monsoon

what am i going to write about this far-flung evening not so quiet not so normal not so anything seated alone on a south-facing porch rain dripping off every surface patter of droplets chirp of frogs everything is damp three hundred twenty tree species thrive in the high western ghats which one's in shadow which …

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roads

exhale. what is there to say about the roads we drove in the middle of the world? i remember the bumps less, it's always the way with hindsight. the discomforts, the lack, the pain. these evaporate quickly, though they take up our whole field of vision at the time. bumps, bumps, bumpy, i thought maybe …

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a russian train, and peter the great

Around Moscow, the country rolls gently up from the rivers winding in silvery loops across the pleasant landscape. Small lakes and patches of woods are sprinkled among the meadowlands. Here and there, a village appears, topped by the onion dome of its church. –Peter the Great: His Life and World, Robert K. Massie midafternoon, and …

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poem from the train to bukhara

dusty, dry, golden the fan mountains silhouette a line of white chevys, blue soviet trucks a level crossing then dushanbe, and afghanistan after. vestiges of trade routes that criss-crossed this land like vines creeping up trellises, along shanty warehouses, next to a dwindling river carving a ribbon of jade through the desert. in some other universe there is a caravan packing …

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travelling outside your age (or, an ode to my cool aunt and uncle)

my aunt jane and uncle dave are legends. they grew up in the 50s and 60s and have a million stories from high school in pasadena, california. surfing, playing in bluegrass bands like the smooothies, the heady early days of the rose parade, smoking in the mountains, seeing steve martin with an arrow through his …

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