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MEXICO CITY DAY ONE: THE POOR
and
COMMUNICATION PRESSURES IN HONG KONG

by

Marie Kazalia



Mexico City day one: the Poor

thin sun-darkened young man
hands black with filth
naked chest bony ribs
his shirt holds a bundle of broken glass--
he shakes it rattles
steps in front of 3 lanes of stopped
red-light traffic--
spreads his shirt & glass shards
onto the street drops face down
as if in prayer to some weird deity
pressing his chest into the broken glass
then over on his back--
stands again gathers glass & shirt into
a bundle he shakes to demonstrate
the danger or miraculous-ness of what
he's just done-- he extends his hand
to each vehicle--raising a finger
asking each driver for one peso I presume
I watch, others standing waiting
for the traffic light to change
see the glass-man gets nothing--

I stop and have my shoes shined
at a street stand
the man's moving hands black
with polish he dips fingers in--

a monkey-less organ-grinder outside
the juice shop as I sip a Pina Colada
his companion passes-up everyone else
seated on stools--
his hand out to me--
I drop a couple US quarters into his palm
he gratefully bows a little--returns
to the grinder--music stopped
they move on--

a dark-brown man sits on the brick sidewalk
in the Districto Historico
pulling his squeeze-box accordion in & out
tiny child with him
I drop a 50 centavos coin into his
overturned hat

up ahead another similar set-up
I window shop and give them nothing
no small coins left in my purse

I left my hotel early this morning
after making a deal & paying for (once)
(11) eleven days--
when I return just before noon--
the hotel entrance-way a thriving temporary
outdoor restaurant--with fires and pans set up
frying oil and green tortillas
buckets of iced Coke
small children stare up at me
as I pass going in--

I take a nap in a nice clean bed--

Communication Pressures in Hong Kong

Lightning flashes through my closed eye lids
searing white fading to a diminishing point
surrounded by black
lying in his arms on a hard bed inside a box stacked
five flights up, no elevator, shit!
above and below other concrete boxes in a row
towering concrete
leaning against other stacks that line both sides
the filthy street below
ceaseless Cantonese jabbering, mechanical electronic noise
I can no longer screen out sounds
or pass between them
it's all become too familiar
We eat the same meal day after day
He wants me to lavish him with love and gratitude
His shouts and bullying let me know
my brand of craziness he doesn't understand
tries to change me with his anger
He's afraid I'll leave him but he doesn't talk about it
In a downpour of a tropical depression
lighting flashes
His semi-soft penis twitches, fills and swells
against the right side of my knee
I bite my teeth into the flesh of his shoulder
he turns to me, pulls me close, I rub a sensual pattern
up and down his back
lightly rub my closed lips all around his mouth
In the morning he'll be happy, but he doesn't talk about it
I want him to love me lavishly but fear his impetuous anger
his culture, his volatile youth, his brand of craziness,
Last weekend he fell down on the floor drunk
could not pull himself up
vomited over the edge of the bed
Then the next, he's off at a metaphysical healing seminar
where power transmitted through palms and fingers
but he doesn't talk about it






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Kazalia had a spiritual experience while studying meditation in Tokyo, Japan that opened doors releasing her creative prose writing, and a few years later a second set of doors opened, releasing her poetry and resulting in her book of poems Erratic Sleep in a Cold Hotel (1st & 2nd editions) and forthcoming novel (written in 1993-4 while she lived in Hong Kong) titled Minden Row (both from Phony Lid Books)


Photo by Amoreena Linde




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