The story gap

He tells me the long story of trying to cross the border, of looking to buy a life jacket to cross the river at 4am but then changing plans at the last minute because there were gangs there extorting or kidnapping. He's been trying to cross the border for three years, and he will try... Continue Reading →

Tiny story: The amount of noise art makes

An abstract painting by a man with lots of time was on display at the national gallery and featured in television documentaries. It was heard loud and clear by lots of people: it had the loudness of a million people clapping. A first-world man's installations were featured in textbooks and in the state library. They... Continue Reading →

Like jealousy stains, like the things that calm down hurricanes

Like cream in guitars Like jealousy stains Like the things that calm down hurricanes Like impotent roses Like wrinkles in the sun and goosebumps on the moon Like dreaming elephants and crying tigers Like trains without rails Like bottled meat and smurfed love Like the sound of him painting colourful skeletons Like the colour of... Continue Reading →

What is dance?

Venezuela. The day Florcita understood what dance was, she was waiting for a Communist Party meeting to start. Two comrades arrived in their car. They were in their eighties, and had been active for decades, including when the party was underground and repressed. The woman had had a stroke a year ago, and with help... Continue Reading →

Too much water

I'm sleeping, surrounded by pillows and a warm doona. It feels like soft flowing hills. Outside, there are storms. They gather around the city like hungry seagulls. Greedy rumbles and too much water. Overflowing concrete barrios and broken stone roads and rubbish pile-ups by drains and nearby a town that will slide down the hill... Continue Reading →

The balloon seller

Her mass of taut and floating balloons seems heavy. The Puebla street is five layers of flaking paint visible on the lamp post. It's anxious crowds shopping slowly between the two stories of old buildings and churches and rubbish bins spilling over with taco and cemita wrapping. Among the balloon sellers and crowds you don't... Continue Reading →

The accidental rich white man

In 1872, the president of Ecuador ordered that Manuela Leon be shot, after her leading role in an indigenous rebellion against forced labour. Her troops had been victorious, and they say she had managed to kill the lieutenant Miguel Vallejo. In the president's decree, he called her Manuel. And just like that, he erased the... Continue Reading →

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