“Tapas Bar, Calle Escudellers, Barcelona”

My brother Ian, who got me into cycling, loved Barcelona and loved Spanish poetry. After he died virtually all of his unpublished writing and his translations were destroyed when a family member took his computer and destroyed it. My eldest son got this copy of one of Ian’ few remaining poems, perhaps from my mom, and shared it with me. Now I’m sharing it with you.

After grocery shopping I
stop by for coffee at the tapas bar.

Inside there’s sawdust on the floor,
and it’s still dark, as if the morning
weren’t the start of a new day but a
continuation of the night before.

Already drinking tinto with tortillas
several salty men sit at the bar,
being ribbed by an old woman with no teeth.

Shortly after I sit down she lifts her shirt up slightly to expose her paunch
and the man next to her pulls it further up over her breasts,
and squeezing at a dug he checks it like a loaf of bread or meat
for sale in the mercado up the street.

She says her only pleasures are to eat
and sleep, then slaps her crotch
repeatedly and with great strength and gusto,
to demonstrate the region’s perfectly
without sensation.

This accompanied
by laughs and densely worded argument,
another round of tit-grabbing,
then pointing by all at cocks and cunts.

Afterwards we all feel quite content,
happy to begin the day’s affairs
with breakfast at Café Escudellers.

By Ian Davidson

16 thoughts on ““Tapas Bar, Calle Escudellers, Barcelona””

  1. What an amazing family you come from, where a young man from Texas can fall in love with Barcelona and Spanish poetry…….and another young man from California can be gifted the beauty of the written word from his grandmother.

    You have a Brilliant Family. Sorry you had to lose one.

  2. Your brother picked a great place to live. Barcelona is very vibrant city in Spain. I always compared it to it being California compared to the rest of the states.

    Sad that his work is gone. RIP.

  3. Not much for poetry, generally. This one, however, transported me right into that morning at the Café Escudellers. Very cool. Thx.

  4. Great story in that poem. Seems Barcelona is not exactly a hotbed of puritanism.
    Google maps shows a Tapas Bar in Barcelona. If it’s the same place, people there might still remember the bro’.

  5. Thanks for sharing. Your brother seemed to have some pretty good sense of the world. Sorry for your loss and glad you have this poem to keep.

  6. That is really cool. If you wrote poetry I bet it would be like your Bros. I can recognize the family DNA. Thanks for sharing it with us WM.

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