Kate Lilley: "Where was I?"

Where Was I
Kate Lilley
By John Tranter on March 2011
There are all kind of tourist poems, a genre Pam Brown labelled "747 Poems". This view of Japan is through the eyes of a dazed tourist noticing far too much: the train windows have no point at all, the lunch boxes promise to rival Proust in their inexhaustible variety, and the blending of "infectious" and "prophylactically alert" is dizzying. Of course the whole point of cocktails is to watch one being mixed. Of course your blood type is inescapable, like your future. On the one hand, don't under-read the lunch boxes: "Don't try to escape allegory". But don't over-read the vending machines, either. Pay attention (as though you could drag your horrified gaze away!). Bring it all home and pour it into a poem, a poem the exact size and shape of a sonnet or a lunch box, if you can find a poem like a Tardis that will fit it all in.