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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

Foreign Desk

ABBAS ZAIDI "Lumut, Pakistan: Queen's Street": Close to my gate stood an extremely thin bare-footed Tamil-looking boy about five years of age; he was wearing the Batman costume, holding the Batman mask in one hand and a big toy machine gun in the other; an enormous fake moustache was his most pronounced facial feature. He was looking up at the mango-laden tree inside my house. He fired the gun at us and ran away

MARK TERRILL "Five Prose Places": The old dented black Peugeot taxi hurtles through the streets of nighttime Karachi Pakistan at breakneck speed seeming to catch each & every pothole & rut with a shuddering slam

JOHN VERLENDEN "Road to Damascus, Part Two": Damascus, dusty by day, shimmered red, blue, white and green courtesy of neon. A shakily amplified muezzin wailed out prayer hour, but my sidewalk's crowd kept chattering

ROBERT E. GARLITZ "South America: The Traveler and the Beauty": By most accounts Bolivia is a harsh and striking country, marked by extremes of altitude, climate, barren terrain, and great poverty and some of the worst living and working conditions in the world

MARALYN LOIS POLAK: "Expat Land: Guatemala City; Tuesday They Poisoned the Dogs": It was a Tuesday when they poisoned the dogs in Guatemala. As a Philadelphian, I felt right at home

PETER WEVERKA "Punta Desolacion": Today I went to the bank and tried again to exchange the gold ingot for paper currency

KIRBY OLSON "Mexico": It had not been long after I had embraced the Mexican aesthetic when my wife began to grumble

JOSEPH GELFER "Anarchy in the PRC": Everyone I'd met in Hong Kong, whilst securing my Chinese visa, who had just come from the mainland had a look of vague trauma about them


STEVAN WEINER "From America to Kosova and Back": Kosova is destruction, ugliness, sorrow, stubbornness, but also pride, solidarity, beauty and triumph

ALLAN GRAUBARD "Sarajevo Notes": I first came to the Balkans in 1997 -- in search of a Croatian production of Radovan Ivsic's King Gordogan, which I had previously opened off-off Broadway at the Ohio Theater in New York

STEPHEN F. ANDERSON "Team Boracay: 200 Miles South of Manila": This dumbbell-shaped island is only four and a half miles long (about 75 soccer fields) and little over a half-mile wide at its narrowest midsection

STEPHEN RAHAIM "First Impressions, New Orleans": It's an amazing thing to get caught in a cross wind, a particular spot on the street where you can hear three or even four bands melding together into that singular song of the Quarter

STEPHEN CLAIR "Mack and Stan in New Orleans": Mack and Stan are spending the summer in New Orleans, housesitting an apartment just outside the French Quarter

MICHAEL STANDAERT "Down & Out in Brussels & Bruxelles": The barmaid struck me eye first off, all buxom blonde and brass-eyed, a corset setting off her bosom which gravitated toward the night sky, cross-laced in the fashion of an Octoberfest beer-maiden

lDEAN LENANE "English Culinary Atrocites": England without a doubt, offers the most execrable collection of edible dreck you are likely to encounter anywhere in the world

BRETT PERUZZI "Driving in Italy": One of the tricks the locals seemed to employ was to only look straight ahead, never back, or not even to the side

MICHAEL BACKUS "Santa Fe Cab": I'm parked on the edge of the city, right where it turns to scrub brush and red sand hills


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