I wrote a four part poem after visiting some Buddhist Temples in Bangkok and reading T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets." The poetry is not great, but I was trying to experiment with a new style.
A Catholic in a Buddhist Temple, Part 1
Wife Beater Tan Lines.
“The schedule is tight. There is barely time
To throw an arm over my homeboy Buddha’s shoulder for a snapshot
With a peace sign thrown up (Buddhist’s are into peace aren’t they?) The climb
Was pretty stiff, but I can check that off my list. My friends are going to freak
At my new profile pic. It will certainly lend authority to my future opinions
(Loudly proclaimed over beer) about what Asians believe, next week
When this vacation is over and I am back in Jersey, working nine to five.
Then off for hot dogs and sunscreen. I don’t know how they do it
The shave headed monks in their orange robes. They’ll probably never survive
Their inevitable brush with skin cancer, but maybe I can get a picture
With them before they go.
Do you think there’s a bar in this town that serves some decent beer?
“And what do you think of that dude we saw, kneeling with his face on the floor
At the foot of the golden Buddha? Looked like a cross between
A hippie and a bum, and smelled like fish. Why would they even let him in the door?
Not that it’s any of my business, you know, if these people don’t believe in baths.
But you know, it kind of detracts from the atmosphere. You know what I mean?
And from the look of this town they need all the atmosphere they can get. Just do the math
And you’ll see that tourism keeps this place alive. So I would think
They’d want to keep the tourists coming, to keep the dollars flowing
And if they want that, they might want to do something about the stink.
I will say this for the little folks, they sure know how to make a tourist trap.
How many of the little brown guys do you think it took? I mean you look at those walls
How many millions of squares of glass glued on by hand? And look at the map
There’s a temple like that every few miles. That’s a lot of glue.
You can do a lot with cheap labor like that. Wal-Mart is a good example
Of what a little initiative and lot of bored Asian peasants can do.
It must be a national pastime for them, gluing tiny things together
I mean what else is there to do for fun around here?
And don’t even get me started about the weather.