Impending Cataclysm [Free Verse]

Everything is dull
before the world changes.

People live their rituals,
complying with habits.

But the world will change,

change from one day to the next,

and not the subtle, unceasing change --
perpetual and ubiquitous --
that has always been.

No. This will be an eight megaton
shift into the new,

and nothing will ever be 
as it's always been.

Never again.

It will happen without warning
or precursor --

without a hint that the world
is about to be revealed, 

to be discovered 
to be something
wholly different
than anyone ever imagined.

Welcome to the new now
[prematurely speaking.]

Discovery Distance [Free Verse]

Mountains are best viewed at a distance,
despite humanity's "closer is better" bias.

Up close, one is invariably in a cloud,
looking at an undifferentiated mass
of gray-white:
ice -- granite -- snow -- fog.

One may climb a mountain 
to see other mountains in the distance,
but standing eye-to-rock with a mountain
offers little spectacle & grandeur.

Massive things can be too close to see.

I wonder whether I'm also
 better viewed from a distance.

Not everything is.

Consider the opposite mistake:
People say things such as, 
"My Great White Whale is out there."

But Great White Whales are  
always found looking inward --
not out in the distance.

Pause Bloat [Free Verse]

A pause hangs in the air
like poison gas.

It threatens to devour
more moments:
good moments,
sacred moments,
moments that could've been something.

It envelops all,
encasing minds in psychic concrete,
entombing thoughts so hushly
that not even the thinker can hear them.

Through the ear-ringing hours,
nothing is said
nothing is heard --
not a word or a scream
or unsolicited fashion advice --
nothing but the high tone
that slits through silence.

Tributary [Free Verse]

Your river is a tributary.
My river is a tributary,
flowing to a sea.

I feel your molecules,
floating past my own,
in some way tingling:
a jangled excitation.

[at the sea]
we will be, together
[at the sea]
we will be together.

I no longer worry
that I'm a river with no name --
an anonymous tributary -- 
because every sea 
has many names.

The Naked Dream [Free Verse]

There is a dream
in which one is naked.

But no one is looking at you,...

And that is so much worse;
the anticipation of being gawked at 
is more disconcerting 
than being gawked at.

And, yet, one can't bring oneself 
to shout,
attracting onlookers, 
so as to end the misery of anticipation.

One can only sit with one's naked
expectations --
wading in anxiety.

Bardo Mind [Free Verse]

lost in a disembodied
Bardo state

fantastical happenings
mainlined into consciousness

with a side of swirling 

and all the angry demons

and all the faceless gods

churn around the periphery

Ma-Ai: The Ideal Interval [Free Verse]

there is a ma-ai

-- an ideal interval --

the perfect gap
in space & time
& space-time

there's a ma-ai:

between setup and punchline
between punchline and laugh

between inhalation 

between listening

between receiving

between swinging

too rushed and momentum
is smothered

to slow and momentum

there is a ma-ai
for all things that move.

BOOK REVIEW: The Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin

The Wet HexThe Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Page

Out: June 14, 2022

This is a varied collection of poems. It includes sparse free verse poems as well as prose-style poems. There are a number of stream-of-consciousness poems that read like surreal free writing, but there’s also a narrative poem and a number of clean prose-like poems.

The poet is of Korean ethnicity, and her heritage and the experience of being a transplanted individual both feature prominently in her poems. (Though Greek Mythology is also about as common as Korea Folklore in the poems.] The poems also display a fascination with words and as well as with violence.

The poems are divided into five sections. Section three is unique in that includes the collection’s longest poem, a narrative poem, which is presented with some simple, geometric artworks.

I enjoyed reading this collection, it employs clever language and interesting approaches to verse, both among the more cryptic, freeform entries and the neater, more “business-like” poems.

View all my reviews

Tractor [Free Verse]

the tractor idles in the end-row,
chugging and sputtering,
with a rattling exhaust flap

soon the tractor lurches
into straight-line locomotion,
chugging down the row,
carving out furrows,
peeling soft, black soil aside

the cut worm does not forgive,
but neither does it know
what hit it --
some thunderous storm,
monotonously rolling nearer -
becoming more all-pervading -
until it starts to fade,
but by then
 the worm is halved

everything becomes something else:
worm aerates soil
then becomes food for the 
tugging bird