Cities of Q –

Q, you built a city inside my heart and now I’m trying to make it back.
Do you remember what it looks like? What we did there? Where is it now?

In this city there’s a lake that’s filled with fish & fountains powered by
Your laughing soul – we’re creating plans, our soundtrack experiments;

Organized sports cannot be found in this brand new city, its living memory
(I’m putting off returning to the plans, although it’s getting crowded here).

It’s easier to draw a lake, a fish or house, the view of a mountain hut;
A native flower’s sleepy bloom or night inside some inner city bar –

Though words are never pictures they can contain this feeling’s arc.
Something in them returns to you & makes me listen to your voice.

I catch the subways every day & see in signs your famous designs:
The freeways look like fret boards on that old guitar we used to play.

In every city, every day, you walk & talk about the people living out
Recycled dreams & even there we hope for sunsets on tiny islands –

Along these boulevards buskers tumble, street sellers hawk their
Frozen wares; your eyes cannot fail to find one of life’s surprises,

Your love of the eccentric & the weird. The fake wig made of your
Own hair, or our tentative beards. In this city everyone’s up for your

Dares: we leap into pools as if the edges are not there, as if once we
Accepted that these waters make us float there’d be no reason any more

To take that chance – to throw our spirits at the sun & catch them on
Their gentle spirals. Through a screen I see the landscape as you always

Intended it to be – alive & random, at once created & at the same time
Free of human intentions; brave & only slightly wounded, wise but only

Partly grown-up. You’re walking so fast along the city streets that I’m
Breathless & can hardly keep up – searching for the secret bargains,

Plotting paths through the lunchtime crowds, knowing this is your city &
You have made it ours, the architect of desires we barely knew existed

In the traffic islands, the excitement of hoardings & billboards pasted with
Notices of what’s still to come until, at last, in your beautiful city, the one

That’s powered by your still-beating heart, I arrive at something like a
Destination. I sit there thinking of your urban stories & of telegraph

Wires along which flow a multitude of words & whispers (even silences
Contain some truths). The radios are all tuned to stations whose chosen

Styles have not yet even been named. On televisions in the discount stores
They’re playing re-runs of Fantasy Island & Diff’rent Strokes yes & ALF

Hear this, all you people afraid of going out: there’s a party on at Q’s place. Don’t
Be late; you wouldn’t want to miss the main event: a fish tank filled with jelly

Or the impossible cake & that special dance, whose backing track you’re on
The verge of recognizing, propelling us into each others’ lives, like it doesn’t end.

It’s been set up on a loop & in the streets you’ll hear it too although it’s
After midnight and you’re drunk & you left your coat somewhere in the park.

Tomorrow morning someone will find you sitting in a coffee shop or a bar,
Humming an irresistible tune, thinking of a new invention, sketching specifics

On a napkin, waiting for us all to arrive so that in company & in jest or in love
With your incredible talents, your arts, this city lives on in all of our hearts.

Q, you built a city inside our hearts and now we’re trying to make it back.
Do you remember what it looks like? What we did there? Where is it now?


  1. beatiful Dave, thanks for the cermonial version with Rachael, i think i cried through the whole thing, i can’t stop tears breaking when I think of you and how close you and Q were, and how you must be feeling
    He had a good farewell, hope you are ok.

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