Granada has turned out to be an art-generous town – it all started with the circus, who managed to wriggle forever into my experience of Granada.
Then, by accident, we’ve been here for the beginning days of the 5th annual International Poetry Festival, a week of spectacular respect for poetry and a spectacular number of readings cleverly hidden between an almost insurmountable number of speeches – luckily, there’s tortilla revueltas and 75 cent beers to concentrate on finding while the speeches are happening. We’re talking a poetry festival with live music, though, and with poetry parades : a flower-festooned float leading up the thing which stops, every block or so, for a few poets to climb onto the pedestal and read a short piece while the entire parade, the entire choreographed-dancers-marching-bands-costumed-and-masked mass of people filling the street behind this tiered cake of flowers, they all stop. Wait. And start up again when the poetry break is over.
Then, then, I found Mi Museo, a museum of ancient pottery, archaeologied-up and beautifully displayed in clean, spacious galleries around a courtyard whose walls are lined with funerary urns, shaped to imitate a pregnant woman’s stomach. I saw drums whose leather head had long since rotted off, dishes perched on their three animalistic legs, patterns painted with natural pigments that had survived what the leather hadn’t, and a curated metamorphosis of bowls and vases.
Now Michelle is with me – now I’m in Panama – I came home from Carnaval last night with shaving cream in one eye, confetti in the other, and silly string in my ear.