Postcards from Cres
In 2015 I visited the Island of Cres in Croatia. I stayed in a old schoolhouse. The woman who owned it had grown up in the village speaking Italian. For a time, during the war, they were made to learn German. Later, when Tito came to power, they learnt Serbo-Croat. I mainly argued with my girlfriend in English.
It was fascinating to stay in a building that had facilitated the reorientation of language so drastically over a very short period of time. It felt wrong to use language only to argue with. So I wrote a poem. Then I cut it up. I sent each stanza to friends across the world as a way of making it whole again. Some of the recipients photographed their postcards and sent the pictures back to me.