15 July 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 2
Echolalia Two: Peru
[Echolalia One: Gathering in South America]
The drivers begin a lane change when they're flush with the car they will follow.
—and, umm, I don't know how to say, it is our policy—maybe you can clean a little. I am, am sorry—it is our policy—
Oh, yeah, no problem. I put on the long-sleeve, button-up, collared shirt I'd attached to the outside of my backpack.
Yes, but—you could use the bathroom, no? Just over there.
My face. Does she want me to shave? I'm wearing clean clothes. I've showered... I'm even wearing deodorant. My hair is a little grown out, I guess, over my ears, curling against the back of my neck...
To get to gate C-3, to all the gates, you pass through a gauntlet of duty-free goods, a corridor about 40 steps long with women in business skirts, hair secure, holding bottles of perfume, Senora?
Sarah knows my smell. She is furious. She is disappointed I am so washed. What,
those smells are cleaner, formal, first class?
West side of the plane, bumpy blanket of cloud with the pinkorange sunset over it. East, the Andes. Just South enough for the peaks to have snow.
The hotel pickup password, winter. Miraflores. The Scottsdale, or Beverly Hills, of Peru.
Inca Kola tastes like bubble gum, looks like urine or vegetable oil.
Black corn at the market, like blueberries on a husk. Papayas twice the size of a football.
Old men with cigars, English menus, and waiters in white suits. Teeters on.
Did I tell you about le vieux in my village—and there were a few in other villages—conscripted by the French. Taken to Europe and taught to jump out of planes, to drop through the sky with a gun. Even now no one sees planes in Zraluo. I wanted to bring an in-flight meal to the chief's wife... .
If : (�They� lost their guns) (They lost �their� guns) (They �lost� their guns) (They lost their guns) they were shot. He did once—and he's angry now, pointing, talking Gouro through Mangui's translations. He fell asleep and someone took it. But a nurse, a nun maybe, snuck him another.
Above the burgundy tablecloth, this restaurant's decoration. Skeleton keys and muskets in a glass case on the wall.
Yes, did you notice this caf� is called Vivaldi. Only Vivaldi is played. At the Franciscan monastery today, the painting of the Last Supper, cultures stamping themselves on what they consider holy—to see themselves in what is holy? From Jerusalem to Rome to Assisi's St. Francis, to Spain, the Moors and to Peru, Lima, where we are, with our American sensitivities, looking at the painting... the Last Supper's room decorated with Spanish tiles and Moroccan rugs.
The only difference between sap and blood...
chlorophyll is structurally almost the same as the pigment of our blood, only iron in hemoglobin is replaced by magnesium in sap. (Wade Davis, One River)
fix fix fix fix fix fix fix fix fix. peel
you a mandarin,
lay it on the bed, on the strip
of toilet paper.
Dear Todd & Sarah,
The second bag of rocks has been found. I've been sick for the past three days. Horrible dreams. In one a lizard I was chasing down in my kitchen—a large lizard—jumped at me and struck my stomach. I woke up yelling "OOOOOFFFFF." Scared the hell out of the cats who were napping peacefully with me. So I did a smudge around the house last night and the energy picked up. I feel better today but stayed home, took apart all the plumbing, cleaned out the pipes and reassembled it. The strange days of summer.
Whoa, I got off track there.
Kisses con leche,
darkening...regularity. snuggle goose—a bleating star. the unity
invisible on the surface. time
of another sort. great arc
of another sort. called ridiculous—serpentine. where am i,
You say you are learning how to ask for things. I am learning how to do the things I ask for—
Begin to confuse, to confess, your stories with the stories of someone else, stories you were told there, that you were there to hear.
Up in front, the old man's breath rattles to a stop. Maybet three-quarters of the way from his village to the city.
The bus door opens, a cool breeze, from the snow-covered volcanoes across cultivated fields, we step off here, greenhouses of flowers...
Why should I be, why shouldn't you be.
i'm sorry about your dreams. i've had some funky ones lately too, having to kill people and getting pursued. sticking up for something. they never seem to bother me though, not like stomach lizards. i've had a bloody nose from the altitude for awhile that is a nuisance. and as it is freezing cold, a hot shower will be nice soon. just heard back from a writer in la paz, about people to contact. one's a musician-writer. awesome. sarah wants me to add something gross about her body too... so... the bottom part of her face, the area around her lips up to her nose, is flaking off, chapped. and her hair is a vicious unwashed mess. disgusting. i can't even run my gloves through it.
much love to you, and to norman.
todd and sarah.
...she thinks maybe she's allergic to guinea pig guts...stuffed with corn and potatoes. i say, yummm... let's wash up. she also says she's not really that disgusting, that my vision is blurred by the altitude. it's just chapped lips. also, i am blinded by love (here, you must know, i am just taking dictation...don�t say that, that's mean. i hate you.) so as you can see, love is in winter bloom in peru. having blast, will write again soon.
the worst boyfriend sarah's ever had in peru,
endearment: the everyday humble.
uncomfortably, for her neck, the child
drinks rain. you can never use sweetheart
too many times. basho said loneliness,
tenderness, slenderness. add
congeal... he says that's
what I should be working toward. and burnishment.
like to banish
to an underground hearth. little
reluctant goose—the moon
that hushes a bedroom. naps
a farmer's child in cottonwood—to impress
My favorite syncretism:
Rasta-Muslims. Christian-Animism seems too cozy. Full-circle-paganish, religion before the church—before the Catholic Church's revision at the Council of Nicea. Reinterpreting symbols, losing reincarnation.
Reverence for ancestors, renewal of spirits—a way of living within the land. Who labeled animism a religion, anyway?
Tools to Negotiate
�'Why would a plant give a shit about Mozart? And even if it did, why should that impress us? I mean, they can eat light. Isn't that enough?'� (Wade Davis, One River)
The here-away... this is where memories loosen and coordinate. Motion located: getting out of what is renderable and verifiable, one incident leading to another, incident causing incident, place names and proper... linearity walking us out by the arms. What I've got coming.
The pigs are rooting in the river salal
this way, this,
you need something to look up from an occupation,
the pretty prairie without buffalo.
Dear Sarah and Todd,
I am living for the summer on an organic goat ranch lesbian commune in Colorado. This morning I milked five goats, then brushed one of the llamas, made a toy for the brand-new barn kittens out of hay and the string from feed sacks, mucked out stalls, and petted a sick baby goat who used to be unsociable but now wants me to hold him all the time. They tell me I am a born milker, because it took me a few days to milk as well as they did a year after they began. At night, the ranch resounds with the sounds of wailing and theatrical laughter and drumming. Then everyone retires to their respective tents and teepees and yurts and barns and houses; one woman is building a strawbale house with a compacted llama shit floor, and one of the goat ladies told me they were bringing electricity to the goat dairy so they could play Ani DiFranco to the goats in the morning. My little brother visited and thought the Telluride Bluegrass Festival was just like Woodstock. We bought mandolins and a fiddle from an old man with a totem pole on his front porch and a Beanie Babie collection. Our driveway here is a mile long.
Love always, Tessa Amara
A cow, her front knees bent, for the sweeter grass in the ditch. The railroad's clover.
Dad, any of Sarah's ailments seem to have to do with dehydration, as she refuses to drink anything cuz then she has to pee, and i've just learned that women hover over toilets on buses, because they are disgusting. (the toilets, not women). actually, all public toilets, sarah adds. so tip-toe hovering on buses that are hairpin turning for twenty hours. What's her problem, huh?
Cloudlet—our windows rattle when buses pass. Vows of Poverty, Stigmata... signs of suffering. We compare our discomforts each day.
If any of you have ever been on Maui's famed road to Hana—its narrow and incessant twisting, one-lane bridges... or the Going to the Sun Highway in Montana—you might imagine this goddamned bus. Sea-level to 14,000 feet on a paved and patched, pot-holed road in the mountains—twenty-four hours. One stop at a washed-out road.
Women sell mandarins, sour oranges, and bags of anise.
After, the bus smells like orange peels and anise instead of diapers, the bus toilet, the bubble gum of spilled Inka Cola. The trickle of towns into Cusco from the Sacred Valley of the Incas... San Jeronimo, San Agostino... broken down, half-walls. Bruising shins, trying to get arranged, patella pressing, rolling around the metal frame of the seat in front of you, everything rolling, sliding out from under the seats, into the aisle, under other seats, the heat cranked. Ribs, stomach sore from holding yourself upright against the corners. And then, at hour 20, against all odds, the attendant turns on a microphone, bracing herself against a seat, and holds the overhead rack. BINGO begins...
Passengers pass cards back. She calls out... C 68. Letting the overhead go, wedging the microphone between her forearm and bicep, she pushes down the slot on the BINGO master sheet, tossed for a moment against the door to the driver's cabin. Then she reaches back up, adjusts the speaker-screech.
Counter-measures, wrap-around view—possibilities,
to see what settles—
stones to keep the roof on, the tin down.
Opposable thumbs and our ability to say when.
Royal Inka Hotels: The Sacred Valley and Cusco
I find myself walking around the Sacred Valley with Todd and Gonzalo, chanting over and over:
There was an old man of Peru, who dreamed he was eating his shoe. He woke in the night in a terrible fright and found it was perfectly true.
Saqsaywaman (sounds like sexy woman), means satisfield falcon.
Q'enqo means labyrinth or zigzag. Limestone, two carved uprights,
cylindrical over an egg-shaped pedestal.
Love is when you point out dogshit on the street in Lima so I don't step in it. Alpaca shit in the Sacred Valley. Teach me about buckets of water by the toilets, force-flushing.
Dandelions at the Incan showers. Dandelions at the Three Windows in Machu Picchu. Mama had a baby.
Why's a field of a single thing always beautiful? Dumptruck full of children in school uniforms. Navy blue sweaters, band instruments. In the town square, smaller children watch the older children practice for the Corpus Christi parades.
The hill leading into Cusco—three children at dusk sit in the cement-reinforced ditches which will empty of trash in the rainy season. Their schoolbooks and notebooks are open on their laps, car tires blur inches past. No electricity where they sleep, but here—streetlights, across from their mother and her table of chocolate bars, lollipops, bottles of San Antonio water.
Sara Crewe, The Little Princess:
Sexy Woman (spelled Saqsaywaman): This monumental complex is considered the first of the new seven wonders of the world. This huge construction was planned and built by Andean Man. The Incas called it House of the Sun and the Spaniards called it a fortress because of its zig-zag shape.
In Acopia, the ancient abuelo, grandfather, with the lip of coca leaves. Plenipotentiary. He walks right up to Todd, takes his hand, speaks with him for a long time in Quechua.
Perchance. Purchase. Train to Puno
Sandbanks of the river. Peru looks like Montana. Golden, dry mountains with no trees... bright blue sky. Then nightfall... the mountain line looks like a ruffle.
Willingly or unwillingly. One red cent.
Two girls and their father down the aisle of the train, dancing, singing, in bright traditional dress. High-pitched voices made by constricting the backs of their throats. Woven purses around the girls' necks, to deposit money. One puts a scarf around Todd's neck, and he dances with her for a song.
Next, the furred top of the drum—hairless and darker in the center where it's hit. Four Peruvian boys, porters at both ends of the ride, but in the middle of the Cusco-Puno line, black pants and brightly colored vests. One with reed pipes, one with the drum and pipes, two with guitars... up the aisle playing Simon and Garfunkel's �El Condor Pasa.�
Away, I'd rather sail away
Like a swan that's here and gone
A man gets tied up to the ground
He gives the world
Its saddest sound,
Its saddest sound.
Homeage, lineage. A thank-you gift.
Buckaroo n : local name for a cowboy [Alteration (perhaps influenced by buck), of Spanish vaquero from vaca, cow, from Latin vacca.]
Buccaneer. 1. A pirate, especially one of the freebooters who preyed on Spanish shipping in the West Indies during the 17th century. 2. A ruthless speculator or adventurer.
Dream: An elaborate wedding. Sidesaddle. Potato blossoms in our hair. The orchid-jungles, the newlyweds.
A vase with one red flower, the size of two folded hands, on the table between us on the train. As we pass one itty town, a boy throws small stones, underhand, into the passing open windows.
A cement Cristo Blanco on the hilltop of most towns. White Christ.
Three shrines to the Virgin in the train station. In the market along the tracks in Juliaca, one row for bicycles: thousands of bright plastic tassles, spokes, tubes, seats, chains. One row for barbers, one for repairing shoes, one for shoeshines, one for weaving supplies, one for buckets of pigment to dye wool, one for coca leaves and dehydrated birds and lambs. For fortune tellers.
The old women's bellies look pregnant. Smooth, bright-gold mountains. You humiliate the mare by riding her in front of the foal.
When I was a kid, we'd offer each other doll-hairs instead of dollars to do favors. Go get me a coke, and I'll give you a doll-hair. It worked on me, but not my big brothers. I was rich with doll-hair.
Between the on-coming traffic and the silencer
Mom, Dad, got my shoes shined this morning in Puno's plaza de armas. I was in front of the church, wearing alpaca wool gloves in the sunshine. The shoes weren't shinable, but—between the original price and the special black rubber toe touch-up, the boy's price went from 15 centimos (5 cents) to 6 soles (2 dollars). No—... I kept my hand out until he agreed. Three?—okay, uno y medio.
Last night we watched a guy get robbed at the entrance to the place we were eating. Quite a scene. A kid got caught, smacked around and taken away by the police with about fifty people outside watching. The tourist, maybe dutch, was all scattered but I don't think he lost anything. When we walked out he was eating the soup he ordered. I said, good luck. He said, do not leave anything, watch to be careful...
You bet friend. I love you guys—
The Ivory Coast. Again, my reference. Smoke rising around the mosques. Korohogo's streets fortified by burning tires and broken bicycle frames. The steel blue troop trucks, the government's dark blue uniforms, jumping shield and helmet from the back. Boy stone-thrower into the cornfield. That sound of gunfire behind women—drag their children from the market, carry overhead whatever can be wrapped up, tied and hoisted. Tarp stalls, blankets along the street, in front of the trash and drainage sewers, abandoned: cooking pots and cuvettes; toppled piles of manioc, yams; flip-flops and oranges scattered. The air was dust and the whiny beep of motorcycles weaving around us. Taxis flee empty from the center...
In La Paz, food was becoming scarce. Students and taxi drivers, the poor people of El Alto, transport drivers—striking, demanding that the government nationalize and distribute the energy resources.
Europeans, and the descendants of Europeans, in their own established regions request: more autonomy, look at how we have established business with the rest of the world. There was no fuel for anything; nothing moved.
petrochemical. hydrochemical. Juteini
was Basho's mistress. we don�t know anything
about her... taking
rather than anti-climax.
brown mountains, lake,
not a road to it. river's
across the brown valley. two sisters gut trout
over a red bucket. roadside,
sacred valley. aero condor.
There's a tribe in Uruguay, one of the Guarani groups, whose word for soul means �the sun that lies within�, and a friend is called �one another's heart�. (One River, Wade Davis.)
Puno, the Peruvian town with a harbor for Lake Titicaca, was full of travellers with escape stories—walking two days, from La Paz to the border, paying exorbitant money to get on the military flight to Juliaca—we would have paid anything...
Sarah and I went north.
Crammed against the middle of the driver/passenger bench. Behind the driver, leaning a little forward because of the seat's recline. We faced the rest of the passengers. An old man with shined shoes and a collared shirt nodded off across from me, reading a magazine. The women pressed against his right side wore her traditional stovepipe hat, and long socks pulled to her knees beneath a heavy skirt. How many of us in the van, Sarah?
The land on this side of Lake Titicaca is clumped with soil, fields turned, dried out. Miles of stones balanced without mud or mortar mark boundaries. Where are so many stones gathered from?
Cattle-tenders, flicking sticks, or sleeping barefoot near the tipis of harvested wheat, collections taper up like blonde flames.
Nearer the industries, the centers of consolidation, plastic bags are caught in the fields. Like ghosts of fallen fences...
Crouched like a basket (mummy) to receive
play, splay, display.
In Cusco, the week before, we stayed with Gonzalo (and his beautiful family), the uncle of a man who is the business partner of Luis Delgado Hurtado, founder of Yachay Wasi, a cultural education center I'd found on the UN's website. Hurtado's a photographer and started the program through an exchange with galleries in New York. We arranged to stay with him in Cusco, to talk about his goals—the environmental preservation of the lands around his village, Acopia, and the responsible development of Andean culture, including the Incan language, Quechua, still spoken, especially in the rural areas. But he was kept in DC an extra week for a UN meeting.
We rented an old VW, a white, maybe '72 Voyage 5. Stopped for gas and water.
Moss was hanging from cliffs of columnar basalt above the river. Kids were drying on their bellies, clothes on the rocks. A vulture hawk held in a draft, then was gone, like fields of wheat, miraculous red heads ripened, harvests spread on the road for cars to drive over, to thresh out the grains. Cows wandered their new terrain. Ahead, the river had two channels. It seemed like everything came down of its own accord, and was built to disappear.
Towering green velvet rocks, like lion's teeth covered with algae, a million over-amplifications, river bubbling through, the sizzling minds of its rocks, the river still, rhododendrons.
So what if the names are not mine, if the names are unnameable; a breeze bends, oooooouughhhh. The ledges, shadows of overhanging rocks. There is a chant for each flower. Address it specifically, in fragments—the same thing at different moments, in different places. The you of moment. The petal's yellow floor. Hey squirt.
Chunks of grass grew through the broken sidewalk. We'd uncovered. Not that we could fix it, but nice to know why those two big metal planters were slouched in the yard; related to something—near the truck, and the stationwagon. I remember loading into that thing, me and Mya, mom, going to grandma's. Clothes stuffed in black plastic bags.
Those iron planters were there for a reason, like the tops of buried smokestacks, an entrance to that sidewalk, where the yard's slope leveled, down from the shed, where mom had spray-painted the goal with aqua-green and centered a stick-figure goalie. I practiced hitting the corners—upper V, side net... pretended: penalty kick, for the game.
My first bike was not fancy red, but scraped, as in, we-found-it-at-the-dump red. But still, red. With hard-plastic wheels and handlebars that were the color of the sun's glare, except where my handle-grips would have been. It must have been summer.
I'd balance myself against one of those planters, lift the pedal with the grimy white platform and lean away, balancing or pedaling down from the sidewalk, where the slope resumed. Where I gripped, the bar was dull with dirt.
It is a decision about how to raise children. Butterfly bandages or stitches.
Pair of ceramic bulls on the roof, peak of the red tiles, a little fetish for the wealth to come.
The air was cool. This is just what I would do if someone visited me in Washington. Drive the logging roads into the mountains, go to the tressel, to the steel bridge, to the train in the gorge, the finale of a 1960 movie. Ring of Fire.
The Olympics are the only range with rivers that drain in four directions.
Water is a nocturnal creature.
Gonzalo is an agro-ecologist, and as he walked us through the Incan ruins surrounding Cusco, he explained with his minimal English about the Incans agricultural fields, how they tested to see what grew best at what altitudes, that the incredible terracing of mountainsides, and the stone channels that even now run water perfectly, were experiments to determine how much water and light were needed for crops that were grown and kept in vast storage centers at crossroads across empire, to protect against famine in any community under Incan rule. He told us about the medicinal purposes of the plants he picked, us understanding with little Spanish.
Wispy purple flowers for adult coughs, small yellow flowers for backache. The blackberries are for children's coughs. The yellow pod blossoms taste like honey. They're for the kidneys.
Where men dressed in traditional Incan outfits, that we would ignore, that would be ignored—the golden crowns of feathers—Gonzalo would greet, hello, in Quechuan, coming and going�
We drove half a day to Acopia. Outside of the school, girls were sorting dozens of varieties of potatoes in the yard. The boys were making clay ovens in the field... there are over four thousand varieties of potatoes in Peru.
The lakes are perfectly blue, with black rings at the shore. Fertilizer run-off, pesticides, he said. With the car stopped you could hear the ducks taking off, wings skimming across the water. Deep, sustainable breaths. How we are pretending to look for someone. Check the fields, beyond the mud-earth fences. Little cacti grow as barbs. Dirt road. This was the first time I noticed I was breathing again.
Compact dirt, lumps, unleveled earth—Hold your ground!
i'd like more of it, in a new way... changed life,
gambled life. then sorry i gambled.
more's the least
you could do. and excessive, not like the woman
who threw the chicken bone
from her soup our way. her seat on the train rail, used-
electronics for-sale on her blanket—
in winter, muddy ice,
steam will rise from her soup. a haba�ero in the pot
for warmth. her granddaughter shits
in a bucket behind her, so typical—
travel sketches and self-scrutiny. we've decided
i'm always wrong except my one
everlasting. which is the tricycle taxi
named Goliath. which is the coca-leaf
fortune-telling. don't worry. you're fine. well-
Panda, you are aching, your whole body, and I am feeling so helpless. Feel me, you keep saying � and all I can do is say hotter, or warm like earlier today. An insect bite? Not malaria? Mildly? Some goddamned poison. I'm sorry Panda. Altitude-sickness, like my bloody noses. Dehydration? All I can do is bring you mat� de coca and chocolate bars and Gatorade.
Maybe it will always seem like it was just a few years ago that I returned.
There were 800 people, and greetings were done by family names, of which there were 8. No electricity, but a pump that broke regularly, and several wells. And, kilometers from the village, on the way to fields, standing bodies of water, marigots...
The lung specialist assured me of his experience, 26 years, my own son in Africa; it is not imaginary, but you are noticing things minutely, acutely self-aware, and they are passing so quickly. Anxiety. A form of hyperventilating. And with your father's history, post-traumatic stress disorder, of the body turning on itself... purging... (purgatory). Fucking seat-belt ticket.
Walking to my field took an hour. Slow enough to not sweat and fast enough to keep the flies from landing—it just keeps your feet from burning in the sand. A left at three embedded granite stones, markers for when the grass is burned and the path gone after the dry season, or for when the rains came and path is overgrown.
Gonzalo stopped between villages. Smudgy children in colored wool sweaters and hats that were once bright, sat in alfalfa. A man led donkey by rope in a circle, threshing the wheat...
The potatoes are repeatedly frozen by night, perhaps for three or four days, stomped to remove the skins and bleached during the day. Freeze-drying, and the potatoes will stay preserved for months. Barefoot stompers...
Gonzalo's dream of death: he didn't recognize any of it. The time, the place. He just went under and flew. Flow: animals unknown—the flying jaguars, the gallow's flower, unlodged.
My gift of death—to forget all discomforts, to forget. �Til the causes have given way—to outlast an inhale; to wait for hunger to pass. Just keep climbing, cobblestone steps; the rescuers in the canyon.
Beginning to answer to little Todd, kid Todd. If I don't remember, to say, well what would I do—an extraordinary thing, to trust that I am me again, can remember, think unadulteratedly.
habi-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat. oh,
thank you. smaller
children watch older children. curative journey,
where wee ones turn into midnight. are given
and accepted, laughlings to rock
asleep. tete-a-tete. anise in the milk
for sleepiness. concrete
cattle-ramps along the tracks, stone corralls—that
natural end of smooth, bright-gold
Or just the absurdity that I love? Sunrise of uniformed children marching past our caf�. Tubas, horns and drums stomping out the theme to Rocky, da-da dahhhh, dah-dah daaaa... because that's what Jesus would do; Corpus Christi, eight days away. We sacrifice, obvious
for the sake of sensitivity. Fuck and walk, lie like you are from here. Everyone needs a rest. Slacken. The chairs are upside-down and blackened in the street, the darkling older brother aspindle. A few chords wriggle free of his chest. White root, torch tips—the home of honeysuckle, a given name for a chance meeting.
Soles to dollars.
The shoe-shine man limped into the travel agent's office in Puno and rubbed his wool stocking cap against my head, as if I really wanted to buy it from him, his dirty fucking hat. All the money we had was on the agent's desk. We were buying our new tickets, from Juliaca to Lima, Lima to Bogota. Se�or, he was smiling, his step-box and shines at his feet beneath a plastic chair—se�or—while I concentrated on the agent's Spanish. Goddamnit, I know how pretty it is. Smiling. Rub rub. Sarah, how are you not noticing? Amazing Sarah, look at how pretty it is.
Inter-American Academy. Guayaquil, Ecuador: the fifth graders.
Do rocks have a life?
Pool as big as ocean
My zipper pull is shaped like a heart
Curtains look like sky
Is a mushroom's earring fat?
The balcony looks like a tree house
Dogs smell like roses
Boy's hair like mushroom
Do hats talk?
Girl's earrings are small leafs
White piece of paper, white teeth
Fat boy like a balloon
Does a balcony touch space?
Light post as tall as tree
When will the universe disappear?
J.j as mountain
Frederick as Shrek
The rail as teeth.
How many people or creatures or animals are there on universe?
Fire as long red hair.
Davy's hair like palm tree.
Air conditioner as a robot.
How many leaves of trees are there in the world?
Books on shelf as people on a coleseum.
Open folder as a flying bird with wings.
Computer as a head of someone.
How many exact fingers are there on universe?
Diego's skin as a milk chocolate.
Matthew's hair as a ball.
The walls of computer lab as swimming fishes.
How many words do all the creatures on earth speak each day?
White curtain as a scary ghost
We, the fifth grade with white shirts, as a bunch of clouds
The wires of machines tangled as wild snakes fighting on ground
Dong Young Lim
Is it possible to daydream while you listen at school?
When they close the library it�s like an attic on my house on my house.
The stairs of the library look like stairs for a boat.
The school looks like an air force of soldiers but with many books.
Can Jupiter marry Venus?
The chair that the miss has looks like an old pioneer chair.
All the people in this classroom look like if they are working on an office.
The school looks like a plantation.
Can a rock move?
Some friends are tall like a street lamp.
A friend looks like a military soldier.
A fat boy looks like an elephant.
Can an iguana sing?
There�s so much light in the library that it looks like a building.
Does Heaven Exist?
Does the devil exist?
The rug is as stiff as a statue.
A fist like a hard rock that opens
Computers like a huge file.
Does god exist?
Poles like small round buildings
The lights on the sealing like a cross
Windows like mouths that open.
Can glasses talk?
A palm tree like a hand with 19 buildings
Water like a concrete object that can't brake
A knife like teeth that cut
How many Sundays does it take to screw in a light
Domingo to a bad boy
The lights to a cross
The palm tree to a fan
J.J. to a mountain
What is three's favorite food?
Todd's hair looks caramel
Jamie's head can make popcorn
Diego likes mushrooms like crazy
Matthew and Davy as peanuts
Does water speak?
My dog sounds like a car alarm
Railings to teeth on a balcony
The clock to an evil eye
J.J.'s hair like a horse
[Echolalia Three: Colombia]
[Echolalia Three: Colombia]
[Echolalia Four: Brazil]
About the author:
Todd: "Sarah reads a lot. Is a very fast reader (and walker). Sarah likes watching adorable children, innocent creatures, really. She leaves cupboards and drawers open--this refusal of closure is a form of delicacy. Which she also practices very early in the morning, via Ashtonga yoga. Failed handstands often disturb the neighbor downstairs. Her cat, Iris, however, is strangely attracted to the borderline recklessness and settles in on the mat where sarah's feet must inevitably land. Sarah shares a gift-ledge between apartments with Mary Kay Zeeb, a middle-ground for unseen kindnesses, the sort of objective tenderness Sarah learned playing faux team sports as a child (relay swimming and showing/riding horses)."
Sarah: "Todd Alan Fredson is both massive and precise. As a child he dreamed of playing soccer in the Olympics, and watching a Mike Tyson fight live. He would tell you he's sixth generation from Mason County, Washington. Todd thinks about his family, and Mason County, always--and they're present to him though he's not there right now. He served in the Peace Corps in west Africa--the Ivory Coast. He is currently at Arizona State University in the M.F.A. program for poetry--though this summer he is traveling around South America with me. (Sarah.) He has won many prizes, and published many beautiful poems... but that's only a small part of his greater wonderfulness.
"Todd's an enthusiastic actor, a voracious eater, a complicated dancer, and is magnetic... he is approached by anyone everywhere about god knows what. In the past few hours he has given a man an apple, been asked to buy Valentine's Day cards, drugs, and some mysterious proposition including Playa Blanca (White Beach). Also, Todd notices things. For example, driving past the amusement park north of Bogota, he pointed out an enormous statue of a naked man, green like The Hulk, with a crown and a torch... the Colombian naked-man statue of liberty.
"Todd's a host of angels, a gam of whales, a mob of daffodils and a covey of thoughts. He's titillation, kindness, and magic."
For further reading:
See the complete list of work by Todd Fredson & Sarah Vap at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 2, where "Echolalia Two: Peru" ran on July 15, 2005. List other work with these same labels: nonfiction, travel writing, collaboration.