San Francisco Poem by Marie Kazalia

something in the American air

effects induces an involuntary
almost unnoticeable change
in personal philosophy
until I discover myself engaged in
a no-limits-capacity hoarding–
one good main daily meal
no longer enough to satisfy
like when I lived minimal in
different parts of Asia–

here in San Francisco I’m constantly
trying to fill my 2 small fridges
stacked one upon the other
up against a wall in my bathroom
and never once in expatriate Asia 4 years
did I feel that need–

here if you want a meal out it’s a big production
involving distorted remnants of old world
Euro-manners barely applicable today

my first day in Tokyo ate soup standing up
fast-slurping Japanese all sides at a counter
a woman constantly filling water glasses
shoving them down to the next soup slurp-er
entering tropical summer hot
–that water only drink offered–simplifies
matters– and only 3 kinds of soup–
no need to speak to order
just purchase the correct ticket upon entrance
under the train station stairs–
a sensible location
errand–get it down fast on your way back
on your way to work or the next destination

while many restaurants in Hong Kong, Tokyo
stay open all nite long–

here Americans consider eating-out entertainment–
a planned activity–invite friends for conversation
and most restaurants close-up by 11 p.m.
some foreign ones stay open till midnite
as if everyone gets up sleeps eats at the same

Marie Kazalia 9/22/2K