Tuesday, September 4, 2018
A Strange Feeling in a Parking Lot / the Tree, by Raynald Nayler
Raynald Nayler’s work has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal,
Weave, Sentence, and other journals. A fluent Russian speaker, Raynald
has lived in Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus for over a decade. He is
currently Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan.
About the poem:
I have lived much of my life overseas a Foreign Service Officer, International NGO
worker, and Peace Corps Volunteer. This poem uses material from the travels of
Arab traveler Abu Hamid Al-Andalusi Al-Gharanati in the “Land of Darkness”—
the far North in the twelfth century. The poem combines that material with a true
story of reverse culture shock from a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer. My goal is to
express some of the confusion, wonder, and dismay of the encounter with the alien
and the experience of being an alien abroad, seeing U.S. material culture through
the lens of a total outsider—which is how I often feel when I return to my country.