All posts tagged: Dispatch

Dispatch from Moscow, Idaho

By AFTON MONTGOMERY

A snowy field in Moscow, Idaho
Moscow, ID

The neighbor children are in the Evangelical cult that Vice and The Guardian wrote about last year. They’re not allowed to speak to us, which is a thing no one has ever said aloud but is true, nonetheless. This town is full of true things that no one says aloud because we can’t or wouldn’t dare or because no one would believe us anyway. 

Marilynne Robinson, I think, or maybe Ruth Ozeki, wrote something about how the wheat here is green before it’s yellow and everyone from elsewhere gets to selectively forget that and picture us golden and glowing year-round. 

Dispatch from Moscow, Idaho
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Monsoon

 By URVI KUMBHAT

Palm tree and building at dusk

Kolkata, India

From my window I see a boy shaking the bougainvillea 
for flowers. My parents talk of pruning it. They talk 
of little else. The tree, spilling wildly past our house into 
the gulley—where boys come to smoke or piss, lanky against 
betel-dyed walls—acrid ammonia, posters begging for 
votes, pink crowning above them. The boys linger even 
when it rains. Each drop caught briefly under 
the golden streetlight, and me, holding my breath. 

Monsoon
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Effluent of the Affluent

By MARY BERGMAN

Sewer Bed Beach, Nantucket, MA

 

We are losing this place twice over: first to money, and then to sea. There are ways to quantify these losses: only 3,200 bushels of scallops were caught this past winter and more than $2 billion in real estate transactions were recorded last year. My parents aren’t sure where they should be buried; all the graveyards in all the towns we have ever lived will one day be inundated. I imagine horseshoe crabs trolling along the bottom, pausing to read the names etched on headstones.

All over the island, it looms: this is the end of something. I walk along the dune-tops, what’s left of them, at the very end of South Shore Road. Over one shoulder is the Atlantic; endless. Over the other are the sewer beds. A sandy strip separates the two. Second homes are not the only creatures perched precariously on eroding shorelines. Our wastewater treatment facility hangs in the balance.

Effluent of the Affluent
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The Way Back Home

By S. G. MORADI

 

Image of a building with colorful glass windows in the twilight.

Iran

We grew up on salty rocks, collecting bullets,
holding onto hope as if it were a jump rope that 
come our turn, would go on spinning forever
our feet never failing us.
We ran through sunburnt alleys, kicking up
clouds of dust that were quick to settle
as if somehow knowing
that we had nowhere else to go.

The Way Back Home
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Looking for Anton Chekhov

By A. MAURICIO RUIZ

Photo of Chekhov

Yalta, Ukraine

The minibus stops in the middle of the road and the driver opens the door, he says something in Russian which I take to mean I need to get off. I begin to walk on a red dirt road that meanders down, and in front of me, the vastness of the Crimean terrain opens up, splotches of yellow overgrown grass, young bushes and wildflowers, the quiet dark sea in the distance.

Looking for Anton Chekhov
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Room of Darkness

By MONA KAREEM
Translated by SARA ELKAMEL

Image of a balcony

 

Farwaniya, Kuwait

“Darkness alone is in my voice.” — Jean Sénac

 

I am of darkness.
My nation is an aging butterfly,
the desert my prayer.

I wash in rain’s saliva.
In my supplications, the sun dances
on the tips of her toes.

Room of Darkness
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Ars/Ours: A Question

By NICELLE DAVIS

Trash Mask

Los Angeles, CA

There is comfort in a lack of context, dishes on the floor, jewelry on a peg board, grand piano next to an abandoned plastic phlebotomy practice arm. All the parts of the world shuffled and randomly dealt amongst rooms. A sort of magic trick, skinned in dust, connecting all things to a singular body—the auction house. I remember finding a large bowl of teeth.

Ars/Ours: A Question
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The Longkau’s Name (Excerpt from DAKOTA)

By WONG KOI TET

Translated from Chinese by SHANNA TAN

image of dakota-crescentDakota Crescent, Singapore

 

 

The body of water that runs by the neighborhood is in fact a river, but everyone used to call it longkau—a storm drain. The Hokkien word has a crispier edge than the Mandarin longgou. Calling it a river would require a proper name, a division into upstream and down. Nobody knew about that stuff, so we went with what was the easiest. Anyway, a name is just a name, and it was kind of endearing after you got the hang of it. The neighborhood does have a proper name: Dakota. There’s a place called Dakota somewhere up north in the States, but that’s not what we’re named after. No, our origin story is local and commemorates the crash of a Dakota DC-3 aircraft nearby. Maybe by giving the neighborhood a name tinged with disaster and exoticism, we were also foretelling its premature demise.

The Longkau’s Name (Excerpt from DAKOTA)
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