Soothe livid thought
give cool, quiet birth.
See with one time,
across solitary dawn.
You voice sound,
yet give rain color.
This storm rhythm,
meager, though soft,
over stone could not hold.
Brilliant music beside,
celebrate every drink of wicked wind.
Taste. Dance. Sing.
Through winter night,
and summer morning.
Slip by like water,
not under myself,
or beneath love,
but remember after who & what you are.
dance through change,
& leave life happy.
When music is poetry,
hear with love.
A heart must speak
between language & thought.
A poet will use
lightning & dirt.
Sound is vision,
light is word...
We writers are insane.
All of us.
We revel in our own sad mess
While picking green grapes
Off the wallpaper,
Smecking away like mad
At the wondrous juices
Of the imaginary, judicial
We, like Hemingway,
Take our scotch in the morning
And our gin at night
And try with brutal, lashing effort
To make it through
We have put ourselves in shoes
We will never be able to walk in.
We must walk miles as
AIDS sufferers, as
Brutalizers of women.
We must deal with their pain
As if it were housed in our own entity of being.
J.D. Salinger wrote that
His literary son, Holden,
Wore a “people-shooting” hat and
Made it damn clear that he suffered from wild
And erratic fits of overwhelming depression.
Writing from a bunker
Far from his wife, kids and home,
His stories sparked murder in the hearts
Of already oppressed men
With “people-shooting” hats of their own.
We must toil with language;
Put it in the corner,
Love it, hate it,
Shift it an slave daily with it.
We must lose hours upon hours upon
Days of sleep
Before we find ourselves
Dangerously asleep at the wheel in front of us
In order to make the slightest change in our regular ways.
Our handwriting only becomes sloppier
And our words,
Kaysen, alone in a psych ward
With women who slept around and
Tried to maul each other,
To try to release the the demon
Boiling the very blood inside her veins.
But demons do not disappear easily
Neither do the tortuous memories.
They attempt to label me
With words of the disturbed.
Floods my synapses and neurons.
Happily urinates on my serotonin levels.
I bring myself to write
The effigy of the psycho
Day by dad
As my pen scratches paper
And the doctors expect razor to scratch skin
Though it never has
And never will.
Writers are psychos.
We all are.
We remain the mad, psychotic, literate monsters
Who worm our ways
Into your head.
We nestle beside your dreams and fantasies,
Waiting to strike
And tear them apart or,
If you’re lucky,
Build them up.
A woman writer named Sylvia
Once put her head in the oven
Because the writer-demons were driving her to madness
And they wouldn’t leave her be.
Handling us is a torture
Only the most eloquent and experienced reader
Pamela, I suppose,
Has taken one too many lines
And has given birth to a child
With a few extra mental arms and legs.
Green trees and
Vietnamese agent orange
Fell into her lungs a bit early
As she painted her portraits
And found her ideal of love in mine.
Women, I’ve found,
Have quite the strange way
Of making change.
We can’t all be Elizabeth Stantons
And Sylvia Plaths.
We can’t all be the bra-burners,
The Vietnam-Veteran spitters
That this generation of tetosterone-enticers
Has emerged from.
Pamela, like so many other long-haired,
Nail-painted beauties before her,
Lost herself in an opus of cocaine
That brought her down
To a level terribly under
Those of substantial criminals.
As Burgess wrote, “You were not
Put on this Earth just
To get in touch
Pamela, I suppose,
Failed at just the same,
Became a Russian spy
And illuminated a flame of displeasing energy
In the heart of my breathless being.
I could probably drain myself of tears right now...
I finally, finally got the guts to ask him out.
I've been wanting to ask him out for the longest time, now...
We've gotten so close.
It's kind of like we're best friends.
I thank the good Lord above because he's in my life.
But I guess I was just too late.
She got to him before I could even say "Hey."
Has she filled every thought she has with his image?
Has she dreamed about him night after night?
Has she taken the time to memorize every feature of his harsh, petite face?
But then again,
I don't know for certain.
Maybe she loves him more than I do...
But she's not the one hurting right now.
She's not the one with a million daggers piercing and stabbing her once beating heart.
She's not the one who has to keep wiping away her tears during class.
She's not the one who will never get to feel his warm hugs.
She's not the one who has to watch him with someone else dreaded day after dreaded day.
She's not the one writing this poem...
I don't mean to seem "woe is me" right now,
But I don't know how else to act.
I've been pricked,
And my wound is getting infected.
He doesn't realize just how much I love him.
He really doesn't.
He doesn't know just how many poems I've written about him.
How many times I've thought about the way he walks and the way he talks.
All the dreams I dream,
Each one includes him.
I've probably written "I <3 Daniel" more than a million times in my notebook.
If only I could tell him.
If only he knew how I felt.
Maybe that would change things...
Maybe the egg wouldn't be on my face...
But then again,
Maybe things would stay the same.
Maybe I'd just have two eggs on my face...
I am afraid.
I am afraid because I am here
And I want to walk away
But instead I am right here.
I sit here.
Do I sit here?
I think I'm doing it
Just to see how long I can.
It's like holding your fingers over a burning candle
To see how long you can stand the heat
Before your skin blisters
And you pull away, defeated.
I sit still.
I always sit still when it hurts.
I think stillness
Started a few years ago.
When I first hit the ground
I was afraid to breathe.
It was like I had been dropped from a high bridge onto a concrete sidewalk
And I knew
Knew beyond any doubt
That things were broken.
Things inside were very very broken.
Things were splintered and punctured,
And if I moved, even to draw a breath,
I would bleed out right there.
I think that's when the stillness started.
And now whenever I am hurt
Whenever something hits me
I go still as stone
Except for shaking hands
That flutter, fragile and white, until I clasp them tight together.
The world moves around me
But I stay still as death
Not even daring to breathe
As if I will be found
As if I will tear apart into a million shreds of wasted paper
And drift to the floor.
I stay so still my muscles ache.
I never cry.
I can't cry.
I just sit there and feel how peculiar the sense of damage is.
How odd it is to be full of explosions and debris whipping around inside
An utterly motionless body.
And part of me, even as I feel
With how much I know I'd die if my body betrayed my anguish in real injury
Part of me looks on from above,
With a detached analysis
Of this and that
Of just where I feel this blow
And this stabbing pain,
Of just how each moment changes me.
I freeze like ice outside
And burn like hell inside.
It is the most curious sensation in the world
And I hate it so much I would die to escape it.
And yet when it comes upon me
I do nothing
Nothing at all.
I say nothing.
I turn to stone, part by part,
Like I'm being submerged in drying cement
And finally my lungs
The top of my head
Until all that is left
Are my eyes
I am paralyzed
And I look out on a world in motion
Moments before I was a part of the rhythm like a heartbeat
But that was moments ago,
And we all know how much can change in just a moment.
When I am stone
You can come at me with a chisel
And I will say nothing.
Bang bang bang
And little chunks come off
A shard of my cheek
A finger at the joint
The swell of my collarbone,
They crumble when struck
But I can't move an inch.
I sit still.
I always sit still.
My stillness is the waiting.
It is the wish
It is the craving
Hot and metallic
To do something
To slice away how much I hate my own helplessness.
It is knowing that there is a relief
Besides just being saved.
There is a way to save myself
From this chaos inside
A way to feel better
My stillness is the resistance
The longing and the "No, I can't."
The firm denial
Cold as ice
Hard as granite.
Is it strong to let the world dismantle you by the inch
When you know you could get there first?
Is it strong to sit and take take take
And do nothing whatsoever?
Is a statue strong
Or is it just
나는 한국 사람입니다,
I am Korean,
그러나 나는 미국 사람처럼 생각.
But think like American.
나는 한국인처럼 보이,
I look like another korean,
그러나 미국사람 마음
But my heart is set on America.
미국에서 28년 살았,
Lived in America for 28 years,
어떻게 (how) did 나는 (I) change?
Am I 잊혀진 (lost) Korean?
Have I become a Twinkie?
Or have I truly found myself,
And only becoming more aware of who I am.
Connotation, and my skin no longer matter,
Because I am an American.
Regardless of label,
I am ever expanding and developing.
Not a single word can describe who I am and what I think,
Because I know definition is a limit.
To truly know who I am,
You have to have lived my life.
Note: In Korean your family name comes first, then your first name, then your middle name comes last.
It is quite beautiful,
A heaven displayed before me.
The way the colors spash over another to become this perfect view is momentarily blinding.
It is never the same because
Every day I can see something new, I desire this also.
I will not say this about matters of life.
And just by looking you might be able to tell what the day brings, but I never go on that.
The best experiences I have with it had been when it was so clear that I could see through it.
Sometimes I begin to make my own song because nothing can measure up to purity.
you never know but you always know.
Everchanging, and nonetheless, without the change I would be nothing.
Without the change,
I would see things for how they really are not the symbolic meaning I place on them.
I like to think of it as always moving forward, it shows where we are going.
Are we going anywhere?
Needless to say,
I have found my everchanging beauty in the sky.
The body is perfect,
Skin so soft, eyes so bright.
Why would anyone ruin this?
This absolutely perfect creation?
No need for useless additions.
Ink, needles, metal, colors,
All so ruining to this precious gift.
This delusion of God and bodily temples,
keeping me modest and naive,
What more could I want?
This ignorant bliss keeping my skin clean.
The parents are proud,
This “God” is pleased with my ways.
Dreaming of celestial ignorance.
My body is a temple,
My mind is set straight.
Who could ever try to change that?
The plainness is beautiful.
As the reel of past events
slowly does unwind
pictures and emotions
seem to drift like the tide
As the waves come rushing in
embrace the flowing light
take a trip upon the wind
like a leaf taking flight
Soaring ever higher
vision blooming like a flower
suspended in a tranquil mist
watching events transpire
Knowing you can't change events
a stunned witness you remain
muted as you shout inside
with regrets your soul is stained
Look into the future
with a heart that's burden free
don't take the past and wear it
just like Marley's chains
Make amends then move on
life is short you see
enjoy the days that you have
set your spirit free
Don't cry to me of hardships
we all have paid a price
everybody has a past
and another set of lies
The things I think that matters most
are the connections that are made
what the other has to say
When we meet eye to eye
on equal ground we stand
looking through the others eyes
Smile a lot and say hello
to everyone you meet
together we can re form a bond
we once called society
I can change
I could be flying
I could be face down on cement
My limbs outstretched
Like a star
Not much breath
Going through my lungs
A mixture of a panic attack on the way down
And the impact of my fall