Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to reflect upon time, upon travel, and on my journeying this past year.
What I discovered was that I am often struck by places of instability and ambiguity, in which the past leaks through to the present and I invariably lose all sense of time and place.
These are an alternative kind of “time bubble,” sometimes terrifying, sometimes absurd, always simply irresistible.
I present just over half a dozen of these dream-like places here, with accompanying lines of poetry…
Prada, Aoyama, Tokyo （プラダ、青山、東京）/ Shopper silhouetted against glowing façade / A ghost from the Edo period
Ai Wei Wei, London, the Chinese Zodiac（艾未未）/ French and British looters at the fabled Summer Palace （圆明园）/ The brutal past revived at auction
Jemaa el Fnaa, Marrakesh ( جامع الفناء) / Night of a thousand jinns (ليل الجن) / Al-Kutubiyya Mosque flickers into existence (الكتبية)
L’Institut du monde arabe, Jean Nouvel, Paris / Apertures filtering out the harsh sunlight / Latticed windows onto the distant past
Praça do Comércio OU Terreiro do Paço, Lisboa / Commercial Square OR Royal Square, Lisbon / Royal Palace AND Lisbon Earthquake, 1755
Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden / 19th century working-class suburb OR 21st century café quarter / Two men and a cellphone
I spy over Dubai, another World / Coalescing like pearls through the dust and fog / Dissolving slowly into the Persian Gulf