jan windle

There were no Obama poems.

I wrote the Chinese New Year poem on the train. The Cafe was packed. The poem went down well.

In the station buffet, the Chinese boy who always sells me a chicken sandwich on Tuesdays was talking with a man discussing Chinese New Year rituals. The boy was looking sheepish. “I don’t know, my parents know more.”

He’d reminded me about Chinese New Year last week and we’d chatted. He turned to me. “Big party tonight!” For New Year? “No, no, on TV, all stars, big show! President Obama!”

I’d forgotten. I was focused on open mike night at the Poetry Cafe.

I remembered Brunei, 1982. Gangs of boys on Toyota trucks thumping throbbing drums across steaming grey landscape, crowds in the Kedai, the Lion’s head reaching up for dollars as shopkeepers bought next year’s profits from Fate.

Jan Windle
The Favourite Game
Leonard Cohen