Saturday October 13th
Awoke by the Med -sweet! Potter’d about for an hour on the beach with a beer & a spliff, the pack’d up & tried to find a boat to Ponza. The harbor was a delightful affair, but I had miss’d the daily boat to the archipelago. The next boat leaves at 9.30 tomorrow morning, & with a paradise island in my thoughts I decided to stick around, bought some food & wine & settl’d down for an afternoon on the beach.
The sun was hot but not too hot & I whipp’d thro’ several poems, finishin’ off the last o mi skunk in the process. I find the weed & wine has help’d me slip into the Italian way of life. Spent sunset pacing the surf, sharing in its beauty with the couples – it is a very romantic place.
I took a night’s walk into the bustling town, half way between seclusion & the city. Ah! The Italians are such a lovely people. Kept in touch with the Burnley score over public payphones, interspers’d with watching a Juventus game. Back at the camp I reflected on The Clarets’ chances of promotion beneath a glittering array of stars, beside a sloshing sea, watching the bright rotations of a lighthouse’s gleaming beams. It was also a time for poetry, & I spent the night composing a few stanzas upon 9-11, before slipping to a celebrated sleep.
Sunday October 14th
Awoke by the Med with an hour to go before my boat. Pack’d quickly & meander’d to the harbor for a quick coffee & pastry, watchin’ the fisherman prepare for the day. Bought a ticket for 30,000L (£10) & was soon on my way, the voyage invigorating & the view full of a mist which enshadow’d the mountains of the mainland. A few minutes after passing the magnificent monastery at Circeo, the Pontine islands came into view – great rugged cliffs jutting from the sea like the peaks of mountains. So these are my paradise islands.
The boat rounded Ponza & pull’d into a quaint harbor, from where I quickly found an apartment for tonight (60,000L). After dumping my stuff, I boil’d up some magic mushrooms, pick’d up the notes I’d prepared on the boat & set off out across this arid yet wildly romantic island. I found a terrifically secluded beach, framed by the Tyrrannean & 300 ft high cliffs, & relax’d, alternating swims with lazin’ in the sun, pencil in hand.
At sunset I return’d to my rooms, got my neighbor to open her shop for me & bought the ingredients for a fine pasta. This was cook’d up & consumed on a verandah overlooking the harbor. It felt perfect & if this is the notion of romantic travelling, then I have found it. Relax’d in my room afterwards, sippin’ wine & flickin’ thro Italian TV. My Italian is sketchy so most of it went by me – but I did enjoy watchin’ the women. Fell asleep watchin ‘Grande Fratello,’ the Italian version of Big Brother.
Monday October 15th
Woke up snug within clean white sheets, a lovely way to begin my full day on Ponza. Woke early & took a stroll thro’ the streets of the port. I found some cheaper rooms (25,000L), a more spacious affair, but a touch grottier. Next-door was a plush hotel, so after a little altercation with a guy I snook down its private staircase onto a public beach & began a swim around the tip of the island. It was lovely & warm, I felt like a pirate with a dagger in my mouth as I pass’d by grottos & a small pinnacle of rock. The highlight of the swim was discovering roman fish farms hewn from the rock, but long since reclaim’d by the sea.
Swim over, I began the days composition, picking up a dog en route to yesterday’s beach. The mutt insisted I threw a stick for it to chase – without respite. It was very difficult trying to snatch a few lines while it paddl’d out to sea – especially with a corkin’ pair of Italian tits wobbling to my right.
I somehow managed to lose the dog en route to watch the sunset. It was stunning sat high above the sea, tranquilly gazing upon the isle of Palmora in the distance. The sky pinken’d to black & I walk’d back to port full of poetic fire. While sat on a rock, gazin’ at the stars & musin’ on a poem about Rome I realised I’d left a bag where I was sat containing 50,000 lira & mi shrooms. Walk’d back up the slope & groped around in the dark a bit, but to no avail. Then one-by-one the island’s security, their mate with a big torch & the polizie show’d up. It soon turn’d into a fiasco, everyone chattin’ at once & nothing getting done. The policeman got fed up & drove me back to my rooms to check my passport. It was cool & I decided to stay put & check on the bag tomorrow.