dawn ©papa osmubal
— dave hill
This morning we could see the sunlight
Spot-light one section of the ocean
Elsewhere the sea was opaque in the thick of a grudging dawn
No one else could see what we were seeing
No one was even bothering to look
And then the sun slipped away
Leaving a dark unwilling daylight that refused to even bother dividing the land from the water
In the streets, an old fellow spits without regard to who might be walking by,
He lights firecrackers a meter from your ear and tosses his cigarette packet in your path
Scraping his shoes and his throat, he blocks the gum-stained sidewalk with his cracked plastic scooter and spews its exhaust fumes in your face.
None of this should happen, yet it’s all that ever does, and he’ll tell you himself “I’m scaring off ghosts.”
“Nothing at all should happen; these are my ways of slowing it down.”
Not even this dreary, tattered and scuffed-up city should have happened,
Temples selling paper cars for ancestors, casinos taking plastic bets on souls
where is she going? ©papa osmubal
— dave hill
This morning I saw a waitress brushing her teeth over the gutter, her shining long hair just allowing me a peep at her delicate ears. It’s the same one I saw last night helping the cook to split open the head of a dog and hang it in the window.
And after she looked up from the gutter where she and her roommates had so copiously spat,
She smiled brightly at the foreign devil white ghost man checking her out from above
Giggled, pointed and told the other girls to have a look .
These are the most beautiful girls I have ever seen, mouse-skull skin and frogmeat now removed from between their sparkling teeth.
laundry ©papa osmubal
no uncertain terms
— dave hill
In view of the barbed-wire border
Between chaotic zest and zestless chaos
Boisterous and vociferous kitchen man blasts out of the lavatory where no soap has ever been seen
Yells across your head at a waitress petting a dog
No wonder the bowls are chipped
And the teacups are cracked
The television has exhausted its oily speakers but they’re still loud
No one is watching but screeching in emphatic blurts across its thunderous scratching
Cheap tobacco is thrown to the floor, still lit, perhaps to put out the spit
They’ve fouled up the air, the food, the acoustics and the bill, told you they had something that they didn’t– and let you know in no uncertain terms that they didn’t have something that they did.
Dave Hill has lived and taught in a number of different environments, including West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, eight cities in China, and even a few places in North America. His favorite writers are Chekhov and Flaubert, and his home is more like a Hindu temple than a Hindu temple.