Sheila-Na-Gig online


George Franklin

George Franklin practices law in Miami. Remote Cities is his third full-length poetry collection with Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, complementing Noise of the World (2020) and Traveling for No Good Reason (winner of the Sheila-Na-Gig Editions manuscript competition in 2018). He has also authored the dual-language collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas (translated by Ximena Gómez and published by Katakana Editores, 2020), and a chapbook, Travels of the Angel of Sorrow (Blue Cedar Press, 2020). He is the co-translator, along with the author, of Ximena Gómez’s Último día / Last Day and co-author with Gómez of Conversaciones sobre agua / Conversations About Water (Katakana Editores 2019 & 2023).

Buy the books:

It Never Rained

The whole time we were in Mexico City, it never rained.  In the afternoon, at rush hour, the air above the streets was brown with dust.  It felt hard to breathe.  But at night, the sky was polished obsidian, and the moon ignored the light rising from the avenues.  We walked over broken sidewalks and sudden curbs, making fun of our own stumbling.  There were cafés lit with strings of yellow bulbs, and an improvised kitchen served tortillas and meat from a cart on the sidewalk.  These days, I always think that whatever I’m doing I might be doing for the last time.  I’ll turn 70 in November, and I’m scared to add up all the things that could go wrong.  Even without the desire for completion, so much seems incomplete.  But maybe that’s better.  Who would want to die with all their socks and underwear washed?  Ximena gave one of our tacos and some guacamole to the man selling candy.

Avenida Juárez

Saturday night crowds Avenida Juárez
With families, students, kids off work, vendors
Selling tortillas, candy, roasted ears
Of corn.  A girl skips rope on a path through
Alameda, the park starred with tungsten,
Shadowed by jacarandas.  Accordion players
Cluster the sidewalks, pass the hat for pesos.
The grand Palacio de Bellas Artes looms,
An architectural cocktail shaking out
Art nouveau, deco, classical, stone and glass,
But the steps are good for resting, couples kissing.
Tomorrow morning, the Zócalo will be
Packed with protesters wearing pink t-shirts,
And hats, the metro closed, the streets blocked,
But tonight is for the singers, microphones,
Ballads, and Mexican hip-hop dancers—also
For two poets, a Colombian woman and a
Norteamericano, who are filled with
A great happiness to walk down such a street.

%d bloggers like this: