This is SaiGon

This is Saigon by A.Gibson (and then adapted by S.Gibson)

The traffic is so bad this afternoon
you can’t move in district 10
Try as hard as you like
but you cannot deny the traffic in Saigon
A man with war torn face
wrestles with commuter Banh mi,

And Phu My Hung apartments stack up
like noise complaints and
a hipless Vietnamese bum is
somewhere nearabouts
somewhere nearabouts.
Somewhere nearabouts as
she walks past me on Bui Vien
and looks at me with eyes from Can Tho
via heroin.
My heads exploding, ears bleeding
My lungs feel like someone has shoved a car
exhaust pipe down my throat
This is Saigon

the teaching hourly rate index vs the Dollar exchange rate index vs
the happy-hour, two for the price of one…….. beer tower with burger index
Well these are the heavyweights of all human meaning;
the heavyweights of all human meaning here in Saigon

This is Saigon
as sexy as the smell of unwashed hair.
the water is falling and rising, expanding and shrinking
at the same time.
There’s a necklace of grime
around my ankles,
my lungs are shot, my eyes are pink
eggshells crack in my neck.
I’ve hit puberty for a second time
and it’s pretty good.
I’m a lapsed vegetarian
with my hands full

Now that I am single I’m seeing double
Now that I am single I’m seeing double the amount of girls
I saw when I wasn’t single
I drive over to a friend’s place in Go Vap
planes are landing a few metres overhead and
no-one bats an eyelid and
I say
“f**k that’s loud”
because I never lived beneath the flight path.
and I wonder if someone gave truck drivers here
some lubricant for their brakes,
would they use it?
This is Saigon
A wide-shouldered arrogant drunk shouting for Banh Mi with pork
Someone selling sunglasses at night
a girl who doesn’t swing her arms when she walks
4 generations on one motorbike
Four single words:
Four single words they’re shouting
Four single words I keep hearing

“You buy some book?!”
“You buy some book?!”

because the traffic’s so bad this afternoon,
you can’t move in District 9, you can’t move in Go Vap
In district 3, District 4, District 2, Phu my hung, Tan Binh, Ben thanh, Binh Chanh, In district 10,
out west, down south, up north, far east
The air is so bad this afternoon you can smell it in Phan Thiet, Tay Ninh, Can Tho, Da Nang, Nha Trang Buon Mi Thuot, Pleiku , Binh Duong, Vung Tau, My Tho, Cu Chi, Thu Duc, Thao Dien
the air is so bad this afternoon you can smell it in Dalat


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