Apparatus Magazine! Please also see a photographic preview at YouTube.
The theme of the issue is "Translation," a theme dear to my heart. Interpreted widely, it pertains to people trying to communicate in any way they can, and so encompasses most of human experience.
The poem came to me during a study abroad experience in Córdoba, Spain. As we realized more every day after we got there, Córdoba was the original melting pot. In spite of the discomforts it implied, the blending of peoples, languages and cultures created an experience so astoundingly beautiful, it can still be felt today in the air that passes through.
My room mate (and best friend) was having a tough time. She loved Spain (I like to think I had something to do with that) but October is always emotionally raw for her. One day she just got up and went for a walk while it was still dark outside, and contemplated the serenity of the Roman Bridge in the early morning light. By the time I woke up, she was back and telling me about the adventures she'd had. Anywhere else, they might have been commonplace, but the setting made them almost mystical.
In workshop, the other members were sorely disappointed to hear that I wasn't writing about something that happened to me personally. I think one of them claimed she would continue pretending. That's absolutely fine. I don't think the poem is injured, no matter who the subject is. What is imagination for if not to bring vivid experiences to people who never had them?
Take a look at the poem here. I'll also add the link to my "famous publications" page.
"Without Language in Córdoba" is one of the centerpieces of my collection Dusk Before Dawn.