Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Don Quixote Ventures Forth – Hugo Williams

Don Quixote Ventures Forth

Once long ago at night
I was excited by rain
lighting the street for murder.
Was it too late, I wondered,
to do something stupid with my life?
Perhaps I was going to die myself one day?
Looking into the future
was like breaking open a thermometer. 

I wanted to go out of course,
in order to come home. But not too far.
A walk on the wild side
meant crossing the street occasionally
and taking a photo of my house.
Proceeding against my will,
I obstructed my own path.
I failed to look after myself.

My fault was wandering about
in a series of knight moves. 
I was paying attention
to the cherry blossom petals
trapped in the patterns of man-hole covers.
Faces without features
tore themselves to pieces before my eyes.
A reflection of my feelings or their cause?

What was it that spoke to me like this
in the language of ribbons?
What trail of mischief fell from my hand
to bind me to itself?
I was looking for an ending
in the tangle of streets and thoughts,
when I noticed a quivering thing
tethered to a railing.

She told me to meet her at The Sorrow Club,
where a bad man greeted me
with sarcastic applause and blows.
I turned round fast and heard the click.
Little beads of mercury
were running around in the gutter.
Shadows fell from my blood. They carried me
shoulder-high through the night.