A poem (!?)

[Note: I don’t often write poetry (it makes me feel dirty somehow)…but this came pouring out of me, so to say. I wrote it at the time (Spring 2002) on the toilet in Laos…and only tinkered with it a little for a class this semester. Thought I’d put it up for all to enjoy.] 

VIEN VIANG, LAO PDR

(Sitting on the throne in the kingdom of eternal life)

already on the toilet again

“DIE…Ooooh…RIA,” diarrhoea

numb fingers

lame legs

back hunched and…

taut.

a frothy brown torrent pissing from my twitching anus

a writhing tension

a rotten reminder

it’s leaving behind  the wretched past

forgetting what I got

since long as I remember

slurping rice soup three meals a day

drinking mmmm-good electrolytes

yea …the neon light

buzzing itself

and buzzing with miserable …

life.

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Songkran High-noon

(Read it here as a scribd document or below on the blog)

He came hissing and scratching around a corner thirty feet in front of us. A cartoon, he looked like … a blur of twiggy legs, yellow and red plastic, a black mop of hair and big grin…but he wasn’t a cartoon.

Katja and I twitched in unison, as nerve-jangled and depleated as we felt at that point, but relaxed with the harmless look of the cute  kid—an underfed, Bangkok street urchin, wearing a tattered Michael Jordan T-shirt like a dress, carrying an enormous plastic toy and scampering somewhere ahurry. His sky-blue, too-large flip-flops smacked on the cool shaded concrete with a final pop as he came to… the next moment he was calm and walking toward us with a big smile on his little face, looking curiously strait ahead as if focused on something past us.

“Aww,” Katja sighed. “He’s so swe…”

We both stopped…frozen when we saw what the little bastard was raising to his hip, level in our direction. I’m pretty sure I let out a slight groan. Katja and I glanced at one another. She looked desperate.

After my sigh was silence. A train passing above. Time slowed inevitable like your typical spaghetti western, the grinning villain sauntering up having cornered the hero and his gal unarmed.

“Fucking Buddha holiday,” I mumbled under my breath.

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Eggs Over Tripoli (#3 in Metro’s Writes of Spring competition 2010)

Thought I’d put this up as a Scribd document all fancy like so you can page through it.

As it says above this won Metro State College of Denver’s 2010 Writes of Spring contest. $50 bucks ain’t bad for my first short story ever written. They said it was up against 60 or so in the competition for short fiction.

(If you click fullscreen and zoom in, it will work best)

of Parasites and Coconuts (short story)

(Read it in Scribd book format or below on the blog)

 

Still a ways out I spotted the blonde hair of what had to be Lars waiting on the pier. A blond dot, in a crowd of black and shiny. 

“Must be Lars,” Katja laughed. “Who else?” 

But I was too tired to be sure. The air, too hazy.

The bus bound for the islands left Bangkok the day before. Seven hours later…seven hours of neck-torture napping, of the air-con switched to polar, of the highway set on agitate, of Martin Short’s Big Mama unseeably small on one TV at the front of the bus, yet the ear-shattering Thai translation blaring from no less than a dozen crackling speakers later, the bus arrived at the port town.

“You sleep now,” the driver told us as we stumbled off. “Ferry go morning.” 

 “I bet he forgot,” I said. The figure on the pier resembled Katja’s friend, but somehow didn’t. Katja ignoring me, sprawled out on the deck, her eyes closed. Still pissy from yesterday. “It might be him…maybe,” I granted.

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STAZIONE CHIASSA (for travel writing class)

(Read in Scribd book format or below, on the blog)

Fuck only knows how early, growls knocking on a distant door. What door or whose door, I am not sure…but urgency is the message. My eyes open first to darkness… then a murky light filtered through heavy blinds…the outline of a train compartment. The train is stopped.

I smell plastic leather, sweat and old tobacco, feel the dull pain of my backpack as a pillow.

Again a violent knocking. The blue curtains shaking. Before I can reach through the slumber and grasp where I am and which end might be up, the door slides open, the curtains part and a pair of silhouettes enter.

“Identificazione, por favore…papier-eh, bitt-eh…pay-pers, pleas-eh,” says the short shadow. The tall shadow looms behind him, his silence saying enough. Shorty reaches up and hits the lights and I see gray uniforms, shiny silver buttons, black-brimmed, eagle-crested dictator hats.

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Eggs over Tripoli, a short story.

Over easy, hash browns and toast. That’s all he wanted.

Nodding to the waiter, nodding to Ajay and Ziyad (ignoring their stupid looks), he picked up his fork and knife and hesitated…savoring the sight on the table before him. He intended to lose himself in those crispy potatoes, soak up the runny yolks; languish over the lightly buttered white bread with a layer of grape jelly. He would escape this gray world into the nostalgic memory of breakfast.

“Ajay… Ziyad,” he said, looking sideways at the small Indian man on his left, and then up at the big Jordanian, towering above the table on his right. “I am not going to let another one of your deranged political debates ruin this moment…my first decent breakfast in over five years…neither of you understands what this means.”

The two looked at one another. Ajay smiled and shook his head. Ziyad shrugged.

“I’m serious you assholes…just shut the hell up and enjoy a real American breakfast,” he said, beckoning to their plates. They peered distrustfully at the food before them. Ziyad pushed his plate to the side.

“Oh yes, the American needs his fancy eggs,” said Ajay.

“Fancy?” asked Ziyad.

The two enjoyed themselves with that.

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