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…

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…

The Ghost in the Arena

  The Ghost in the Arena     Writing is a blood-sport. And in many blood-sports you tend to find the influence of religion. Think of the superstitions of bullfighters. Or the outspoken religiosity of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Or the Zen-like spirituality of karate. Faith brings these fighters, who frequently flirt with death…

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…