Wednesday, June 9, 2010

May 15 2008

Professor Stuber’s pick-up crew is out again on Thursday, by
Example, imploring students to stop dropping trash wherever
They sit. Now two more professors drop by to lend a hand,
Yet all you can think about is how spring goes by on Misty
Morning Way, where your father, proudly walking toward
Eighty, marks another year on the back of his bedpost. Not
The front, as that would ruin the d├ęcor. Is there any way
To reach back to capture and relive the train ride loud with a
Dixieland band, or converted, topless fire engine adventures?
Professor Stuber likes his new gig. It’s not screaming co-ed
College groupies loving your last set of music, or fellow
Poets applauding your latest rant, or even an art critic firmly
Lauding your ability to remain an expressionist against
All common sense. No, now it’s wide-eyed or hung-over
Students learning way more than English in what amounts
To a cross-cultured anthropology class, with English laid
In over the top. If your father could experience how happy
You are, could he, even after all he has been through, be
Happy enough to recapture the spark of youth? I hope so.

Cramp Transference

She’s transferred out of here due to cramps? No, that
can’t be it. But what on earth is this cryptic note getting
at? I’m humored, she’s humored, we both know I’ll
be around even if Jin Hee cramp transferred out. Now
the mind wanders to the possibility that she ended up
at Humun, the Chonnam back gate. If so, that’d be a
hoot, as its even more in my neighborhood. Oh, she’d
shit a Twinkie to see me walk in, for sure. Tomorrow
is parents day, meaning 5000 Won flower baskets line
the last ten meters from Shinay to the bus station. I
was told to buy some for Kwang Suk’s parents, but had
thought that Park herself is a Mom, and maybe I could
sneak them to Hyuntay and have him give some to her
as well. Would this amount to a cramp transference
too? Is that shaky, wiggling rear in Adidas pants also
a cramp transference? And how about when the crampy
blood transfers onto pad or tampon, or when New Jersey’s
own “The Cramps” cranking their version of Halloween
heavy onto the heads of appreciative ticket holders, with
neighborhood curio cabinets rattling. Does that count?


Light blue heels, not spikes, but wide-heeled, butt-shaping
sandals stroll below a woman with Kyung Jung’s hairdo.
Where is Kyung Jung now? In Paris, Alex, Raleigh, Schnurr?
This family, three daughters within six years, could be my
brother, eight years ago, both parents tired, looking everywhere
but at each other. Today’s sadness is short, vivid, bubbling
up from a bad day with a caddy, bad memories, bad timing,
and this book, slap-dash, not acceptable, not funny, digging in to
marriage, spirituality, pulling 100-hour weeks to try to exist in a
place that will not accept me no matter where I stand. Counterweight
comes when young ladies model, wise ladies tease, short lady put
hair up into pigtails to play youngster, attempting to “cute” her way
into a grade. Later you find out her English is shaky, analysis flawed
logic unavailable, proclaiming herself prettiest, but nowhere near it.
Unabashed freshman exudes the youth-dominated sexual revolution
that openly threatens centuries of Confucianism. Her parents may have
broken the rules themselves, but, as a tiny closet minority. Plastered pink-
shirted princesses vomit, get pulled to taxis crying for their lives, amazed
about alcohol poisoning, blowing off Monday, still bent by Friday. Here
the gents don’t take advantage of this, still pure, or too drunk themselves.


Twenty Lines to Freedom

One listens for hours, patiently waiting her turn, before heading
to Sucheon to play outside with her Dad. Another busses home
to make or eat fried or boiled kimchee-fish soup; then there’s Su,
hopping, joyous, life-changed, spiritual, philosophical, knowing
one day the support needed will return; already this or that angel
has stopped at her doorstep, sometimes talking, sometimes smiling,
she knows the best will come. Silver bicycle, oversized pink trunk
and the smell of fresh-baked-goods mingle here. Brick walkways
lead lookers, lovers, lost souls past each other, and Ding Yun, the
one who, twenty three messages later, sticks with it, though with
lowered expectations, not ever giving in to today, always focused
on a better tomorrow. One will fiddle for Hyuntay, another only
wants life abroad, her boyfriend could not meet family expectations,
yet her mother nods in a room her father isn’t in. Now the two faces:
one wants a comfy job at the Korean Exchange Bank, the very best,
Wood’s wish, will stop by for modeling time tomorrow, a wonderful
tomorrow, with long-hairs walking by, work-out sweaters bobbing,
museum visitors moving in a slow rhythm reserved for interested
eyes, old legs, young minds, tuned to a complex life available within
a ten minute walk or bus ride from the Chonnam faculty apartments.

Open Eye Affair ("I Like My Religion")

The pattern is a machine knit on standard tuke
just placed down, exposing real blonde hair. Her
deep-blue-green dress allows knees to poke at a
ninety degree angle, like a compass using the table
leg as an arc point of a ray emanating from her
inquisitive eyes, intelligent forehead. A vortex
of cold winter heat initiates contact points that
turn from glances to hair toss-backs. She's the
type too absorbed in study to realize how her
essence can fill a room. For now, knowing how
many men (19-25) take a second look is sufficient.
Her hairy boyfriend sips chamomile, and now she
goes for a reverse fold-over: a hair move where
you raise your elbows as high as possible. "This
coffee is disgusting. It tastes like it's been sitting
at the bottom of an urn for a week, then re-heated."
But that's Fred on the back row. Blondini the Great
is on about the relative merits of a quote read to her
by her boyfriend, from a textbook. She uses "OKay"
logic to argue a finer point, distinguishing style from
subject matter in a post-deconstructionist, strict
feminist-Freudian interpretation , admitting, in the
end, that she doesn't really know how things would
turn out: changing positively, or damaging humanity
irreparably if her logic was to be applied in the real world.


Her hair shines,
face smiles, legs walk to
new rooms. Freedom arrives in
time for festivals.
Spring feels good.

She works hard,
writes her future in
a foreign tongue, delicious
words become the fruit
of passion.

She changes,
confidently strides
to life’s welcoming siren:
an innocent song
sung to her.

The singer,
under sycamore,
is older, brash, excited
by this firm woman.
Love flutters.

Friday, June 4, 2010

For You

For You

Purity class
is not needed for
the most sincere, warm woman
some man will get next.
Tears of joy.

Don’t blame him.
He could not resist
keeping you tied down so long.
He had to have your
spirit’s force.

Your light will
sustain me, not him.
Whoever has the time will
find earth’s angel with
soothing hands.

If not for
you, memory would
die, life would flame out, ashes
swept to a deep corner.
Go now, go.

Hyuntay Talks

Hyuntay talks.
Adults everywhere stop to
listen. Yobo smiles,
someone else

Her hair and
body change, drawing me to
rediscovered youth.
She relents

Daily burn
gives us two hours to discuss.
Reconnect over

It’s spring, and
The yelling stops, art begins,
Children run. Yobo
ages like

Welomce Mat

Welcome Mat

Yeon-Seong laughs,
husband finds friends a burden,
son complains,
poetry pines, not
written now.

season passes undone. Teams
pick quick boys.
Forced army time sucks
precious youth.

Plums blossom
as Buddha dreams sycamore
birthday light,
accepting all death
has offered.

Cool girls smoke.
Fetish heals pump frilly shorts.
Gwangju rots
under motel lights.
Home sweet home.

Chilly Day

Chilly Day

Here you are, and here they are: in camouflage on a weekend
furlough, scoping out the wide variety of female talent. From
rank amateur to well-played skeptic, the ladies walk by until the
rest of the local unit falls in to form a posse of seven. Is it a
typical Sinae*-day? No. The coffee/pastry shop, usually packed
on Saturday is down to two of us. No one, I mean none of the shop
walkers buys anything. Today’s parade is bagless, an early sign,
like snow-poking crocus, of a springtime of heartbreak. Human
desire keeps us on the same course, even if stripped of buying.
We want to mingle, so here come the expats, some lonely, others
paired up. Another sleepless year is a sure bet. Productivity only
matters if you are producing food. Bunned hair atop mega-hottie
stands, pink rose in hand, waiting a while then moving west,
searching for the idiot who caused her boredom. The brown dog
held by the crazy man, gets away, pees on the astro-turf carpet,
enrages the shop manager, is swept up and flees with its homeless
master. Twitching, greasy-haired, dark-skinned landmark is on the
run again. Maybe he finds a warm place to sleep. Someone did up
his hair in corn rows so it doesn’t get straggly. Walkers veer away,
he’s seen it for years. They could learn survival from him, but don’t.

*Sinae- Korean for downtown


Gwangju News Turns 100

Neruda flinched when asked about the color of his shoes,
Which were not shined nor foretold, in rhyme, of the Gwangju News.
T-50s circle, sonic booms, while motel neon flickers.
Old men and women pull their carts to the dump to dicker
About four or five thousand won, their pay for daily gathering,
Barbers beneath spinning poles, to shave, the men are lathering.
Here’s to 100 months of successive news reporting,
All the topics fit to print, Simon’s photos exhorting,
And Leroy’s comics, Allen’s life and others on display:
Things to do in the minutes each week reserved for play.
The heat is back upon us, we matter to our schools,
If not for us whose face could the hakwons use?
On banners as large as the river is wide where the tigers play ball.
It’s all covered by volunteers who give the News their all.
We welcome the new, “farewell” the old on pages of hard-hitting stuff.
No one would dare accuse this magazine of just printing fluff.
So here’s to 2Ys, Minsu, Singsing, Julian, Harsha, Mali, Jessica, Doug
And Jon, Maria, Debra, Nana and Dr. Shin who allows us to lug
Our stories from web-filled brains to be put on glossy pages
Of recycled paper, thanks to Andrew. A toast to a room full of sages!

Carpe Nostrum

Carpe Nostrum (Seize the Night)

The stain of nitrous on the streets
Is matched by the stench of coal.
Entertainment between the sheets
Flew on the wind (it shows).

Young hotties with their strollered kids
Shuffle from store to store.
Be happy for all the fun you did
So much you wound up sore.

Because as wrinkles turn to gray
And memories surpass the present
The fun you have tonight, today
Will make arthritis pleasant.

And wash away your lack of cash
And brighten ancient clothes,
And make you laugh out loud at last
When tubes run out your nose.

So if you’re past the middle-point
Prematurely retired,
Do not give up your haunted joints
Get out, re-light the fire!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Single Currency Theory

Single Currency Theory

The racial flow, still imperfect, puts most on edge here
in L.A. Jews and Gentiles huddle in "richville," but
Bloomingdales and Macy's crowd with a four-way mix
of Koreans, rap stars, Spanish speakers and stressed out
white folks who either don't have the nerve to be kind
to strangers, or shop the big tickets, knowing collapse is
on trade-day away (but which day?). The economic divide
could collide if rich turn poor, grocery trucks hijacked
and guns replace compassion in the latter-day depression.
So sing while you can, scare viewers into the tip jar of
street performers who remind you that by break-dancing
they are not robbing your home. Come crash time the wine
sippers will hustle dollars too, but how? Food delivery is
my guess. Safe, clean food delivered to your gated palace
in a time when even growing food may require armed guards
should be a valuable service for those with money to spare.
If there were only a benevolent group that could be trusted to
switch us to a one-currency world with one minimum wage,
say twelve bucks and hour, and a Chavez style reprioritization
of both crops and housing. If implemented, this might prevent
the crash of 2015. Gulls dance on garbage heaps. Open lots
in East Los Angeles harbor rats and desperados, scream a
warning no one hears. Look, there's a rotting book: "Canary
Row," now sporting touristas unprepared for upcoming disaster.



Specks of cherry blossoms remain, six months after, crunched
to microscopic, yet able to detect the soft November feet of
knee-booted beauties. Washington's engorged monument is
Korean, six inches, but proud, laying-in to boot-skirt on the mall.
Blushing blossoms accept the thumping as better than souls,
more aesthetic than the spiked dens that welcome the kinky
Dupont Circle crowd, you know, congressmen on the town with
their page boys. We're now "all -in," bushwhacked into this
winner-take-all culture with few winners, proud sinners, all-meat
dinners. Unshaved Hispanics growl when the dealer hits two
black jacks in a row. Cactus stand, not waving in the wind that
tumbles weeds over mountains, that then ignite to torch homes
of the "richies" who once had it made. Malibu, New Orleans,
Florida in general: is there a pattern here? Gaia, perhaps our
only god, has good aim, giving the haves ample opportunity to
atone: few do. Perpetual human error peaks again now, as
Christians preach morality, their U.S. leader tortures, slaughters,
greedily spilling blood for oil, trading tomorrow for carbon-filled
today, while children and nincompoops watch, jaws agape, because
they didn't see it coming. By nineteen-eighty-three it was evident,
but still, twenty years into the fall, the one-two combo of religious
propaganda and twisted "news" helped smooth over electoral fraud
in time to put the slow crank on World War Three. Skip forward
to November, back-peddle to the leaf pile, where larger color
combinations lure Alexis and her playmate into unbridled bare-
backed adventures. Cool air slows his sweat, but not before a drop
jumps his nose. She thrusts to lick it out of the air, which is just
the angle adjustment he needs to finish the act. Show this to the
wonks, well-walled on cubicle row sixty-seven, and BASHA! your
job is over. It's that easy to escape the grind, but near impossible
to be your own cowboy and feed the kids. This is when corporate
can be your friend: just throw out all convictions, trade values
for value-added do-dads that increase profits and productivity
simultaneously and do not stress the details. No one minds if you
are loading atomic weapons, making attack ads, fucking your
"niece," as long as the leaves rustle gently, lips quiver repeatedly,
and voyeur neighbors get a hot glance, on an Indian Summers' eve.