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Catalonian ‘lude: EN ELS QUATRE GATS

Cava y pa de pages amb tomaquet i oli d’oliva verge (en Els Quatre Gats)

Some solid solitude,
Together with one of the greatest geniuses in my life.
Was never alive when he shined,
But surely his left eye is staring me blind from behind my glass full of Cava. 
            Pictures surround me –
Drawings from that time,
Depicting genius homies depicted by the divine.
The reprint pixels are fine,
But close by the prints are apparently from this time.
Much like the rest,
            And absinthe doesn’t ripe –
So that is surely not from 1909. 
            I decline into my seat and rhyme of tomato,
Olive oil and sparkling Barcelona wine. 
Wish I knew your real name,
So I could come cry in the coming night. 
            Thanks for leaving this temple,
For our empty souls to devour. 
            It is nice… 

Fumar puede matar
Chasing after some American senior gat, I rush myself outside to see if I can bum a smoke off them. Too bad they’re only taking the exit to visit the gift shop across…Brainwashed Yankees.
            I stand in the cold and wonder. What could have been the original inhabitation of that building across from me and those four cats, smack in the middle of what must have been the most bubbly, alive artistic district of the first half of the Spanish 20th century? A hospital for anyone failing to perform their drinking duties under the severe pressure of the king of cubism? A whore house for the horribly lonely artists that were his friends; and since they were what they were, as Allen denotes in his study of Catalunya, always in need of living with a woman? Before, after, and during their smokin’ drinks.
            I disappoint back in, desiring to bash myself in the head with the nearly emptied plate of tomato-olive oil toast with Pablo’s picture of a cat, seeing how my own Egyptian ciggies have run out – the reason I so opportunistically rushed outside in the first place. I’m not that desperate, usually, but feel the need to at least trample to safety one bud in the exact same spot where our antagonist must have done that very same thing – although I imagine he smoked cigars – once. I could’ve just walked by and done it, after obtaining a cigar from a tabacaria well-prepared. But I was here now anyway, soaking up his left over, 100-year-old energy…and Cava.
            Come on, now, let me get my smoke on and do it…
            And as the pianist in the back room, the diner, the once brain room, I imagine, kicks off with some atmospheric sound waves, I am forced to tell you that the bartender catches on to my romantically modernist intentions, and offers me one of his hard-earned Camels – like any self-respecting, non-Dutch European would.
            Thanks, Picasso junior junior. Or is it Modigliani’s heritage – indeed, he is the only one, besides the Catalonian I’m taking home tonight, who is young enough to be regarded as stemming from another generation; the others as old as the wine I’m using to flush down my absinthe with – that is destined to serve us wanna-be Picassians? Glad to think of you both, anyway.
            The building across the street was actually a storage room for all the Italians’ long-lost masterpieces; again, Picasso was the brilliant mind in charge. He would hide all the genius that didn’t flow from his brain, and slowly his ego gained in size and importance. And now I’m standing here, looking at that very building, that secret safe of genius, through a dusty frame of nicotine, playing out a murder scene…
            The passionate crime that will be pardoned. To tell about something I’ve seen, without knowing exactly what it is…without knowing whether or not it was actually there.
            Graçias, señor Cava. Graçias por el hangover-to-be. Graçias, Barçelona.
            Picasso, I think we need to talk some more…

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