Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Poem: The Impossible City

This poem was inspired by Momus' tribute to MC Escher, Mr Don and Mr George, the Hajj, Dark City, The City of Literature, and the fact that it is impossible to go anywhere in Edinburgh without going uphill at some point.


Edinburgh
the impossible city
always uphill
even downhill
Edinburgh

I walk up and down, up and down through
kaleidescopes of grey stone closes of
the shifting patterns in this dark dark city of
Edinburgh, the impossible city
always uphill
even downhill


on the bicycle I pedal hard
over cobblestones without a bearing
in a straight line down folded round on itself in
Edinburgh, the impossible city
always uphill
even downhill


Meeting friends in their two-storey flat
I walk down and down the stair and back up
look six stories in this strange strange flat in
Edinburgh, the impossible city
always uphill
even downhill


When Mr Don meets Mr George in
the cafe at the bottom of the sea
in Edinburgh Castle;

the whirling starts round this black black rock
at the centre of every word that's written in
Edinburgh, the impossible city
always uphill
even downhill


From mediaeval black
to classical grey
the lines of Reekie twist and sway
and Edina dark, whispers to me
I won't be known by your geometry
Oh Edinburgh, impossible city
always uphill
even downhill
Edinburgh

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