Panama Barrio.


One of many occasions I visited Panama, either end… Panama City or Christobel. It was always the same, dangerous and exciting.

Panama Barrio


I staggered the streets of Panama barrio

red lights all aglow.

I was with some drunken bastards

As we heard the banshees howl.


We found a bar upon the corner

and saw the filthy truth,

There was whiskey in the belly

and cocaine on the lurch.


We left the broken street

And all the left over shit.

Looking at you with a scowl

Guardia wandering on the prowl.


The girls were all Colombian.

The barman was a Scouse.

So we settled at the table

and carried on our carouse.


Behind the bar was

a baseball bat and silver gun

with wooden handles.

A shrine sat against a corner.


There was a plastic Jesus

candles and

Effigies of all the saints.

How quaint.


The girls were there

for twenty dollars

out the back

For a quick one.


They were all tight shorts

all tight skirts.

Tits pushed up and out

make up an inch deep.


When they returned, paid.

Some of the girls

crossed themselves

at the shrine and muttered

Into their rosary.


I danced with them

to an old Spanish tape.

But didn’t venture out the back

I was happy in my space.


I could see Hemmingway

Sat in the corner.

Laughing his hat off

wth a shotgun in his mouth.


Kafka would scream “exploitation”.

Camus would laugh at the absurd.

Kerouak would pour more whiskey.

Kierkegaard would just call it existential.


The girls offered cocain and sex.

I took the coke and left the sex.

Johnny Walkers sat behind the bar

labels but contents from a dodgy local brewery.


It was all a pretence.

It was all absurd.

It was all we had.

And really we were very glad.

© Mentalelf 2023
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