Today we’ll run a reader’s poll on whether or not you, the reader of Thailand Footprint, like a poem or not?
But first, people have been asking when my book, Bangkok Beat, will be out? Well, two people – one family member and one apparent stalker who I think wants to retaliate for a lukewarm book review I gave a long time ago. But interest is interest in the 21st Century publishing world.
The paperback and Ebook will launch simultaneously, hopefully by late-March or Early April. It will contain new stories and previously published blog posts from Thailand Footprint. Plus a great chapter on the iconic Bangkok cabaret bar, Check Inn 99. In addition standalone chapters will include six noir poems written by the Poet Noir, John Gartland and a wonderful story written by Thom H. Locke about the legendary Mama-san of Check Inn 99, Mama Noi, titled The Beauty of Isaan. Stay tuned. Ebook price will be $4.99. Paperback $12.99.
I wrote Bangkok Beat to please two people: Check Inn 99 owner Chris Catto-Smith and me. We’re almost there. Anyone else it pleases will be a bonus.
One of my all time favorite writers is Kurt Vonnegut. Lately, I’ve been re-reading his book of short stories, the 50th Anniversary edition of Welcome to the Monkey House, which I picked up at The Elliot Bay Book Company, when I was in Seattle, Washington for a few days in May of 2014. I am really enjoying some of Vonnegut’s earliest brilliance. If you haven’t read any Vonnegut in awhile or never have, this is a good one to go back to in order to rediscover the genius of his writing. He is popular for a reason – he’s good. Here is what the original cover looked like when it first came out in the 1960s:
I cannot imagine a world without Vonnegut wisdom. It has served me well since I was a University Freshman and 18 years old. Here’s a quote I have always liked from his novel, A Man Without A Country:
“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
― Kurt Vonnegut,
I agree with Vonnegut on the substance of the above quote, as I often do.
Here is where you, the reader, come in. Below is a poem. The author is not me – that’s all I will say at this point in time. What I’d like you to do, is read the poem and then take the poll, if you are so inclined. Most people are not inclined to take polls. I realize that, but we’ll give it the old college try. The poll will run for 48 hours – two days. Give it a go. It may be fun.
Here’s the poll. The poll is now closed. Thanks to all those who voted. I liked the poem. So did 11 other people. Only 3 against. You can view the results below. Thanks for the feedback. It was helpful!
Tonight we’ll light the neon. We’ll bring the wanderers home.
Spark up the coals and call the ships to port.
Come light up your contours from the inside and the shadows will fascinate the crowd.
You’ll see your will is marked when it’s lit from within.
The panic zone is all four walls, a melting realm of mirrors.
Complication is the comfort zone, mania the state of grace.
We are worms, pilgrim, we are tarnished coins.
It’s show time, your darkest hour.
You edge along the gills of the night, your heart aflame with burning songs.
You turn from your past for a more compelling now.
Facts are abandoned for superior fantasies, and who can stand to miss the fun?
Skiffs and brigantines glide like underwater shadows to ply the trade.
Come and set your fever loose to run between electric islands.
Welcome to the lucid trance where your quickened blood turns to ink.
The patient night is waiting for all you have to give.
It’s you again, walking into our midnight arms to create us.
You prowling sifters are mining the tangled gossamer yarns,
Paralyzing them in the amber strobe of your art.
You darken the doors, and then you darken the rest of the street.
You invite us, and we follow because we sense the importance of the journey.
A wheel has finished spinning – to pause and then reverse.
This blazing gyre is a vision of exhausted motion.
The city is busy erasing its inhabitants and their seasons.
You are only done when we are done with you.