Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I am mesmerized by technological
advances in my lifetime the same
way old wives are happy when drink
catches up with their unwanted spouses
in the third quarter of an important
divisional game and they fall asleep,
sweet as babies, in front of the 55” plasma.

In high school, our center was a heavy set
six-foot-four kid whose feet were rooted
to the floor.  I flipped him the ball one
time for what should have been an easy
layup, only to watch him topple to the floor
sideways like a tall pine tree, the ball
firm gripped in his two hands and an
agonizing “sorry” in his eyes.

In the midst of another losing year,
I saw the principal escort a transfer student
past my history class door.  This kid
had to be six-foot-seven easy.  I literally
jumped over desks to catch up with him
in the hall.  I spun him around and
said, “You play basketball, right?”  Blond
with bad acne, he  looked down at me at
me and giggled.  Gawd.

There’s no happy ending to this story,
but I learned later that the transfer’s
brother had been part of an ivy league
engineering team that developed the
selectric ball, that nutty little ball in a
typewriter that spins this way and that
with blinding speed.

I am mesmerized by fucking technology.

FG  1/13/2015

Our center was Bob Baily and I think the kid who did not play basketball name was something like Dalrymple.  I am being funny with the “fucking” in the last sentence - I did not like basketball and was not good at it.