Jay Griffiths from Hay Cartagena 2016

Jay Griffiths from Hay Cartagena 2016

All writing is magic, realized.

Writing the past is a confession.
Writing the present is a witness.
Writing the future is a spell.
Each key struck against the implacable is a little metal ex-voto, as precise and pointless and priceless as prayer, an errand run by a printer’s devil.  Yes, Whitman, yes, by the mark, twain.

The realized magic of Cartagena saddens me from the start, when a high wind and a full moon slung the sea across the road, and cast, low as fishing nets, a flashed foreboding.

I saw a vulture with a broken wing, the parched teats of a sleeping dog, caged songbirds and a shaky kitten under a barrow of passionfruit while the stallholder lazily fans her fruit – oranges, sweet oranges, and a basket of bright limes.
At a street corner, ten typewriters clatter over typed wills and the settling of accounts. A man walks past with a T-shirt saying Who Cares? And the cannons point out at sea to fire on an enemy of the future.