Glenn Hubbard – 2 poems 

La La Land


In the central square men and women in colourful costumes:

affable Mickey, solicitous Minnie and a smurf.

Waving, they make a bee-line

for small children and giggling, selfie-inclined teenage girls.

A mafia, apparently, jealously guarding their pitch,

they are all love as they swelter within their guises.


A man has painted himself with a product that has made him bronze.

Under the gaze of spellbound, dumbfound tourists,

he sits at a chess board, pre-move.

He’ll make it when a coin drops into his box.

But will he make enough to cleanse himself

of the poison working its way through his skin?


A dog stands with a plastic chicken leg in its mouth

opposite the fat lady outside the military church

who appears to be wearing twenty layers of clothing.

Almost blind, the notice at her feet asks for money

to help her go and see a daughter.

Who will take her?


A Rumanian gypsy, battled hardened,

crosses my path at Opera.

She carries a placard explaining

her predicament: children, unemployed, illness.

It is written in good Spanish.

She did not write it, could not read it.


On the underground, a man gets on to tell us his tale.

After the standard apology for bothering us,

he takes out his “I am a genuine beggar” documentation,

and we stop listening, look into space till he finishes.

Children, unemployed, illness. He’ll take money, food, anything.

Perhaps we could offer him a job, he says.


At the station exit, the old Rumanian gypsy is at his post.

He leans on his crutch, which could just be a ruse.

Nobody, though, will kick it from under him. So we’ll never know.

He lunges at those who emerge, his crazed exclamation of the word “Hola”

transformed now into “Allah”.

As always, his white polystyrene beaker is empty.


I make for the sanity of the supermarket,

where the African at the door,

not knowing me from Adam,

greets me once again,

not bothering to offer me the paper

that nobody buys.

 

🍃

 

​Why We Need Another Huge Shopping Centre

Because of posterity

Because of the Pharaohs

Because of our legacy

Because of Iron Age barrows

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of architecture

Because of cement and sand

Because of structure, texture

Because of prime development land

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of franchising

Because of zero contracts

Because We’re hiring!

Because the law is lax.

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of stuff

Because of excess

Because enough is not enough

Because less is less

We need another huge shopping centre

Because we all deserve it

Because fair is fair

Because we’re worth it

Because we want our share

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of leisure

Because Who doesn’t love to shop?

Because of innocent pleasure

Because we don’t want this to stop

We need another huge shopping centre

Because if not, then what?


 

🍃

 

Glenn Hubbard lives in Madrid. He is fluent in Spanish, but poetic only in English, especially about birds. He has been reading poetry for many years but only started writing in 2012. His poetry has appeared in The Bow-Wow Shop and will appear in The High Window and Carillon later in 2017. He is currently working on a translation of Miguel Hernández’s poem Los Hombres Viejos​.

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