The Wayfaring Diaries – A Sample

“Here it is my friend, Argentina’s national drink, Fernet con Coca, 2 parts Fernet to 1 part Coke. Salud.” We drank the Fernets on the balcony and from the corner of my eye I kept my gaze pinned on the woman across the street. But she wasn’t looking at us anymore. She was watching television….

I Want My War

  Dedicated to the survivors of Srebrenica   “The local soldiers didn’t even have a uniform. A lot of them were just kids fighting in their Converse and jeans. When they weren’t at the frontline I saw them surviving like the best animal, and every night they’d be gather around a burning car tyre trying…

The Belly of New York

We need to start talking about why you look Mexican. Being Maltese I am – we are – sufficiently mixed with Latinate blood to pass, especially with the right facial hair, for something resembling a Mexican. Buy, my daughter, why you have to look like an Aztec princess gazing down on a queue of sacrificial…

The Chilean Diaries

      What are you to do, what are you to do when your father is the most hated man in the country? All because of something he didn’t do. A poster-child of alleged child-snatchers among neo-liberals and their political shadows. The “man who kidnapped his own daughter” (newspapers in Malta don’t have the…

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…

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…

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…

Day of the Dead

In the Xicotencatl, somewhere in the soul-deserting streets of the Coyoacan neighbourhood, Alicia found La Santa Gula. It was the only place in the whole of Mexico City where she could hope to speak Maltese. Her Spanish was pitiful, lazy, and speaking it elicited painful memories that used to be happy. No: she changed too…

Silhouettes on the Sea

On Sea   The word hovers in the lilting air It sucks in all meaning into itself. Ravenous, greedy, a vacuum crunching up all life All so it can devour all meaning. To cannibalise it, for meaning is also a word, And strip away that universe of connotation Until all something is rendered nothing. The…

Championing Our Divisive Modern History

    As a devoted admirer of the art of history, a tour guide and a writer who lives on an island so densely packed and renowned for its history you would be right to expect a historical novel or two from me. I recently read an article about Jon Cassar, a Hollywood producer of…