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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Travel Poem

I can't write when I travel

my observations seem banal to me

what anyone else might observe

or else simply mistaken or distorted

I can't write the Fulbright travelogue, the tourist poem

I am a poor tourist, I like residing more than visiting

I do like traveling, the odd distortions of time and place

and beauties produced by disorientation

"the strange hours we keep to see them"

as William Carlos Williams put it

so jet lag is actually a good thing!

but I don't like trying to have experiences other people expect me to have

or writing down my reactions to what I see

my, those Alps are steep!

so I can't write anything about bleak and beautiful Cuba

Patagonia where I have never been

I like traveling to give a talk or meet people

interested in my ideas about things

I like being away and coming back

trying to talk to people in the language of the place

and reading novels in languages I don't fully comprehend on the plane back

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