Miller Time

Top Of The World

UNITED STATES—Six floors up at a high bar table al fresco, on top of a luxury department store in Calao, the legendary city's trendiest neighborhood. Here we travelers from America were among beautiful people, chatting, drinking beer and looking at other beautiful people as the dusking sun turned the skyline from gray to silver. I was worry free as I...

Aporphobia Shrugged

UNITED STATES—People were so nice in Madrid. For instance, the women who had been talking to the Egyptian ambassador, had tapped me on the shoulder after the initial outbreak of conversation when we threaded our way into the auditorium at the Casa Árabe, and said, "I will introduce him to you, if you like. He is very interesting." Alas,...

Aporphobia At Last

UNITED STATES—Humblest apologies to the reader for our picaresque luncheons occupying the last column. You were left wondering about aporphobia, which lurks at the center of my Madrid experience. The digestion of we three travelers from America we was working away on croissant, milanesa and chicken wrap when we ventured toward the Central Park of Madrid, El Retiro. We didn't...

Aporphobia

UNITED STATES—In Hollywood, I ran into some French tourists and their children. One of the dads told me, "We feel good in Hollywood." I replied, "You come here to feel good, and I go to Paris to feel good." We laughed. Of course when I said that I was thinking really of Madrid, and those days in the end of...

The Ducks Of Las Rozas

UNITED STATES—Off we went, five people piled in a car, to the round restaurant in the planned community of Las Rozas. Around the table were our host, a rock musician self named Dave America, to whom we owed this trip, his girlfriend Miriam, and the poet, Oscar Noviembre. I had translated a selection of his poems for our bilingual...

First Forays

UNITED STATES—So here we were, after two days in the country. We took a depopulated bus. Hey, it was a Sunday and we would learn that Madrid is in summer mode. People leave the city. The siesta is religiously observed, in the land where the siesta was invented, due to the torrid climate. The banks close at 2 p.m....

Arrival In Madrid

UNITED STATES—Finally, just after nine in the hot clear morning, the bus curled around the overpass to the housing development 50 kilometers north of Madrid, where I'd spent two wondrous days. It left Fernando free to go back to his chores and Carmen and I were off to the city, passing through a number of smaller cities and developments....

A Poetic Journey

UNITED STATES—Since being on the airplane to Madrid, I'd reencountered poetry. I grabbed a few scraps from the shelf above my desk because we were going to read at a literary bar on Tuesday night. Already on the airplane, I took a few poems and did something to them I had not done in a long time, if at...

More Spanish Pages

UNITED STATES—After lunch, the jetlag, wine, swordfish and potato salad suddenly caught up with me. I was nodding off and falling over onto our driver showing us the lakes and the blue rugged mountains that evoked the Western majesty of the San Fernando Valley. Fernando pointed out one craggy face. "A lot of mountaineers rappel up that side. A few...

Spanish Pages

UNITED STATES—It was Summer Solstice when I arrived and enjoyed the first fruits of accidental tourism. I had been prepared to take my Euros and invest in a ride on the Metro, directly to Madrid, where there no concrete plans yet for a place to stay. But instead, at the last minute, a Spanish friend in Los Angeles arranged for...
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