A Home in the Mountains

        The plane flew over thousands of feet of emptiness. A dark ocean of nothingness. It’s nose was pointing to the clouded horizon; a million miles from home. It was the first time Alexander had left Europe. Everything was exciting for him: the popping ears; the fresh blue air of a new…

Venezuela Frozen

    The morning crawled slowly slowly up the garbage bag’s skin. In a red-tinted back street a garbage truck stands like a colossus. The boy wakes up and goes for breakfast, eating from the garbage truck’s ass. A cold morning wind blows in from the foaming sea. The boy shivers; until he hears his…

Carnival of the Dead

Carnival of the Dead Today is the dawn of an old winter. Death, so friendly and chatty, descends Like a pregnant ash cloud to kiss the roofs of our mouths. A carnival of life mocks the dead, Their dancing further burying the black corpses Until their remains lie so far buried That we are allowed…

Inner Landscapes

Childhood   What world is this With so many blues? Birds fly like planes And houses Have balconies for faces. Olive trees Shake hands With palms. And beaches Drown with the tide. Oh mother, I don’t know!     The Pen   Like snow To a mountain, Or the cocktail To the man who screams…

The Andean Diaries

    Buenos Aires and the New World We have left Europe behind. Everything we know, all the crusades, the world wars, the feel of home, even the Mediterranean is behind us. And now we were somewhere new. An alien world that bears traces of where we come from. We don’t feel like travellers we…

The Origins of Travel: Grace Under Pressure

  We are often told that travel is freedom. It’s a romantic view of what is essentially leisurely migration. I don’t see it that way. Not anymore. Wanderlust: one of the most beautiful words in the English language (and typically of Germanic origins) is an evocative word that breathes mountain air and wistful breezes. But…

My Fallen Rover

  The cliffs were a cavity in the face of the earth. Dark and volcanic, boundless like the very night sky. In fact, they look like the night sky of millions of years ago, fossilised. If archaeologists were to excavate it they would unearth shards of extinct stars. “Are you ready Alfred?” She screamed as…

The Voyages of a Devoted Reader

Literary Travel Guide to Europe and the Americas   Travel guides. Is there anything more miserable, more cliché-making, complacent and sheepish than those small, compact dictionaries-of-places that you can conveniently, nay embarrassingly, carry in your pockets? All you need to scream out ‘tourist’ even louder is a sun-hat, bermuda shorts and sandals. What happened to…

Cenote of Maya Blue – Part II

“Can’t you just stop smoking!” I asked from the pits of reason. Men can be pre-disposed to certain cancers and fates, but they’re pre-disposed even more if they succumb to it! – I thought to myself almost angrily, as if I were arguing with my own father. “It’s too late now, kid.” He laughed an…

Cenote of Maya Blue – Part I

  The smell of the suckling pig flew into the air like the musical aroma created by a butterfly’s flapping wing. If you go close to it as it marinates in the banana leaves you could smell the potently acidic citrus that comes from the bitter orange that drowns it. Angelica moves past me and…

Dear Mother Landfill

    The sun that hides behind the snaking fumes, the woods that sleep beyond the mounds so hideous, and the very sky somewhere above; none of them know where the football is buried. Fernando – don’t tell anyone watching him, but yesterday was his 11th birthday – digs his hand into the rubbish that…

The Ghostly Cries of Istanbul

She had barely run out the door when her mother cried out to her: “it’s just a plane!” But the girl didn’t hear her, or anything, only the shrill engine of the plane; she saw her mother’s hand reaching out to her, but she turned away and cried: “bombs! Bombs are coming!” “Is this a…