Tuesday, December 14, 2010

good evening winter rain , i am a furnace

cup your hand around the lightswitch
pulling down on the sound

my voice sings out

trembling black lines from
the cold spot i try to fill
beneath your window.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i shuffle to

build something
tall     a smokestack of homes, a future

like this but big , arms leaping towards the
door , the window is not very far

from the front porch stuffy with cigarettes
,  you catch me with sameness
staring up from the corner to see you ,  bright
round looking
i felt you before you handed me your name
i hear myself
our pants piled together on the floor.

december already
still everything soon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

shame on a thursday

tonight, hungry past dinner time, i put on shoes. slip
down the street mid rain. chana masala plus one plain naan equals
my favorite 7 dollar dinner, i'll eat it quietly, shoulder slouched seated by the bed.

outside,  an elderly black man points his red and white cane in the direction of the curb.
can i help you cross i'm asking my ready lent  hand quick on his wintered sleeve
   i am pleasant and
he asks for help,  his left palm capsizing towards me.
in this moment my definitions find me limited plus quick shame in the cheeks equals
3 quarters and a dime, he takes me arm.

this is us, i say the light changing
and together we walk like
together we have somewhere to go.

across, i find another dollar from my pocket.
it is raining and my paper bag is filled with warm bread and sour guilt.
you're at the corner of jones at o' farrell i say loudly, our hands squeezing apart.
i continue up the hill quickly, like every good i've ever meant lurks ignorance behind.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


an afternoon indoors
a painful squeezing in the center of my head
i spend a sunday of blue sky and thundering feats of aerodynamics-as-trauma
table bent into drawing words and pictures.

i want a poem. a small gold skinned cross section of me
every intention on display, to hold between breaths.
i spend all afternoon searching
press my fingertips into the firm arch of line over line
my rib ,  willing
i sift with both hands for light green stems buried
eyes upturned passing

another golden hour.

now, mother
today , i dedicate this to you, you are
small like a single grain of rice
like mountain water after washing , milky
and quick with both hands on clay bowls
to feed our red cheeked bellows, gaping in your memory.
what can i gesture to make you sit , back? my closed lips
and heavy shoulders cannot withstand
the persistence of your delayed love
you have waited twenty five years to play out mother, to atone for the weakness in this "style" ,  born
in the hands of women.
and if i could gesture the translation of my padlocked away love to
you , it would spoon from your still soft hands, into the cracks between my teeth.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

to avoid suffocating keep away from children

careful what you wish for he'd repeated
his left pupil tugging at my right

both closed i looked
for something to push the arms towards
all red eyes and skin

in the morning i pulled myself back on
one shredded leg, two
hill climbed back into my shrugging
past complex tributary formations of piss stains and
hey baby i bet your pussy's so good propositions
down the block from my house
i raise my chin , both shoulders aimed square

this is the far end of fear.

weeks of stacking thick chalk board against the
weak will he climbed in through
i didn't go back. i didn't call.

alone the body forgets
so i stirrup strode into metal straws and oversized syringes

pressing deep into padded table into 

any sound but this.

both eyes on the floor
a seventeen year old tried next to me
heart-rate wouldn't lie but i had heard her being vacuumed one room over
and i couldn't blame her. i would be running too

across a blue curtain for privacy her

toes red moonboots, mine gold glitter
so i passed her the word cutie to be casual
two dabs of lavender oil behind the ears
i told how sometimes i take deep breaths when i  calm
down her eyes on my shoes
like they were the only thing she could see.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


YOU have lost your joy    he said
gesturing at my sunken brown chin

i peered down and felt my fingers
reaching over it suddenly self conscious 
i was overlapping my knees and tidying
myself with careful pats.

i mean     he corrected , our discomforts
bumping into one another
you just don't seem happy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

hello four followers and associated individuals , hello

this week, is the same.

half and sometimes whole days to work, to collect this "art" or this "writing" from fingertips, but somehow it took all morning to quit the dream that might mean something awake, to gather the pillows and blanket back to the closet, to put both of the legs into pants and motion.

i say outloud that this, this fall of months, turning synonymous with two shreds of paychecks stretching across irresponsibility, is my freedom, to FINALLY write my story, the story that is either just beginning, or has reached it's teary conclusion.

but this week, i spend every free moment buried in another book, borges, castaneda, desai (i will never write this well), or chin down with a pen in my hand, trailing faces that are mine, are nothing like mine.  across knuckles and forearm, a .5 mm outline of me, dropjaw with a flat top haircut peeks from my right knee, and glassesed bucktoothed adolescent me bleeds from a crowded corner of flatted out paper bag.

this week there are miles of pen to paper, but i haven't said a word about the woman crouching by the pink washbasin on chung san island south of korea. i can't put down the mustard teeth that line my brother's outloud laughing smile, the sweat that clung to my shoulders like i was home. korea, the story that built my bridge back to familiar faces, i watch the days pass that i fail to put it down, fluorescent spray paint stains on my sweatshirt and fingertips to show for.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

last week may have been a waste of time

last week i decided to be different.  i unchecked my week's worth of alarms. i let myself sleep. i slept  late. i decided not to bother with coffee or socks. i crossed at crosswalks for a change, i spoke in a monotone voice to paying customers, plopped eighteen sixty five into their upturned palms (who buys coffee with a twenty?) directing my thank you's and notamused glares to right ears or white collars.

last week i spent three days hand making a book that takes one sentence to tell.

last week i thought i had been getting stoned and not writing anything, so for a change i smoked ALMOST every day, went on windy skates through the panhandle, added cilantro to my mac and cheese,  read and reread dreamtigers, cut back to two packs of seaweed a day, read and reread korean folklore  chapter two : korean shamanic initiation as therapeutic transformation: a transcultural view. ate a box of cinnamon life drowning in almond milk,  and by the end of the week had skimmed out six mediocre poems from the fryer.

i'll call them a series. i'll call them firsts.


memory .
everything is up
red pointed roofs
round faces heavy with cheek
ask me if you are one of them 
red ribbon tied hair , laughing.
and there is the feeling of being lifted
up by fingertips.

the first time i encountered one, it was pink
in a hurry, i watched it file in with the others
running they covered the length of my shoelaces and turned
to rush back the other way.  it was a tuesday and i said aloud
the ants are all over me
they won't stop covering me with their legs
my right hand reached up to sound the alarm.

at the very mention of his name 
my upper lip buzzes as if his pink gash of mouth curling towards me 
i become a single wish , an able body warm between sheets.

two years off , on .
our thisisme tempers flick the switch
his house ,  mine .

through the streets of oakland chinatown
my roughskinned fingers paper into his
fitting                                 for tonight.

i was six 
i refused to pledge allegiance to the flag.
my mouth told miss baker that this was not my country, and i wished to go home to my real mother.
three check marks next to my name, she marched me by the elbow to the principal.
home from school to find the woman angry, my suitcase packed she said
go. fine then go.

when i went back to korea
age 27
i noticed that i was no longer a child
for the first time.