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portraits of red and grey #17 by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

portraits of red and grey #17

by James Morehead

our bus crawls through the streets of tashkent
our intourist guide sits behind the driver
silently pointing directions
the city is frayed and tired
dust grey and crumbling concrete
buildings stacked in even columns blend together
my tired traveled nerves
blurred by a monotone wash of soot

tashkent's lenin square
                                      to our right
another stone-faced assembly line statue
set in concrete
shadowed by local parliament
and ministries

i lose track of our tour
i only hear our guide's words
their bizarre ordered neatness
like the school children of moscow
with staccato closed rhythm
                                             pure timing and pattern
( i remember her meeting a fellow guide
  for coffee
  drinking and talking in russian
                                                  and english german french and italian
  each word chosen for a particular meaning
  languages drifting back and forth
  for convenience )

in this dull blur of buildings
our guide points one out
grimy brown from pollution
it seems quite ordinary
but this building
                          she says
is the ministry of agriculture
painted beautifully brown
the colour of earth

Next in portraits of red and grey…

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