Monday, November 25, 2013

Tuesday Poem - Country Chinese Restaurants by Mandy Sayer

Country Chinese Restaurants

There's always one in every town
Coonabarabran: Golden Sea Dragon
Dubbo: Fu Lee Way. Maybe your car
Broke down, or you're on the road
With someone who doesn't love
You anymore. Manjimup: Fu Hua
Kangy Angy: New Shanghai. Always
A fish tank in one corner, walls
Panelled with imitation teak, plastic
Scrolls of misted mountains, water
Falls, a lone man fishing. Toowoomba:
Ni Hao; Wangaratta: Koon Way. Vinyl
Booths, nylon lanterns, laminated
Menus flecked with soy, old prices
Rubbed out and handwritten in pen
A teenage girl at the back, hunched
Over homework, harangued
By her mother into waiting on you
Numurkah: Jung Sung Harbour
Gilgandra: Dragon & Phoenix
The chef has fled and the father
Is frying. They're usually empty now
There's take-away. Four-dollar
Cocktails & paper parasols. Maybe
You're on the run – an unpaid hotel bill
Or worse, looking for something you
Never had. Mudgee: Kai Sun; Wagga:
Lum Inn. The wok-steamed weather
& Confucius in a cookie.

Mandy Sayer

I know of Mandy Sayer as an award-winning novelist and memoir writer,
anthologist and journalist, and had no idea she wrote poetry as well, so was
surprised and tickled to come upon this rip-snorting tour of the culinary
delights of the outback in The Best Australian Poems 2013.

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