Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Where Poems Go To Die

The Cemetery of Our Lady of Literary
Journals Espousing Issues Of Great Moment
has been filled to overflowing for some time

For years, the Caretaker’s only job
has been to find space for this niche or
that by moving thousands of uniform
white crosses out back where he stacked
them three-deep like chairs leaning against
a wall.  That space was largely filled by
the ladies with their circles standing on
upside down small “ts”, but lately he’s
moved some of these out back, too,
to make way for the greenies who now
favor fish icons that the Caretaker himself
recycled from the Christian era with a can
of green spray-paint.

In truth, he longs for the old days when Gody
mausoleums filled his yard.  At least then
there were family plots with grass to mow
and flowers to plant.  But now every inch
of space is taken up by all the emoticons and
avatars you can imagine.  And the flippin’ birds! 
Flippin’ birds here, flippin’ birds there!  And
All of them have the same sentiment: “I told you
you wouldn’t understand.”  He shakes his head

He wears a Che Guevara T-shirt now, too, although
for the life of him he doesn’t know why, save
the powers that be told him that he had to fit in.
At night he stands by the front rot-iron gate which
has “Monetize! Monetize!” across it arch and watches
the big four-laner which delivers bus loads of
the incarcerated, the rehabbed, and the simply lost to
the airport nearby.  Part of his job now is to make
sure none of these unpoetic people make it in to
the Cemetery Of Our Lady Of Literary Journals,
but of course the odd one often does.  Usually
with another flippin’ bird he thinks.

What if a bus decided to smash its way in?
Would the gate stop it?  He grabs the gate
and rattles it.  “Hell, no,” he thinks.

Through the bars the melancholy Caretaker
can see the air terminals in the distance rising
like flood lit temples in the evening sky.

FG  3/26/2014

The Holden Caulfield in me sees the landscape of poetry in literary journals as being phony.  If you’ve ever flipped anyone off, you know what the flippin’ bird is. – angry bird, I guess.

It’s odd that poetry seems to thrive – seems to live - in prisons and rehab programs.  But poems go to die in literary magazines.

Someone named Anonymous has sent me several messages like the one below.  This person seems to want me to visit a web building site and has enclosed his url to a dental business written in Chinese.  I'm leery of malware etc., but as this site only gets four or five hits, I'll post it.  FG 17December2014.