Joel Salcido

Gonzo Europe

Joel Salcido
Gonzo Europe

I.
We shook fists at Columbus on the pier
in Barcelona, as a toilet paper scarf
whipped across his face and rubbed Mestizo beards
walking hungry, day dreaming frijoles on the wharf.

We bowed our heads in the Parisian rain,
breaking coded cigarette signals
along the Seine, parleyed at Left Bank cafes
sipping boldly, cursing like brown Henry Millers.

We demanded Coronas in Munich praying for palm trees,
burned rare Hash with Moroccans in Madrid contemplating God,
wandered Hyde park high, witnessing poetry in the leaves,
shivered in Amsterdam canals in an alchemy of smoke and fog.

We carried the weight of exceptionalism with American accents,
watching the winter from train windows like frozen cactus.

II.
Dos nopalitos frozen on November trains,
smuggled between freight cars on clouds
of hash imported from African Spain.
A lighter shade of Brown, mouths

wearing berets of smoke bumming frajos
in broken French, je ne sais que existentialist
scanning the fog of Café de Flore for the ghost
of Sartre to ask about his treatise on Mexicans.

There was no Herrera in Shakespeare and Co.
neon Berlin hotel closets held no promise
of tortillas to wrap out the cold, jones
for the caldo warmth of Phoenix in August

the city that burned through winters
where alleys were trash cans brimming with tinder.
 
III.
We the eloquent litter, tinder of trash can alleys,
who talked shop-work poetry in the cardboard
boxes of backyard parties always
advocates for the infinite onwards.

In Maryvale apartments we stayed up spun
bullshitting, listless while lusting for wander,
articulating legs for escape from the drum of the sun,
plotting the mental exchange to the Euro from the dollar.

When the summer burned the cactus to thirst,
we hallucinated Rimbaud winter, a dream of death
in Pére-Lachaise immortalized in dirt
hoping that the European chill would shape our breath.

Weighted with the understanding of the schism among us,
the edge of our skin
shaking a fist at Columbus.