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Cover of issue #219

Current Issue: #219 Contested Migrations (Winter 2013)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 219 (Winter 2013) is now available. The issue features articles by Vinh Nguyen, Miriam Pirbhai, Rachel Bower, and others, as well as new poetry & book reviews.

Ethnogy Journal, Thailand 1999

by Fred Wah

but the rain fate
some kind of inner magnet
wet and long and alien
Asian road with clouds
guiding the electrical stove
stuff brought time
the uniform of school
can hardly comply
with the geography
that guides these democratic
souls to accommodate pattern
keeps falling into the same old
deep hole in the sidewalk

Wed Jan 12 Samui raining/cool
(I feel uneasy, hesitant. Today
I will shoot nothing but green.)


as well, happy, at
the sunshine, and coasted
into the whole leaf
waving, pea-pod green
perfect shells my large
emotional agenda a giveaway
dark so soon, friction
not just sand
seek the one seat
next wave
to sit on

Friday Jan 15 Samui mixed/warm
(Yesterday six people scattered
around the island.)

routine trip out
potential for a squall
from the tailgate of song tow
feet cemented on the right
facing traffic almost left behind
scope of variation
sources tapped
dialogue with plan
round trip
revving past the neon
sign for healing child
needs to grin

Sat Jan 16 20’s/Rainy/Cloudy
(These words are just notes.
But up close lots of blond farang
girls with packs.)

world daily sculpted
to a coast, song tow
periphery each departmental thought
a coherence of flow files
called "home" check agenda
cut grass, motor’s
trying to teach me something
if I could find a shadow
as a way to record
the floor tiles—tape this
moment, how much
does that Honda Wave cost?

Sunday Jan 24 Sunny/breeze
(Beautiful day. Took bike back.)

some carrier of an anecdotal jet
like that coffee shop
food as photo
just a monk
saffron
the sentence
as a tunnel of love
the intention is to put the words
together and make them thicker

Thurs Jan 28
(The man said he was hard to dry.
You can enjoy the "presentness"
of looking up though an evergreen
jungle canopy.)

Fist to close the circle
of one-way streets "downtown"
cycles rev and spit through this attic
of curios and cottons
tourist shops America
blue for instance
that kickstand scraping
alphabet a mere "sea-green"
conditions of a Chinese-Belgian
choice on the street menu
"Noodle Pour Down with
Strong Soup Vegetable"
some bias in each record
of the day.

Thurs Jan 28
(Butterfly mobiles of coral. Ex-pat
Irishman with German experience
owns mangostina farm just 40k from here.)


This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #163 (Winter 2014), Asian Canadian Writing. (pg. 111 - 113)

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