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:

http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/3772242-113/news-none

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/04/18/2007041861018.html

 

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

translates:

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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