Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fool's Gold -09/08/2011


I don't often laugh in people's faces
not with strangers anyway
and certainly not in Asia

But then George
from Ghana
in Kuala Lumpur
came up
sat down
and offered me gold

I hadn't even offered him a seat

Had to laugh, really George?
he was actually African
that enviable height
and much-better ability
to retain his handsome with a bald head
would be hard to fake
and I'd heard him speaking French
with his other mate
over in the corner

The thickness of his accent
the force of his smiling story
talked over the book I was reading
the novelty value
of an email scam come to life
something about his father
a war a bank account
a government a return
on an investment
and an end of a rainbow.


No never been to Ghana
but I'd like to
Yes Australia beautiful country
have you been? oh?
though I wasn't by then listening
mind started wondering
distractedly started wandering
into his real story

I'd like to know it George,
and your friend's too

I'd never get it of course
any more than this gold
he's so sold
on trying to sell me on

so as we talk
I in turn, turn out to be
a chef named Chris
from Bristol, via China
used to be a plumber in America
got a girlfriend back in Australia
where I picked up this accent
and got sent
over here to Malaysia
by my boss
to find a recipe

...for disaster.

George didn't get the joke.

This curtain up between us
now just shows the shadows
of a two-way projected puppet play
handing each other lies
in odd shapes
you couldn't put your finger on
mixed with just enough half-truths
to confuse one another.

He had a better shirt on than me
but still trying on a scam so old
I can't believe it could possibly fit
over the flab
of even this touristy strip

How did George get here
where did he think this scam was gonna take him
where had he first heard of it
how many times had he tried it today
and had it ever worked?

I really just wanted to ask him if it had ever worked.




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