Chungking Mansions – Postcard From Kowloon – 1984


Kowloon Air Shaft
Chungking Mansions

Third world Casa Blanca
smell of spices and fried foods
rise from a first floor farmers market
jewelry on the cheap
watches and cell phones
might last for a week
three if you’re lucky.

Labyrinth of aisles and warrens
maze of small shops
harried clerks and throngs of customers
newspapers from a world of nations
foods of any taste.

An edgy gritty feel
above all this
some twenty floors of small one-star hotels
rest stops for immigrants and new arrivals
Lonely Planet tourists
travelers of low means
a constant rattle of Mahjong tiles echo in the air shaft by my window
looking out on other rooms the same as mine
the price is right
stay here a day or two at most.

On my way out this early morning
passing still closed shops
the biggest rat I ever saw!

Koloon 2

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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7 Responses to Chungking Mansions – Postcard From Kowloon – 1984

  1. A feast for the senses, Bruce, you capture the rawness, the tawdry and functional, the ‘different’
    values – a highly atmospheric and convincing piece.


    • Thanks John. I lost that poem about 9 months ago and thought it was gone forever. Found it yesterday by accident while looking for something else on an old thumb drive.
      Poem still needs work, but such fond memories!

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    A great piece Bruce, I can smell the place. I have personal experience with Asian rats.

  3. Loved it until we got to the rat! It felt real, but the rat was too real for me.

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