by Brian Sneeden

His brown hand over the guitar. A brown leather hand
opening and closing. It is called flamenco. I know flamenco,

having met him in a cave outside Granada. Flamenco has no running water.
He starts his laptop with a generator. Like Ginsberg, flamenco receives

on average fifteen letters a day. He reads them all.
To write a letter to flamenco, you must find a cactus with a dead bird

on it. You must burn the cactus and eat the bird so that later, lying
face up on the dune, in the company of rattlesnakes and sylphs,

you will not get hungry and scare off your desire.
Flamenco does not believe in housekeeping. Flamenco

will let you wash the dirt off your own feet with water and lemon.
If you ask to see the daughters, flamenco will pull out his collection of poisonous

Flamenco will not give you things to say to the mailman.
You must think of your own things to say to the mailman.

If you are old, flamenco will help you cross the road,
but you will not know what road or which country.

Flamenco can show you how to find self-portraits of famous photographers
beneath the stacks of girly mags in the outdoor market of Guadalajara.

When you die, flamenco will be there to ferry you across the big water,
but only if you bring him a bag of Ho Ho’s.

According to flamenco, there are two ways of putting Tabasco
on your patatas bravas: not at all, and not at all.

At night it is possible to see flamenco from outer space,
but only if he is wearing his green sombrero.

When flamenco is wearing his green sombrero, it is best
to not see flamenco at all, but instead to close your eyes

and keep thinking of flamenco as you remember him: old, tired, dead, young,
and almost certainly not wearing a green sombrero.

Published on April 7, 2014