Friday, March 07, 2014

[Poem] What the Guide Said

“Because I don’t really
Want you looking for it,
I’m going to call it
Phou Phi Jai Dam.
It’s not poetry, but
You can tell your readers
‘Peak of the Black-Hearted Ghosts.’

“It’s up to you to decide
If I’m whispering of Bokeo hill spirits
Or Phonsavan poltergeists bumping at night.
Maybe it’s near the Demon Straits or Phou Pha Thi,
But for you safety, I recommend you leave it be.”

“Maybe you can give it a dull name like K2
As Americans are so wont to do.
That mountain will still be here
Long after you’re gone.
Call it what you will.”

“There you might find nubile Nyakinee
Dancing the true Fon Nyak to an indecent tune,
Plucking horrible fruit forbidden for humans,
Adorned in putrid garlands of despair and folly,
Wearing a hungry sinh fashioned from
A vain humans’ hair and skin.”

“If no one’s watching, you can pilfer rare variations
Of the midnight horror, oroxylum indicum,
To replace crimson Nak tongue beans you need for
A brew of immortality, memorable for its stench
Of obscene, prediluvian milk perversely infused
With scales of the drowned and beautiful eyes.”

“But be precise in your measures, or everything
Simply comes to suffering.
Again. “

"If they catch you, they'll press your skull
Easily as a cold olive for a pitiless vinaigrette.
Or flay you for a hellhorse saddle.”

He chuckles, old smoke made man,
“If you absolutely insist on seeking,
You might get your perilous bearings
Looking from the snaggle-toothed outskirts
Of Muang Phi Lao and her profane pillars
Of devoured yesterdays, wailing of severed roads.”

He peddles away with a cryptic wink,
Hair slick as a corpse ink shot
From the Never Seen Again Bar.

High above, a stray cosmic hound’s maw widens,
Foaming with nameless stars.

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