.
Dogs Amsterdam.
Skating Amsterdam.
Come one, come all Amsterdam.
Equity Amsterdam.
Quiet growl of viscious Amsterdam.
Cruel Amsterdam.
The dead of Amsterdam.
Anna Frank Amsterdam.
The old lady biting her tongue,
Like on old cow chewing her cud,
In the tramstop,
Counting her money,
And just enough to get home,
Chewing her cud with happiness Amsterdam.
The walk of Amsterdam.
The clothes of Amsterdam.
The tongue clicking ladies of Amsterdam.
The supermarket was a medievil jail.
The strong coffee, strong cake, strong stuff of Amsterdam.
The carpets on the restaurant tables in Amsterdam.
Hopscotch with the dog turds.
‘The Anatomical Lesson Of Dr Joan Deyman’ Amsterdam.
The middle aged faces of the middle ages,
So holy, so noble, so pure.
Rembrandt Amsterdam.
So chubby faced, so bruised, so civilized Amsterdam.
So animal in human clothes.
So beautiful Amsterdam.
So soothed Amsterdam.
So sunken Amsterdam.
So moated city in circles from the middle ages.
A stone dropped in the pond of Europe.
I tip my hat and say gidday,
And by the future,
It’s good to meet you.

2.

He had the entire war
Tattooed all over his face.
A zeplin on each cheek
Gravestones all over his upper lip
Tanks, trenches, guns and war words
Tattooed over every inch of his face.
He had barbed wire on his eyelids
And guns on his ears.
But she,
She was a field,
A paddock,
A fertile, turned piece of ground.
Wet and warm beneath the sun.
Waiting for wild seed to blow over her.
Waiting for her sods to be turned.
Waiting to envelop the dead.
To bear them up,
And,
To bury them down.

3.
Bertholt Brecht And A Single Red Geranium.

It was the hundredth anniversary
Of the birth of Bertholt Brecht.
The last of the Pram Factory bohemians
Had gathered the remains of their collective memories,
To read his poems beside theirs
From rostrums splattered with the shadows
Of the evil city.
In Gertrude St, above some tramwires,
A single red geranium flowered in the night breeze.
What is the connection ? I thought and did not know,
Except that I knew that this was no accident.
Who else wrote the great plays and poems
Of Brecht beside old Bertholt himself ?
Who else was it who planted his genius ?
Who suffered with him ?
Who quivered in the glow of his recognition
as a true leftie ?
Whose poems did he read one night beside his
Celebrating their genius a century after their death ?
Is this the Socialist afterlife ?
A present filled remembering the deeds of past heros
Who were, nevertheless, one leged soldiers
Fighting for two leged kings.
Old opium for new masses.
Same future.
A single red geranium.

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