How Not to make a Career out of Poetry

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How Not to make a Career out of Poetry

You say, our bodies will grow heavier when dead?
But how will they know the important
Things about us, how we stretched
Our limits like, death threats to failure?

The letters will melt on the tip
Of our lost selected works
That remained buried x number of years
After our passing, if nobody reads

Our poems, did anyone ever write them?
You can’t kill without kindness, you said
But what happens when we live
Our entire lives too kind and trampled

By the world we thought would protect us
Too altruistic, too dreamy, too invariably
In love with art, to make it in the real world?
What then, should we somehow survive

With community, interviews, teaching positions?
I don’t even have that, so perhaps
My fate is to remain an obscure hermit
And pretend I am a shaman of literature

Misunderstood with small tiger melon hands
With silver hair and broken genius
And scars on my brain from my love of poetry
Am I supposed to die not here

But somewhere else with someone else?
On a patch of land in Taiwan, speaking to
How I gave instructions for my funeral
Of how to be kind and how to forgive

The invisible podium where all cancer patients
Must wait for their doom, I know the feeling

It’s the flaming dandelion magic
Of when I catch myself in the act

Of writing a poem, or imagine the amethyst
Hues of the moment of wanting to be remembered by strangers
That is so ludicrous like gamification theory.

4 thoughts on “How Not to make a Career out of Poetry

    • Thanks Lisa, I’ve been sick the past few dozen hours and it’s given me some inspiration to quietly think and read about this particular Korean American poets and her struggles to make it (with all that tremendous pressure that comes from being from Asian culture)

      • Wuji, I am on the exact same wave as you, but from my perspective (obviously). You’re work has truly touched my heart in healing today and I appreciate your words very much.

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