A View of Bangkok & Two Other Poems

by Various: see below

A View of Bangkok

“Bangkok is third in tourists after London and Paris.”

—Claude I. S. Weber

It is a place where tears dry fast—Bangkok—Krung Thep—
It’s not a place one would expect to find sweet peace
or love. Food stalls, skyscrapers, traffic jams, young pep,
perhaps, where motorbikes or taxis never cease,
white, yellow, pink, et cetera… But peace, or love,
along Chao Phraya River? Stress, yes, or sex, please,
and even or’nge-robed Buddhists, blue-jeaned guys, and tough
muay Thai boxers, overlooking Lumphini Park,
tart cocktails in high-rises, sprawling, climbing up
above flushed-shiny-neon-shrine flash in the dark.
On Sukhumvid, you better watch your pants, your step,
lest you fall down, flesh wounds, lest you become a mark.

 

A View of Shanghai

Into the midst of rising tall skyscraper shoots,
he leapt—at night, a million lights, all shining bright—
high over streets filled up with cars—small stars in routes—
he soared—free from reality—a flying kite,
a vibrant light show more extr’ordinary than,
o, any he had ever seen—and at that height.
He whirred along above Pudong, a hard, dark man.
Where he was going to, what he was going to,
o, who could tell? that speeding Shanghai Peter Pan,
the Oriental Pearl Tower gleaming silver-blue,
Jinmao, th’ SWFC, in steel zoot suits,
the whole a flashing, crashing, smashing, splashing brew…
ha ha!

 

A View of Tokyo

The sidewalks of Tokyo, Japan, are covered
with people going this way and that. The speeding
subways are hurtling, little cattle cars that herd
hundreds of thousands on to work, play, and breeding.
The whole city is eating and drinking, sushi
and sake. Great round sumo wrestlers are feeding
on shabanabi and things gushy and mushy.
Colorful Sunday strollers armed with cell phones step
past shoppers, pachinko players, and light pushing.
And yet amidst all the hip, computerized pep,
video games, plasma TVs, and buffered
hype, one can’t help but feel one is out of one’s depth.

 

Poets:

A View of Bangkok is by Daw Buricselee who is a poet with close ties to the Thais.  He is drawn to its colour and its gentility.  One of his wife’s great-great-great grandfather’s was born in Siam during the time when the poet Sunthorn Phu was active.  His literary friends include writers such as Sri Wele Cebuda and Badri Suwecele.

A View of Shanghai is by Li “Web Crease” Du who is a poet interested in the Internet and Modernist, Postmodernist, and New Millennialist China.  His little unpublished chapbook Sonnets From the Chinese, on Modernist Chinese writers born before 1920, has been excoriated by Lew Icarus Bede as a “work struggling, like the Chinese, to write sonnets, and interspersed with occasional flashes of brilliance…hardly worth the effort.”

A View of Tokyo is by “Clear Dew” Ibuse who is a poet interested in Japanese literature and poetry clearly revealing the modern era.  He has been influenced by writers, such as Ibuse Masuji, Mori Ogai, Masaoka Shiki, and Natsume Soseki, among others.

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