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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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JAMES BRODOWS

 

 

 

James Brodows

James Brodows currently resides in New York City. His work has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review and Wilderness House Literary Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Day São Paolo Portuguese Blues

 

 

Eight teams of five motorcycle police passed at high speed with sirens blaring. Nothing in the news the next day.

 

In the Jardins District I'd sit at that burger joint with three sauces, reading the International Herald Tribune.

 

I conversed in basic Portuguese with a psychology student at the All Black Irish Pub. Renata took my hotel information, offering to show me the Japanese neighborhood, Liberdade.

 

Sunday night there was a message on the hotel phoneRenata was available Monday; I wrote her number, repeat the recording to confirm, and put down the receiver; the message erased.

 

I called the number. Silence. Dialed again with same result.

 

Looking at the digits, one short for a Brazilian mobileI'd missed a numeral transcribing her Portuguese. The week previous at a Belo Horizonte bingo hall I marked swiftly without error. Now I tried dialing zero to nine in each potential position to complete her phone number.

 

I connected with an array of Brazilians (one sultry-voiced woman, who hung up), but could not reach Renata.

 

Monday afternoon I visited Liberdade. On the walk to São Paulo Cathedral, women in doorways hissed softly, beckoning from poorly lit brothels.

 

 

 

©2016 James Brodows

 

 

Author Links

 

'University Second Year': poem by James Brodows in Cordite Poetry Review

 

 

 

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