06 February 2006

            Kuala Lumpur

            Outside a noisy bus station
            on a bright hot day,
            I met a young man
            about my age
            who wore jeans, a singlet
            and a smile as bright as
            his twinkling eyes.
            He knew I was from
            out of town and
            to make sure I understood him,
            he spoke in Malay, Hokkien,
            Cantonese, Teochew
            and broken English,
            offering to get me anything,
            anything I might possibly need -
            a taxi, a cab, a place to stay,
            a coach ticket or a woman
            ("All my girls, clean!" he said confidently)
            and a room to go, immediately available,
            here he jerked his thumb up
            to point out the upper floor of the
            old coffee shop next to us.
            Downstairs, there were students,
            clerks and blue-collar workers
            having lunch, but
            upstairs, by a
            dark narrow stairway,
            was another kind of trade altogether.

            That night I stayed at the
            hotel puduraya,
            looked out from
            my eighth floor window,
            and saw him, still there,
            on the other side,
            cheerfully accosting passers-by
            with his offers.
            I could not help but
            imagine it:
            in a little room
            above a coffee shop
            to the sound of honking traffic
            warm naked flesh pressing mine
            working hard
            while downstairs he talks
            to strangers, trying to get
            my lover
            one more body
            for the night.
posted by Gilbert at Monday, February 06, 2006


Blogger MB said...

That is an arresting photograph. Gorgeous.

And a good accompaniment to the poem.

February 08, 2006  
Blogger the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...

Dear Gilbert

I really enjoyed the Poem.
Keep up the good work

Thank You

February 08, 2006  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

It's kinda nasty -- that one girl does so many men a night, but there are that many men willing to do it with her anyway....

February 08, 2006  
Blogger Mr Jherek said...

Good Poem...brought to life a small street scene

February 08, 2006  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

I enjoyed reading this poem.

February 08, 2006  
Blogger mrdes said...

What sticks on my mind is these:"while downstairs he talks to strangers, trying to get my lover one more body for the night." simple, emotionless, yet powerful.

February 08, 2006  
Blogger floots said...

vivid sad and exotic
all at once
a beautiful snapshot

February 10, 2006  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

gritty, hard-hitting poem. that's the underbelly of urban life. survival by all means.

February 11, 2006  
Blogger Ailyn said...

I agree with MB.

February 11, 2006  

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