Three Poems by Juan Arabia (Empty Mirror, Bellingham- Washington)

Three Poems by Juan Arabia

The Man With The Wind In His Heels

“If we are absolutely modern—and we are—t’s because Rimbaud
commanded us to be”.
—No, that’s a lie.
Rimbe* never said you could talk on his behalf
From your 5-star Hotel Lautréamont,
From the self-complacency of university
And Utah hamburgers.
—No, No…Gentlemen!
First thing first:
I’ll dream tonight
That your eyes are Rimbe’s eyes
Like the goodness of a woman who lies
And of whom only I request a lie.


Well, we unloaded the cart:
Just a few bottles of wine and Rimbaud’s poppies.
We grew up without realizing it, and now we wait on the road.
At least we were close to the people and their land,
Even though our habits were corrupted.

In the beginning, the town was light-blue,
The sun woke us up and left us giddy after noon.
We were the shiny grapes of summer,
We stripped the wind bare.


It’s not hard to understand
Why the eternal needs to spill blood.
They are only surprised at what they daren’t do:
And I find the sea, I see my face
In the lizard mirror…
And though the night is cold
I won’t die for being here.
Although they postpone the communion,
I can kill God, writing “He’s dead”
On a chair.

*[“Rimbe” is an abbreviation for Rimbaud].

Charleville Days

At dusk the birds form
a castle made of songs
inside the trees.

Together they hide in the branches
and with their voices imitate
the red, green and yellow tone
of the leaves
which fall in autumn
and protect us
from the summer sun.

Charleville-Mézieres, 2014


I’ll take my heart to a pawn shop
until it becomes a bird
and from it new stars
will fall for the world.

Because I still travel
—I’m a stranger—
bridges in cities
fall silent and shun me.

I’ll hide from atrocities
and injustices
until the dawn turns rosy
and heals itself.

About Neil Leadbeater

Neil Leadbeater is an author, essayist, poet and critic living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His work has been published widely in anthologies and journals both at home and abroad. His latest books are The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives (Poetry Space, Bristol, UK, 2014), The Fragility of Moths (Bibliotheca Universalis, Bucharest, 2014), and a digital book, Grease-banding The Apple Trees (Raffaelli Editore, Rimini, Italy, 2015). His work has been translated into Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.


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