Friday, August 29, 2014

set adrift on mountain blue

She had been drifting up above the Korean mountains for quite some time, feeling both a wee bit sick to her stomach but also incredibly exhilarated and free. Since the tether had been broken --a bond she had been gnawing on patiently for years --she thought she might never touch the ground again. In her ears (though she spoke not a word of English) thumped “And She Was” by Talking Heads and beneath her feet (as in the music video for the song) the whole of the world slowly spun by.

From down below, he called up to her, not by speaking (words she would not have understood unless she was dreaming), but by tugging on her tether. Her eyes widened in alarm. Ever so gently, she felt herself dropping by degrees closer to the pedestrian earth, a realm she had never understood and always struggled to escape. But, there he was (ever oblivious and afraid of losing her), pulling her back to the ground.

Her arms flopped a little bit helplessly with each tug of his on her waist. The mountains loomed closer and then were her neighbors as she passed by. Nimble goats clung to the side, nibbling the scarce vegetation and not mindful of her at all. She may as well as have been a cloud, falling like a gentle rain.

The soft mountain breeze caressed the wet from her face, cooling her skin until she was under the shade of the forest. With a gentle bump, her feet touched the ground. She blinked a few times, as though being earthbound were the most alien thing. Gravity still could not touch her though (he tried). Her feet barely touched the earth as she wandered among the trees, trying to follow the sound of his longing.

He wasn’t anywhere he was supposed to be (he never was), but she knew she would find him.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

the room for poetry

she drove the car off the cliff, something she had always wanted to do, but -until this moment -never had the chance. as the car sailed over the edge, the list of all the things she was missing ran through her mind: trash bags, water filters, tissues. 

was this the sum of an entire life?

every time she was in the grocery store, the thought would run through her mind:  how pointlessly quotidian this all is. there would be 50 varieties of something; none of them good. 

she had the same thought at the airport, or in the train station, or wherever she was surrounded by a milling mass of ugly people, all dressed differently but looking the same: so much ugliness.

she'd been dinged for this once; told she was mean. people nowadays -they were so soft. everyone wanted to think that they were special, or pretty, or smart -but they weren't. she really was, so she knew better, but she mostly kept these thoughts to herself, especially where children and pets were concerned. people could really lose their minds when certain truths about their progeny were pointed out to them.

when she came home, she asked him what he wanted for dinner, but he was already cooking and neither of them were hungry. he vanished into another room rather than sit at the table across from her. she didn't particularly care. 

there was a shelf very high up and hard to reach in his mind where he kept certain things. she knew it was there, but never looked; she knew what he kept there. the times when she would rummage about in his mind looking for something, she would always come back hurt and feeling a little bit less -and yet more confident too.

it was always better to know.

she couldn't build the tower without it, and she was always building. it was really for herself; she just wanted him in it, where she could hear the echoes of his words against the glass walls, and the whole world could watch, and yet never really know what was in it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Time is Rolling Backwards - The Climb

I looked at my watch and observed the time. It was the only thing that made sense. Every tick and every pause -the fractions in between -were the only certainty we had.

I tried to tug on the sheets and awaken the monster inside you. You pulled them over my head and we went deeper. Beneath the dimmed light of Egyptian cotton, life became clearer and the path forward was easily marked. We didn't know where on the planet we were, but we knew where we began and where we ended. The only path was to go deeper down the climb.

The clock stopped.

As our motions began to speed up, the sense of anticipation was awakened. Beyond this though, reality began to skew, stretch, and blur. The world did not exist.

As we held the hands of time, they began to pull us back. The threads, so tightly wound before, were unravelled and began to reveal every detail otherwise lost. It was the crushing summation of an imperfect existence. There were holes where fulfilment belonged, frays as placeholders for relationships, and knots of missed opportunity.

As the pleasure merged with the pain, it revealed The Climb -a path so steep and so unstable, that the end was neither well-defined nor visible. At the end though, the promise of time well spent.

The enigma was that the harder you climb, the slower time goes; yet the more slothful you climb, the faster time ticks by.

I finished, emerged from the sheets, and was left with this riddle in my head...

This thing all things devours:

People, love, birds, and towers;

Forgets the famous, ruins towns,

And beats islands down.

- Anonymous 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

the climb is all there is

“Do you know what the realm is? [A] story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget that it’s a lie.... Chaos isn’t a pit. It’s a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again. The fall breaks them,” he continues. “And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Game of Thrones 3, Ep. 6: "The Climb"


your body is a mountain I want to climb.

majestic, with great bearing, and regal.

there is something irresistible in something so dangerous.

and yours is a mountain I must climb.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

meditations in the age of meaninglessness

her girlfriend dragged her along behind her, using less force than charm, really, and it didn't take all that much either; it never did. mostly, she found her curiously fascinating and wildly transgressive, though, if you'd asked her, she certainly would not have been able to verbalize her feelings.

she was, after all, only seven.

nothing about her life was normal, though she didn't really know it. she had the aching sense something was wrong, but, mostly, when she wasn't consumed with telling her sister stories to make her sleep, she was obsessed about the messed up state of the universe.

she'd lay on her back in the long grass, especially late at night after dark if they were "camping out," and she'd lie so still she could feel the rotation of the earth beneath her while the stars drifted silently above, the sky so dark and close it felt like a heavy velvet blanket, and she'd panic about the pointlessness and enormity of it all. she remembered that scene from "Little Man Tate," where the small boy freaked out his mother by freaking out over the universe, and she just... understood.

"yeah, little man." and the boy in the movie was a genius. was she a genius too?

every time she fell into her thoughts, she would fall in so deeply that being pulled out of them always felt to her like waking up suddenly. 

her girlfriend tugged her arm.

she blinked a few times, and saw that she was in a playground -the only playground in town. then she looked objectively at the girl who was tugging on her sleeve, encouraging her to follow.

she was unremarkable, really -dirty yellow hair chopped off bluntly in that way that Midwestern parents always seem to do to children, a splash of freckles across her plain white face, cut-off shorts, and a general unkempt unruliness.

of course, her true draw lay in her complete and utter disregard for rules or boundaries, no matter who or what laid in her way.

she watched her scramble up to the top of the long slide, the one that had two odd humps that made her stomach feel wondrously sick each time she went flying over one of them.

she had smoked with the girl, flashed alarmed car drivers with the girl, screaming at them "T-I-T!!" without any real comprehension what she was spelling, suffered through lice with the girl, walked into the local bar and demanded a drink (water) with the girl, bullied other children with the girl, and even gotten revenge with the girl -all in a very detached, "I guess this is happening now" kind of way.

it would not be until years later that she fully understood that this girl had not been her friend. she had never told her about her secret child, the yoke around her neck she had been born with that was hers and hers alone to take care of. she had never told her about the sexual abuse, or the beatings, or spoke with her about the drugs, alcohol, and general blasé misogyny of the Midwest. she had never talked with her about racism, and what it meant to be the only person of color not only in the town and in school, but also in the home. she had never revealed to the girl her very secret penchant for hoarding food and shoplifting insignificant things such as gum.

well, they were only seven.

she shrugged, and quickly climbed up to the top of the slide behind the girl, wondering the whole time if this was a false memory, like so many of her other memories; wondering if it was true that it wouldn't be the stolen and destroyed bike that would end them, but actually this time -today, in fact -when the girl insisted they defecate together under a playground picnic table, for no reason in particular like so many of her other ideas, except to just... do it.

she closed her eyes, realizing though she could not remember, that she probably had done it, and the only thing that had really separated them was the mistaken notion that they were truly friends, because children of abuse can never truly have friends -there are too many bruises to hide; too many secrets to be spilled.

they had moved to the country shortly after the incident with the dead child in the ditch; because out in the country, the only ones to hear her cry and her sister scream were the cows.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

When I Met You...

When I met you

I just wanted you

Bounce the clouds away

All days fade to grey

You're the one I want

You're the one I want

All things that you say

Nothing went my way

Moments that we had

Sometimes just feel bad, (but)

You're the one I want

You're the one I want


I thought you were kind

I thought you were mine, (but)

You took me apart

You ripped up my heart, (but)


You're the one I want

You're the one I want

Now I still love you

Nothing can I do, (but)

Here you come my way

It's a brand new day, (because)

You're the one I want

You're the one I want

Sunday, March 3, 2013

for the love of kimchi

Wandering the aisles of the grocery store, a place he typically hated, he felt his eyes burn with tears and his heart swell.

There was a full aisle devoted to kimchi, something it was almost impossible to find easily and of high quality on the Mainland.

Seeing all of those kimchi jars, all lined up and quietly asking to be chosen, he knew he was home.