2005 Writers Forum
|Jeanne Morel lives in Seattle and teaches writing at Bellevue Community College. She has an MA in Adult Education from Antioch Seattle and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of London. She writes poems and short prose pieces. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript entitled Big Guns Big Elephants that reflects her experience living in Cambodia, and on a series of essays and stories that reflect her experience working with prisoners in this country. Her poetry has been published in Cranky, Chrysanthemum, The Texas Observer, and Washington English Journal.|
|Read and listen to excerpts from a discussion between Jeanne Morel and 2005 curator John Mifsud.|
It was mid-afternoon when we got a driver to take us to the border.
The way had been mapped out back in the late 80s
back in America in rooms with cubicles, government forms
social service interviews.
The hotel at Aranyaprathet had not yet been checked into.
The review of the political situation not yet understood.
The review of all that and more would come later.
For now we were young girls on our way to the border.
Thailand, the 80s, the Eagles, Hotel California.
We forgot the map, we forgot about stopping.
We forgot Task Force 80 and the interview.
From the truck we saw children runningOK! OK! America
AmericaNumber 1! Thumbs up, round faces smiling
OK! OK! smilingWhat a review.
When interviewed the faux expert said,
"When we got to the border the children were smiling."
All books on Cambodia begin with the map.
Like the hotel, check out anytime, but keep the map.
Welcome to the Hotel California. What a lovely place.
We are all just Americans, after all. Despite the anomaly,
the space of this map is meaningful and can be imagined.
Imagine reviews on the nightly news. Unlike the French
envoys and cartographers, our border was drawn
long before the interview began.
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