MORE gold from the City of Culture anthology. David McLoghlin is resident writer at Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx, NY. His ‘Punks of the Quintana’ is from the collection, ‘Santiago Sketches’, a manuscript of short poems set in Santiago de Compostela, to where pilgrims and those in search of something, whatever, progress. Santiago’s Cathedral is behind Plaza de Quintana (country house), the most impressive square in town.
This poet is a prize winner in the Patrick Kavanagh Awards and signs are on it, does a grand job of New World meets Old in this piece of picaresque. Its clarity is perfect, the haze aromatic.
The Punks of The Quintana
You would see them on the steps of the Quintana when Spring had come and it was warm again: a tribe sprawled in the sun amongst the beggars and the gypsies. One day, from the rumble of harsh conversation, a hard laugh reached me. I looked over and saw him: wreathed in dope smoke, standing to stretch himself. His head was shaved except for the fallen yellow Indian crest, and on his chin was a faint stubble. In his boots, earrings and ripped shirt he stood like a tarnished king, wasted arms hanging limp with the suggestion of heroin. I watched him as he moved off – sparse, rangy – breathing him in. His eyes flickering over me as he takes me in: drift into my world.