Quixote For Real – Deryn Rees Jones

cervantes final size

Quixote For Real

after Allen Ginsberg


Came home, found Quixote in my living room. It’s happened, 
I said to myself in the silence. The light seemed subtly altered.
I have Quixote in my house, and all my eggs are fried.  

Called my mother on speed-dial. Quixotic! she screamed. I took in his drooping 
moustaches, his pipecleaner body and too-tight trousers, the whisping edges of his
fraying flies. The sun shrugged from behind a cloud 

as he pitched himself, a silken tent on the old chaise-longue, 
batting his eyelashes, snickering softly, enchanted he said by all this family talk of
poetry, the minecraft castles, the games on x-box, the books, (the books!) the magic 

of the internet. He smacked his lips, petted his greyhound with lotus-soft hands. When
my children came home, it got worse, he got wilder: fighting with pillows, letting
baths overflow, smoking dope with my neighbour out in the yard, 

his rackety steed running up and down stairs and trashing the carpets. Get real! I
wept, and he bowed to me softly, held an unknowable look in his kindly eyes. 
So I took to the streets, ate a yard of mobile data in the process –  left a the ladder

of snapchats to my oldest friends -- the selfies I’d taken, just me and Quixote, my pale
face looking smaller than usual, his pocked cheeks gleaming, around my shoulders his
ash white arms. After a week I called up my ex. Don, I said, What the hell 

can I do? Day and night he paces the house. His bloodshot eyes have started to haunt
 me. His insistence on optimism is making a statement. Losing sleep like this is
 making me strange. At this point Quixote (before he could answer) began frantically 

to gesture. Even now I can picture his face as he stood up from the kitchen table, a
ragged feather drooping from his helmet. I could hear my own voice exploding. We
all must suffer trials for love. Not this time, baby, he muttered, as he bowed his head, 

flourished a wave. But I will be back. So I followed him, and that bloody horse,
pushed the front door wide. Confused, dazed, exalted now I wait for his return.
In this life I have heard his promise. O Quixote!  I sit here in the lonely cafes. 
I have served your starved and ancient presence. Quixote, still, I wait in my room.

Deryn Rees Jones

About Deryn Rees Jones

Deryn Rees-Jones was educated at the University of Wales, Bangor, and Birkbeck College, London. She is an Eric Gregory Award winner, and The Memory Tray was shortlisted for a Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. In 1996 she received an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award. She lives in Liverpool, where she lectures at the University of Liverpool. Her most recent poetry collection Burying the Wren was on the 2012 TS Eliot Prize shortlist.