PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013


by Nigel Barto

Hijab jilbab
Boys with pressed hair
Mak nyahs wearing saris
smile as I pass near.
Twin Towers, King’s Palace
Old new
Versace Prada Juicy Couture
Bukit Bintang.
Man with machine gun
guards jewelry store.
Sales on sandals
Baju chocolate
Batik art-central market
Crowded streets, cars crawl, bikes hurry.
Open kitchens chilied meats
Rice noodles soup curry.
Chinatown, Little India
Jalan to villages
Orang Asli jungles.
Malay me.
Man offers me girl,
sells me watch.
Woman proposes massage for foot
In tank of fishes.
Granting wishes
like genies in a shisha
to help my stay Malay style.
No fear, all love
Even a Paris Hilton store-lah
KL again for sure-lah.

About the author

Nigel Barto was thankful for the air conditioned bus stops in Dubai because the temperature was in the triple digits; and running into a Divali Festival one evening in Auckland, New Zealand was one more reason to want to live there one day. Nigel produces spoken word events, has self-published three books, and is directing his second Off-Broadway play.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok