Between the Acropolis and a Hard Place
a review of a trip to Athens in the style of the Beat Poets
Surfacing from the first baptismal ouzo
I took no solids with my meals for three days straight,
bar the odd, saving, meze,
ministrations of angel bar staff in their last holy orders.
I flitted batlike and crepuscular
through jungle garden and park
surfing canyons of Athenian traffic,
washing eternal, like biblical rivers of dung
down a Greek drain.
I haunted high-end museums and galleries
like a robot scholar gypsy, seeking, seeking,
the next civilisation but one.
And later, drunk on fermented history
I lay like a donor, anaesthetised, on a taverna table
offering my organs to the poor and needy
and then, miracle, grew more overnight,
my body a petri dish
fed only by wine, salt and fat.
And finally fled by cab to lady lined Piraeus
where sailors of the world come to drink and couple.
then jumped the Blue Star to Levbos,
Streaming out to look back at a sick grey green pallor of decadence,
that wraps Athens like a shroud over a soiled marble corpse.