Last night I wandered through a carnival being set up in town. Here in Italy these traveling amusements are called Luna Parks, though that may be a brand name? The community of carnies is living around the corner from us and the park itself is set up just down the street. While I am certainly peripatetic, I can only imagine what a 21st century nomadic life would be like...
It was odd to walk the midway before it has opened for business, like being in school on Sunday or a ballpark in November. An amusement park with its shutters down and its plugs pulled. Flashy wheeled carts and miniature fire engines and flying horses at rest. Wooden bottles in no danger of falling boxed up. A bull roping gig set to snort steam collecting dew. Bumper cars lined up in their shawls like boats at a winter marina. Food booths linger already or still with the scent of popcorn and toasted sugar. A whirly top with flanges for seats and standing room screaming only quiet dark. All of it waiting.
Durante medio siglo
la poesía fue
el paraíso del tonto solemne
hasta que vine yo
y me instalé con mi montaña rusa.
Suban, si les parece.
Claro que yo no respondo si bajan
echando sangre por boca y narices.
- Nicanor Parra
For half a century
the paradise of the solemn fool
until I arrived
and I settled in with my roller coaster.
Go on up, if it strikes you.
Of course I won’t respond if you come down
pouring blood from your mouth and nostrils.