Monday, June 23, 2014

It's not that all I'm writing about is people dying so much as those are always the weakest drafts workshopped into the most readable pieces.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NaPoWriMo 4/21 Birthday Haibun (first draft)

Under a flag at half mast again, I made a birthday wish that there would be no mass shootings, no bombings, or other acts of public violence today, for just one day. A selfish wish on a day when all I’d like to worry about is the rain. 

It’s warmer today
with the extra breath on Earth,
absence of gunfire. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Adoptee Statistic

The rate of suicide among Korean Adoptees is something like 5 times above the national average for comparable age demographics. Here is one guess why:

The Adoptee Statistic (4/5/13, revised 4/11/13)

At night, when the stars come out, I like to pretend each one is an ancestor.
I don’t know if that has any relevance in my History, my heritage;
it has lots of significance in My history. 

They look down at me, speak in a language I can’t understand,
that I’m too lazy to understand;
below the stars already, I sink deeper.

I call my mom--as a troubled child always should
and complain about my job because I lack the vocabulary to say what really bothers me.
My real sadness doesn’t translate,
but manifests as anger, as hate
and she tells me to stop bitching. 
And she’s right
but our blood doesn’t speak the same language
and we’re talking in codes that can’t be broken
so I hang up,
wish I had a mother who needed no translation,
yearn for darkness to reveal more ancestors in the sky
so I can learn by immersion. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2 No Title Yet

Background shading in a big picture, priorities rearrange, 
accommodate a mission statement that makes my hues swell, 
crowd the other shades until I stand out, disrupt harmony, 
drip off the canvas in horrible, gloopy drops that stain, 
burn through the bamboo floors of your expensive North Loop studio,
drip onto the easel in the studio beneath yours, 
turn a tree in Spring into a charred portrait of 
whatever you think Hell looks like,
the re-purposed bricks catch fire around us, 
spreading to every wine bar and bistro and chic salon
until you’re left charred, lidless eyes rolling upward
to watch the smoke form shapes above you, 
still murmuring your fucking mission statement. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Flex Time

Once again, NaPoWriMo is upon us and, once again, I will sporadically post four first drafts before flaking on the whole thing. 

I had to wake up earlier than usual today and have lost most of my coherence. I call this "Flex Time." 

Lays coiled around a pillar of the community, heart swollen,
Lies dripping off silver tongue sincerity,
sweet somethings whispered and forgotten. 
Lays across your neighbor’s lawn, winking like “come hither”
Lies about you working late, encourages frustration
like neighbors banging through the ceiling
like little specks that float between 
eyelids and waking moments.
Lie with me. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On Not Writing Enough Lately

I drink too much. 
I’m losing weight, I don’t look well. 
A fleeting quip about going from jaundiced to Jon dust makes me smile in the mirror and
I am alone with my recycling--with the bottles that stack up on shelves like books
Each with 750-1000ml of whispered prayers, swallowed regret, every murmur in between
I hope will reach across an ocean, translate into a language I don’t speak.
There’s no wind today. 
If I exhale hard enough, I can send these gallons of messages across the waves
to a familiar foreign shore where the ghost of a childless woman wanders, waiting.
If I drink enough,
waste away enough,
I can fold her shadow into mine and
tell her I'm sorry for not writing sooner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Overstuffed Egos

Chipotle is run by motherfuckers. I was thinking about that today as I watched my all white office scarf down over-stuffed burritos as we dealt with financial aid at a for-profit school. This poem was going to be about that. It was also going to be way longer and better. It was a long day.

On a side-note, Chipotle "lost" one of our orders. It was giggle-worthy.

4/4/11 No Title Yet

She aced the English class on symbolism,

even though she thought it was a joke--

the concept, not the class so much.

By default the expert on any hyphenated-studies,

head of the class talking head with her mind

on defaulting--she got a part time job,

sacrificing, longing so, suffice it to say,

she was everyone’s Cinderella story fantasy--

mostly for worse.

Dad worked himself to death,

mom as the real racial other, unknown

with influence in two ways on veins;

Dad’s veins swelled from work,

pride swelled for his daughter.

He asked her what she learned at school,

in half truths she told him lots.

She never did a keg stand;

she didn’t have time for that shit.