Poetry Update

Special thanks to Denise Jolly for encouraging me to write this. Check out her work at: http://www.denisejollyspoken.com/

The following two-part poem is a found poem derived from the texts of two newspaper articles-one from Tahoe, California and one from Korea-both places I am trying to navigate as home. I wanted a story that would be covered in both disparate places and would be reflective of my experiences with how I am being constructed and am constructing myself as a Korean American male. I choose the Virginia Tech Shooting.

Article links:




Tahoe:  Being Seen as a Precipice

where our cliffs lie

people closest

offer quiet violence as plan for exposed violence

so all strangers are red flags

a young man

becomes a house tipping over in time

learns crevices

behavior is raised like a stiff drink

at a social boiling point

playwriting an anger to solve our problems

with what they did

is familiar

and so damn old-fashioned

for us, seen as a precipice

of remarkable

and disorder

a part of us

they want to know

we: edge madness

gun quiet before the snap

a part of us

they never want to learn

the part of us human

writing desire into new history



Korea: Consider Leaving [again]

consider leaving if

home is all riot and fallout and

to learn

is to discover damage in the aftershocks

consider leaving if

time over there

translates to:

so anxious to be Korean


horrified to hear Korean

to go out, to move in Korean

consider leaving if

others worry about programs and classes

and you worry about studying

since as a man

you are not the child you hope to be

consider leaving if

yesterday in a nightmare

community was percussion

and the parts of you: all silence

like ethnic in the U.S. should be

consider leaving:

it is

our massacre

not shock or one act of tragedy

a safe fall

a home we emerge from each day

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