Omitted entries from Lonely Planet guides for Dene Barnes, Dubai

by Michael Steven


United Arab Emirates 

Blue traces of Luminol spray cover the smashed display cabinets; 

Interpol agents interrogate the traumatised store manager. 

Holding a black attaché case, the fence boards a flight to Antwerp. 


Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 

There are no tours of the Luftschutzbunker. It was here, in the 

terrible summer of 1972, 

four-piece instrumental band, German Oak, recorded their 

eponymous third album. 

Only twelve copies sold. Among collectors of krautrock it is lauded 

as a seminal work. 


Henderson, West Auckland, New Zealand 

Ghosts circle the ceiling of his skull. He fills the glass pipe again

 was that a police siren or was it the wail of a banshee? 

The things he thought happened yesterday happened a week ago. 


Chechnya, North Caucasus, Russia 

Of Anatoly Vadim, the man formerly employed to guard missile

 silos: no records exist. 

They disappeared along with several nuclear warheads. It is entirely 

plausible these were sold to organized crime groups. After years of no pay, 

he’d run out of rubles.


Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ireland 

The mood is somber tonight in O’Halloran’s Bar. Niall and Seamus 

sup their dark draughts slowly. Beyond the heavy oak door 

is the shipyard, the burnt-out cars, the sulfuric tang of spent 



Blanes Campground, Costa Brava, Spain 

After the Feast of Santa Anna and Saint Joaquin, a woman runs to 

the ablutions block. 

Unbeknown to her, she passes the shack where former custodian, 

Roberto Bolaño, 

drafted his first novels. How could she know? There is no statue or 

gold memorial plaque. 


Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America 

Smoke still rises from its chimneys, but the steel works were closed 

years ago. 

Oblivion is the growth industry; corner boys peddle today’s product. 

An addict slumps in an armchair after the warm thump of hard 



Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia 

Where the flâneur once strolled, synthesizing the death of a friend 

and the harbour 

into his most famous poem. Now swarthy men, wearing black 

Armani suits 

and sunglasses, move between the bars and vice clubs, collecting 

protection money.


Tijuana, Baja Peninsula, Mexico 

In a non-descript alleyway two blocks south of the Delegación 

Centro district, 

behind a trestle stall of AK-47s and Glock pistols, Hernando 


fans himself with a comic book. A devout Catholic, he dotes on his 

many children.

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