Come take a walk with me down this street: (In England it would be called The High Street, In this town it is named Franklin) The sun is a hole in the sky. Afternoon light pours out Illuminating R. Stiltzkin’s (formerly Danziger’s) Where you can buy the cutest little red and white mushrooms Carved in Bavaria from wood Imported from the merlinesque jungles of Malaya. Pause, and listen to the sound of camel bells, The jangle of earrings hanging from the Afro-covered Head of the beauty walking a bit ahead. At the Varsity They’re showing The Israeli version, a musical, of Casablanca With Bob Dylan playing Humphrey Bogart, Sitting and strumming on the bench Next to the alley Where the flower ladies have their stalls. Turn and walk down the alley To the square where you can rent a bicycle And then left, down the first dusty alley To the Mustang Hash Shop Managed by the local government Because in Kathmandu It’s not illegal yet. The US Commissary, however, sells Scotch to diplomats and journalists And now the ante-diluvian king Has been hooked on White Horse and White Label And the CIA has outlawed the hookah. (The tapes are running out And the oil-sheiks are buying Minnesota Mining) And all the king’s men Cannot bring back the unicorn again. In this town the unicorn Is the scapegoat. The Sign of the Unicorn, however, Is the best pub in the village. There you can still get Bavarian beer Steeped in Siberia, Just like you used to get at the Coffee Shop, where travellers Young and old Tell tales of the Orient And the music of the hour Kung-Fu-Fightin’. Outside, bathed in the warm afternoon sun rays The donkeys quietly munch their oats Leaning up against the red brick wall, Selling copies of the daily paper. The best corner (if you’re selling papers) Is the one near the ice-cream shop Because all the people come out of there smiling Licking away at raspberry-crunch Savouring the woodsy flavour of the cone Made of re-cycled rice-paper vellum. Step carefully here, watch for puddles Of melted ice cream And piles of camel dung, because There’s a new caravan in town. The bazaar is choked with traffic As peoples of all colours, speaking many tongues (Indeed some have come from such a distance They require interpreters, you can pick up A little extra money that way) They have come from miles around To bargain and buy rare porcelains and carpets Woven by hand Each thread a parameter in the warp of time. And they come down from the hills With their mules heavily laden To buy transistor radios On which they hear strange music Made by a people who live in a world The hill people only recognize by the helicopter And the guns and dollars which Buy their crop. On the radio you can hear music Advertising and announcements Classifieds (horse lost in research triangle) And intimations of War to come. Which means that at the following tone (the ting of the margin bell on this machine) It is six o’clock, and time for dinner. I cook my own food in this town Because I’m a stranger in this community. Here the air is full of Shadows and images Some of them yours Some of them mine. Let us share food and drink Each as explorers in a strange town Where our caravan has paused for refreshment. As I pass time, waiting for the kettle to boil, (poor Uncle Albert, did he ever get the message?) Let us play a game of Twenty Questions. The first Question: where am i?