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Friday, September 14, 2007


by David Chorlton

Welcome to San Jose. Breakfast
is at seven. Papaya. Coffee. Conversation
in the language of your choice:
to describe the turtles on the coast
or faltering Spanish for us
to make a friendly gesture and sidestep
talking politics.
                                        There are books
for the visitor to read beside the chairs
                                        an Austrian novel too long
for short stays, some elegant French, Time
magazine, and the first ever guide to the birds
of Costa Rica, compiled by an American
thirty years ago when reproducing photographs
turned them misty
                                        but the author’s dedication
to the flowerpiercer and euphonia
survives in letterpress. Touch the page
and feel the wells made by the type
before Americans felt the need to apologise
for what their president is doing.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix, writes and paints and keeps track of local wildlife. His newest book, The Porous Desert, was published this summer by FutureCycle Press, and testifies to his having internalised the desert during the past twenty-nine years. Some of his art work can be seen at