City of incompatible systems, apocalyptic notations and superannuated evangelists. City of identical bookstores and foreigners prowling carpark stoops for keys, wallets, hearts. City of rude one-word email responses and grumpy old men found while randomly searching catalogues for grumpy old men. Shafts full of planetary sump oil tempt the one-legged. I hope at least one grumpy old man falls in. City of embassies surrounded by swarms of well-wishers, or could they be sharks? Lapel pins point to obvious associations, while calling cards call from card tables set up beside the road. City of club sandwiches and cafe mocha with whipped cream, impossibly thin straws and sickly sweet liqueur flavouring. City of protest placards lined up as if this were a science convention and these the entrants in the poster competition. Images of mutilation and gangrene. City of fabled demonstrations and stampedes at stadiums built for fleeting competitions and transparent profits. City of crooners with impeccable haircuts and night visors. City if tiny date stamps on books acting as security in case of random back gropings. Ogre of a city. Peach schnapps on demand, massage parlours discreet and plaintive. The sound of baseballs hitting metal bats: this I do not care to recall. Portrait junkies line up outside the sneaky booths for one last shot at immortality, or celluloid. Vanity protruding from the anus. For all this I am somehow walking home in this city. Large cars cannon down laneways designed for two men walking abreast, honking self-importantly as passers-by bow. The persimmon tree seductively sheds its skin, leaving orange globules like lanterns on shaky limbs. The alley where the crazy man stands and shouts at two mangy dogs. The hanok tile houses squatting close to the earth. There is no need for metaphorical examination of these kinds of shutter-photographs. Plastic bags belching rubbish. Operations manuals discarded in favour of more capital, fresh staff. I threw out your business card, despite your offer of employment and exclusive use of a fax machine. The way you drank that small bottle of yoghurt disgusted me. I remain wary outside saunas. I have been tempted to kick that stray cat in the street. Something tells me no one would try to stop me.

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