The New Atlantis


The nights are getting warmer in sin city. I light a cigarette and stretch out across the ratty old sofa we lugged all the way up here on Tuesday. We chucked it on the balcony ‘cos it was chocking up the flat with ceaseless dust fog. Outside it seems to behave itself so here it’ll stay, for now. I close my eyes and listen to the sound of crashing waves rise up from the motorway seven stories below, crack a beer in time with it all.Off in the middle distance other tenements rise up amongst the forest like the skeletons of ancient trees; their varying shades of decay denoted in the twinkling of the lights of the termite people who scurry and scurry and never need sugar from anyone. I put on Jesus and Mary Chain and grin at the complimentary fuzz; audio from the music, brain from the 30¢ polish lager, it’s like white noise for please instead of torture. The song is a cover, I think, “I am a little red rooster, to the ladies crow for days.” Yeah, an old blues song. I used to listen to the original back in the days when I never knew how those old black guys, all cracked and crying, could feel so blue. We all have holes in our shoes now.

I never Imagined living this high up, but it’s fine, I guess. It feels like I can breathe up here, take a deep breathe as the car lights zip by as if to prove it to myself. Down there, below sea level, street level, it gets harder and harder to keep your head above. When summer really kicks in people’ll be screaming lobsters as the shallow boil them to pink.
I sit up and stare down at this New Atlantis, open another beer, light another ciggy, consider going out… nah, I am a little red rooster, this rooster stays on the farm.
And remember kids – “Your god is only a catapult waiting for the right time to let you go into the unknown just to watch you hold your breath.”


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