the trip told in matches

Barcelona, Catalunya From an email I just wrote to my wonderful friend Melinda:

The night of that game [Brasil v. France], the Catalans in here in Barcelona put up with more pro-France frollicking than I imagine they ever have. Throngs in the streets, bouncing and screaming France songs, climbing statues and monuments and draping them in the French flag (!), painted faces, the whole bit.

One could, if one wanted, tell the whole story of this trip in World Cup matches.

For instance, we were supposed to be in France for tomorrow night's semifinal. But apparently the French railworkers have gone on strike and no trains are running in that country right now. So we are effectively marooned here in Barcelonatown holding our Eurail passes in our sweaty, American fingers. Sure, we could take the bus, but we have these passes, bought & paid for already. We're entitled, damnit.

So likely we'll be here for France's semifinal victory and more rioting in the streets.... really, either way, since you figure Spain is the meat in the Portugal-France sandwhich. And what a delicious sandwhich, anyway.

We would've been in Paris for the final match. We still might be. Jesus. The pot is starting to boil.

(The pot being europe, the water being the europeans' tempers, the fire being el fut... and the sandwhich still being the sandwhich, which is to say, delicious.)

There's more where that came from... drunks in Ireland cheering for England until the crowd broke into 'god save the queen'... a drunk in Barcelona shouting '¡viva franco!' which was the name of Argentina's goalkeep during the penalty kicks in Germany v. Argentina, also the name of Spain's former dictator... etc...

Stranded in Barcelona, broke and taking notes. Never mind that the press mentions nothing about the strike, nor have we heard it from anyone else... could be a practicle joke on the part of the Barcelona train station... we weren't on that metro train in Valencia that took a dive at cost of 41 lives yesterday, at least theres that... the internet is too expensive here for me to be posting much... the fotos of the caos will have to wait to be posted until I'm stateside again maybe...

snowmen in cataluña

Barcelona, Cataluña, España

So these two snowmen are standing alone out in a field together, a little bored. Then, one turns to the other and says, "Hey, do you smell carrots?"

A John Kofonow joke via Nick Fox.

All the longing in the tourist ghettos, drinking and questioning, little worlds wrapped in a big one.

We can't afford anything and aren't worried.

la mezquita

Córdoba, Andalucia, España The doves & the sparrows dive, curve, sing over narrow puzzle streets.

To be born here is to understand the streets.

To have wings here is to make the streets your own.

españa venga

Madrid, España Spring Winders. Nick Fox. Logan Phillips. Between us, everything. Before us, even more. Spain spreads out as a twisting desert, yellow and orange after the green burning of Ireland and England. A twisting desert, a desert having a bad dream, tossing and turning all through the day, trying to sleep as the sun falls hard all over it.

We sleep with no air conditioning. The old streets hold no reason only rhyme. Romans, jews and moors. We wander and tear vivid fotos from our eyes. Below the city, sitting in tunnels, the women flick open their fans, rocking their wrists back and forth, sending a breeze across their glistening faces. The wind in the subway, trapped, searching. The men talk quickly.

Picasso's Guernica looms huge in my face while I try to fall to sleep, until my face rearranges, my nose falling backwards, my eyes sliding downward, searching for the sky.

Tears held by long strings a windchime in minor key. We surround ourselves in it.

Walk and write, walk and write. Blink too much, squint. Everywhere graffiti, the good kind, the street poems, the molotov portrait stencils. Still nothing like London's Banksy, a hero, but still. Lay some ink down.

North African gypsy music on the streets, the smirking streets.

Madrid is La Habana without the neglect. La Habana is Madrid, hot. This, América Latina turned inside out. Or vice versa. Vice on the streets, the vivid streets.

The cop cars speeding through pedestrian zones. Children fleeing.

These notes while running. Reading more Galeano. Sitting at Garcia Lorca's bronze feet. My tongue remembering how it loves to move.