E.J’s Trip rope


 

 

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Eun Ji, how does a poem grow

From your shoulders as the years shine

Like a woman’s sadness that shuffles as it aches

Or elongated moves from man to man

 

In the cold months of identity in elegant death

I’ve watched you across books, speeches,

Highs and lows with hair hung in confession

And I’ve seen the fun house of your erections and

 

Encompassing many kinds of awareness

I’ve seen you cry in a poem

And I haven’t a clue what the end-game is

Nor how far we can push language at its brink

 

Or what gamification allows us to sing

When all the trees have been downed

And all the books have gone unread

Drowned in a sea of screens, lives churning

 

From reality, waiting impatiently at the

Digital timelines, tunnels into simulation

Eun Ji, will you even remember the syllables

That stretched your heart to your cheek

 

You were mad with the ocean once

And hearing you speak Korean, I felt landlocked

A permanently strange indentation in your psyche

You would never feel, you suspected it was

 

A native part of your own psyche, and I was just

The circus-gear of your imagination

An opened mouthed and clumsy sport gone unwhispered

No, I was the whisper of hypnosis that dilated

Your hardy gone funky work ethic of verse.

It’s Dawn in Seattle 


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It’s Dawn in Seattle

Eun Ji, if I die at daybreak then
Let my night be the doom of poetry
The place where I extinguish all longing
All wishes that felt the weight of empty years

For if I am to know heaven’s daughters
Then I must be ready, to profit from sacrifice
And bear the burden of immortal dedication
For these words have their own kind heights

Which but from a gentle style un-kissed my cross
And toss the coins that land in the fountain
And I am the hand that puts a lock on the fence of locks
and I am the feet that must tread this lonely path

And these are the hearts that I have torn my fingers
On, like roses and felt the prick of mortality
All for well, an experience, so if I am dead before tomorrow
Let it be known that e’en in death poets speak

And answer with a fathomless smile, that echoes
The goodness of the swan-like sufferers
Who came before, and will come again
To write becomes the great abyss and the ultimate
Silver realm of pleasure, an organic virtual reality.

The Flowers in the Mountains 


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The Flowers in the Mountains

산에 꽃이있다

It’s mysterious being nostalgic
For that which you cannot place
I’m going on adrenaline
Into the dark, it’s poetry

For a little bit of ink
For the whipping girl
And the boy without a publisher
My pen is exploding with

That Korean language that looks
Like it was made up by kids
Who were speaking about
The book of the dead

And needed to translate it in a hurry
It’s mysterious to crave
The next book, by our own hand
Like love written on a leaf

That nobody saw, as they walked by
Plants cannot move, poems are invisible
So I hush, waiting
For the world to write through me
It’s like land, in the morning calm.

To Ancestors #blogencore #poetmuse


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To Ancestors

I’ve taken the time to tattoo
A gun that is a pen on my arm
In remembering from where I come from
I find the inner voice again

I summon it from my belly
From my back that aches
With the years of long hours alone
Yes I have been alone, writing

Where have you been?
I travel the circuit and speak my mind
My ears and throat are sore
From the suitcase of free books

I have accumulated without error
I’m doing all that I am supposed to do
This is, the love of my life
Every word, word count, line, line count

Are the symbols I was created to write
I can feel the fieriness of fate
In my throat, hot like a tiger
When I speak, maybe you hear it too

Maybe one of my ancestors
Was a jester at a royal court
And I take after him
Maybe one of my grandmothers had a grandmother

Who was a prophet, and I take after her
Hot blooded I am here
Priestess, shaman, princess, scribe
My hands, they have silver endurance.

Gongjooh’s Halo #AppreciateAnAuthor @thisisEJKoh


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My Instinct to Appreciate

In a paradigm where
I long to be more Asian
You teach me the universal language
Of doing what you love
And I’m a frugal amateur
At best, I’m a tweeting imitator

In the sense of how I long
To translate the ecstasy
Of mere words, on the panels
Of myriad forms of self-expression

You have no idea, of the intricacy
Of how much empathy
Is in an audience
In the inspirational power

Of a red brand, of a Korean song
On the lips of an American
Living the dream, sharing a voice
The surreal narrative of daughters

You’re the new world, you’re
The future of art, and it’s strange
That our whispers can be heard

Above the masses
It’s unusual how identity
Is transported in poetics
Poems that are evidence
Of the purity, of the wonder.


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it lives

~ EJ Koh, in my humble opinion, is a modern-day princess of Asian-American Lit.