Kathmandu’s Like Walthamstow
One has mountain-margins,
lumps that poke the ether.
One protects its people
flanked by wood and river.
Kathmandu’s like Walthamstow, a sprawling home-from-home
with dogs that bark and bark on the streets below.
Bus-drivers burble in a brain-escaping patois,
take sudden detours and expect you to know.
Yellow youngsters climb steps
in Nirvana T-shirts
where blond beatniks slurp chai
while discussing G-spots.
Kathmandu’s like Walthamstow, they ought to be twin towns,
East is East, Drugs is Drugs, Curry is Curry.
They do ketamine in Kathmandu and Walthamstow,
and bruise-faced children try to take your money.
From “Disoccidented” by Alfie Shoyger: