Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Racist Toothpaste

Racist Toothpaste
Life Abroad
Originally uploaded by kaare.iverson
on the 9th July, 2009

In the last two years I've gone through three pairs of shoes and 7 pairs of flip flops. I've been hidden away in desert oases leaning Persian drum technique and photo paper emulsion. I've readied a knife in my fist when it seemed certain that the Russian mafia we'd been drinking with in a post-soviet state were about to turn on us. I've studied the inner workings of a 17th century bell tower. I've sat under the sun in the birthplace of Hannuman and shared opinions through the scarred and bloodied eyes of a meditating Sadhu. I've thrown bananas at an effigy of Parvati, missed, and hit Shiva instead. I've learned to count in more languages than I can calculate. I've grown a love for my life that was never there before. I've opened my eyes to the possibilities below the surface of our reality. I've dipped my toes into Asia.

I sit in the back of the bus
in Asia
on days when the humidity
gets tense enough to burst
and boil monsoons
or typhoons
all over us
I sit in the back of the crowded bus
on padded seats
that smell like pussy sweat
and try not to get aroused
hell
it might be fuzzy balls
for all I know
I could ask
I've studied this language
I could ask
but enough of the mystery of The East
has been revealed
that I leave it
the last gem
of Asia

Asia
you've captured this heart
on plastic clothes pegs
and strung me up to dry for days
under your wet sun

Asia
I'm a Gora
A WaiGuoRen, a Boolei
and a MoGuai
when my feet are flying in flip flops
to smack the sides of fleeing city buses

Asia
I am the deepest well
that can never be filled with
gawping stares
or more pairs of broken flip flops
and no I don't want to tell you how much I paid this time

Asia
I've learned to eat with my hand
and with little wooden sticks
but still you've got to question
your eyes at the sight of this

Asia, baby, darling
I'm not mad about that time with the Cholera
so please just give it to me
spicy enough to hide the dirt
I'll be happy, you know?

Asia
9900 Rials to the dollar
will 30 cents get me over the border?
The Kurds keep selling me whiskey
and I keep drinking it
even after the sign said
"Death Penalty"
thank you and I'm sorry

Your fragrant offering dish of countries
has confused my senses
and left me stranded
but I don't wanna go yet anyway
are you done with those noodles?

Asia
you've mummified my organs
with cumin and coriander
and MSG powder
I'm damaged goods
and half of me is illegal
to import back to Canada
Between the opiates
I sweat Tumeric and spit Myrrh
Asia
you can't bribe the cops back there
and I'm not painted patriotic
in fact
after all this rice
and whitening soap
I've turned a little yellow
healthy yellow
yellow golden sunshine yellow
and I can't afford to keep canceling these tickets home
so
I guess I'll stay
just one more season on
is that ke yi ma(可以吗)?

1 comment:

Elle said...

After reading this I've come to the realization that I haven't even begun to live.