A poem by Adrian Patenaude

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit a.k.a. Bangkok

the city of angels, residence of the Emerald Buddha, impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya), endowed with nine precious gems––––

my muggy modern metropolis by the ancient Jao Praya,

with its gunky klongs flowing behind buildings, beside streets, breeding mosquitos, with its well-tended potted plants––miniature gardens growing on every square foot of concrete,

street vendors stir-frying right on the sidewalk, setting up red rusted stools and unstable tables, inches from the curb,

IMAX theaters, soi dogs, and aquariums in the basements of swanky malls,

SkyTrain gliding above clotted traffic (two-toned taxis in red-blue, yellow-green, even hot pink––hemmed in by tuk-tuks, motorcycles and that one guy––with his poodle––on a beat-up bicycle),

dingy sunlight (the great city) or muggy moonlight (the happy city), the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god––––

drowning me in brown, suffocating smog.