Poems // Las Poesias

Filterless

invisible valleys of my fingers
are martian red and dirty
black; choked with dust & oil.

the sunset washes them pretty
in the blue dusk, but
bent on grunge and defilement
i’m caught in golden rays
working dry tobacco
into their depths.

filterless, i push the rolly
between my lips and light
it with the last gasp of day –
burn my lungs as i pull,
trance-like in the presence
of volcanoes and giants.

dust & silence dance
through the murk of evening;
the callouses on my palms
make me feel manly;
an horizon as endless as this
makes all of me feel small,
and in this, i find comfort.

(San Pedro de Atacama, Chile)

Untitled

and pigeons walk like
ravers trapped
in an eccy limbo,
always looking
for the next party

(Bus Station, Argentina)

6am

out over bolivian salt flats
stars pulsate in the morning light,
like their generator
is slowly dying.
those closest to the horizon
shine in defiance of the rising sun.

(Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia)

Mother Green

cheeks like a hamster
full of coca leaves and bile,
my mouth’s on fire
in one instant and numb
as tundra the next.

sat out in 11am sun
coating our teeth in green
just to pass the time.

(San Pedro de Atacama, Chile)

Porcelain

the clap of pidgeon wings
is defined and beautiful,
especially when it moves by you
like an ambulance or fire truck
and towards church spires or,
better still, the gentle thunder
of hunchback bells:
porcelain and white
against a rising sun.

(Arequipa: La Ciudad Blanca, Peru)

Reading motorcycle diaries on a rooftop in Bolivia

Lying in sweaters under the sun
on the crack-tiled roof
of our hostel: me reading
a slim volume of revolutionary diaries,
el capo playing drowsy poker
against himself. Our backs
are soon covered in a mix of
plaster and salt – the same
mixture that’s turned my black
jeans white. Occasionally
one of us grabs the
communal cigarettes, invariably
the other follows suit.
My book blocks the glare
of afternoon, my glasses turn
the sky a deep blue;
we doss away the hours
before we can leave this town,
content in both this world,
and that.

(Uyuni, Bolivia)

Header image by Luke Gram

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