Colombia

jv 027

Your own planet/time frame is waiting for you.  Go in, get the hump back whales and get out without getting into any trouble.  Star Trek is like the Bible. It tells you everything you need to know.

There are men with machine guns outside the university.

The coffee rocks. They heat milk for coffee dulce con leche.  I drink several cups every morning.

At the university, there was cannon fire.  The cannons were not large. There are armed policemen everywhere.

I tried a beer the first night but beer isn’t generally my thing.  I bought a bottle of wine, and tonight we opened it.  The wine was from Chile.  Some wished I had brought California wine.

The rich people are gated off.

I brought the wrong clothes for a Catholic country. Darlene gave me this one shirt dress–saving my life.

I saw a kitten killing a mouse.  That sums up Colombia.  Even a kitten can down its own food and eat it.  The kids here have no phones, no games, no television. They read poetry and Marquez and  know more about survival than most American kids.

I was walking around the market looking for fruit.  I bought a papaya. I need fruit and vegetables. Someone went out to buy a watermelon so we had that for breakfast.  There was rice for lunch and plantain soup. For dinner they took us to Dominoes.

One of the poets said my poetry reminded her of Virginia Woolf’s writing. I almost kissed her.

We read poems again to much applause.

I finished Lila and now I need to re-read Gilead.

Tonight I stayed out for the wine and beer part of the partying, then went to bed.  It went on until 2 in the morning. It got rowdier.

I had a picture taken with the Puerto Rican poets. “Ah, the Americans,” the Spaniard said, and I realized we were all surprised by that. Puerto Rico feels like part of the U.S. and yet not quite.  Three million Puerto Ricans live in NY and almost the same number on the island.

I am spending the night in Bogota, then flying home.

The Colombians love literature and poetry.

There are many people who don’t have electricity, plumbing and running water.

We have homeless people in Santa Monica.

The celebration of poetry here in a culture without technological noise to drown it out, is breath taking.

Being around all these Latin American poets was good for me.  Poetry is thriving.

The papaya tasted like sunshine.

Hotel has a swimming pool which I never used.

Colombian bathrooms have no paper.  Cold showers.  Ask for towels at front desk.

Fans everywhere.

Reading makes me want more. I want Jericho Brown and Claudia Rankine’s new books.

Stories are what hang us together.

I like the tomorrow in stories.

Not having enough language is scary.

Fear is what makes us lonely.

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Published in: on November 8, 2014 at 5:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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