Remembering Poetry For The Masses

Poetry For The Masses is yet another online literary journal that featured my work in the past and then went on to fold/disappear. It’s too bad as well, because they had a pretty interesting format. They regularly released a small selection of new poetry on single flyer-sized sheets that anyone could view on their site or print out and share for free. RIP Poetry For The Masses. Thanks again for promoting my work and the work of others like me.

Below, I’ve included the poem in question, Leaving the Island. This piece was inspired by Koh Samet, in Thailand.

Leaving the Island

We were all hung-over and sunburned, stumbling along the muddy road
in search of the pier and the slow boat back to the mainland,
our flip-flops flinging wet sand up our backs. They were nauseous
and I was trembling from hunger when we turned a corner. There,
a massive Buddha contemplated our tangled morning with a subtle smile.
It towered over us, an immense monument to a mind at rest. A grinning
monk beckoned us up the stairs and gave us incense to offer at the giant’s feet.

But in the statue’s open hand, resting on its lap, there was a long fluorescent bulb
like the ceiling fixtures of offices and classrooms. I imagine it was intended
to produce a novel evening effect. The hand, with palm up-turned in a receptive gesture,
would be aglow—an indication that it had received the light it hoped for. We tried
to leave, but the monk had something else for us: good luck charms. We thanked him
and offered a donation for the temple, but it was not enough. 50 baht per talisman
was the going rate. We began to sober up and continued down the messy road.


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