Author: Paul House

Poetry: Mornings in Malasaña

The hilly streets of Malasaña in the morning.

The late night bars with their shuttered doors,

Pigeons pecking between the cobbles

At leftovers and stale bread.

The city coming slowly back to life

After the excesses of the night before.

Street-sweepers and delivery men,

A policeman on the corner yawning

By the only bar that’s open,

Serving coffee, croissant and cognac

To the butcher from across the road.

Paco de Lucia on the radio,

Incongruous and out of place

At this hour when things move slowly.


Down to the Dos de Mayo,

The square where the city of Madrid

Still stands firm against the French.

Daoíz and Velarde, two stone statues,

Dressed like Roman senators,

One hand held up for protection,

A hand for want of anything more.

By the evening they were both dead

Along with another five hundred.

These days the square lights up every night

With revolutionary joints and conversation.

It makes you wonder what resistance is worth.


I haven’t seen you in ages,

I wish now I had resisted more.

Are you all right? I heard you married

A Portuguese of all things.

I hope you’re happy with him

For I knew you wouldn’t come back.

It’s still difficult to do these things alone.

This is just a piece of my life to pass along.

By the way, I’m doing fine. I’m on song.

Sample Chapters

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Poem for Anna •  Mandelstam and Mayakovsky •  The Lighted Window  •  Alone with the Years •  The Poet Tires •  Something there is •  La Madrugada •  Postcard of a Golden Retriever •  Shellfish •  Miguel Hernandez •  At the Edge of the Ebro •  Gone •  Playing Cards •  That's Where I Belong •  An Abstract Perfection •  Pearls in a Glass •  Poem for Susie •  Mornings in Malasaña •  Leo •  A Garbled Message •  Gnome •  Old Friends •  More About Penguins •  Ghosts •  Poem for Nelly •  Good Friday in Salamanca •  T.L.P. •  What It Is About •  The Blind Man And His Guide •  The Smell Of Winter •  For No Other Reason •  Poem for Linda