We arrange to meet on Sukhumvit soi 11 and have drinks at a VW combi van that’s been retrofitted with a bar. His mates call him Seadog, this is one of the first things he shares about himself. He’s been working and living in Asia fourteen years. He likes to roll this around in his mouth, fourteen, that’s over a quarter of his life. His friends never left the West. He has no plans to head back.
His poem, Orbits Rescinded, he wrote for his wife, but after much cajoling (and a quick phone call to the missus), he says go ahead, post the bloody thing. Seriously how could I let it go? The poem throbs with the soul of a beat poet.
Left the West behind.
Walking boots, an unpromising romance.
My bed slung into the back of an office storeroom.
Hugged my knees on the flight out.
Delighted with my manoeuvre
I landed in Asia.
My clothes chose somewhere else.
In the early days happiness was
Being the only white guy in the room
Sitting out on the balcony in a downpour
Peeling back names to the vibe underneath
Bangkok, Mekong, Tubbataha, Kathmandhu, Hong Kong…
14 years later I’m still out here.
The only white guy in my living room.
With a family of inconsistent nationality
The pull of gravity on my being long gone.
I’m told they exhumed the bed ten years later.
Some people were still around to roll their eyes.