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…

Doubt and Apostasy in Golgotha

  A golden-faced Christ looked down on me from the dome. His Byzantine face was sterner than the blonde countenance of the European Jew that gave us Christmas. Like some Andy Warhol print Jesus’ face has been replicated like rain-drops in a violent night sky. Growing up I have seen him in musicals, churches, key-chains,…

Epicurean Realism

  Ever since I was small I was fascinated by the big role little things played in people’s lives. Being an argumentative sort I always pitted imaginary battles in my heads: food vs. career; football vs. relationships; mementos vs. ambitions. Of course now that I’m older and presumably wiser I know it’s not a case…

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…

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…

For Whom My Children Grieve

  The blown sand heaps on me, that none may learn Where I am laid for whom my children grieve . . . O wings that beat at dawning, ye return Out of the desert to your young at eve! – Rudyard Kipling –   Karen Knudsen Copenhagen She looks literally dead, Anna thought as…

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…

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…