Among Rivers of Dark Purple


EJ Koh

If I should die, then let my poems live on
Or that they should die and I should
Be free, of the gurgle and of existence

That is so personal and yet so irrelevant
To the cosmos that sings of eternity’s theme
And golden birds of our dreams than burn

Against the sun that is Time’s will
Her signature that I should die
When it is her will, and I will write
Not unlike the sky to the horizon
Of sunsets and the commerce of the living

Where parts the parting skies of hours
Hours that float and rise and lift
The conduct of all pleasing scenes

* * *

All smiles, all beloveds that left
So then, how wonderful is Death
And dying to ourselves, and the spirituality

Of the waning moon that blushes over
The entire world, of heartbreak that lasts forever
Maybe, I’m numb now to the passing wonderful
The subjectivity that was once so intense
Is now a common flower, I won’t mediate

Anytime soon in cemeteries but I ponder
The seasons of my life, that drank in darkness
And could not find the light, whether in myself

Or reach the intimacy in others with
The skin of my soul, my life’s inauthenticity
Is the corpse of my doubt and cowardice

* * *

That never truly knew love, or had the courage
To wrestle danger with a smile or succumb
To the pressures of a common life, perhaps
I will die young, bohemian and a bit wild
Where I feel the breath of Armageddon

In the silence, can death hit me then like this?
When my heart already has some lack
Of oxygen, my heart-beats lack a sturdy foot
What of my brain that drips in lost memory
The better part of who I used to be.

The Death of Songs


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Eun Ji, the pen that must lift from the heart
Is the poet tired of the sensation of addiction
So we commit suicide to art, knowing it will set us free
Like adolescent love, that must one day too must pass

And the tragedy that became our comfort zone
We sublimated it into something else
Obsession for the ritual that represented
Our salvation from loneliness, though

It made us immortalize the lonely ache
O’ Eun Ji, it was me who watched thee on
The stage, I watched a thousand Korean dramas
Just to get a hint of who you might be

I grant I never saw a goddess go;
Nor found a literary mistress in the poetic snow
Seattle being too distant a dream to me
But roses are forever sometimes, like poems

That burn not with false compare, but mimic
In the twilight, the cheeks that we ours
Who swore in loneliness, that they found comradeship
And yet still, by heaven, I think you are as rare

As any poet I hoped to know, hoped to read
And if I ever had a love of the pen, or a muse
Or wished the music of the soul, of pain
Or whatever note the throat could soar
And swear that art was something more real.

P.S. http://thisisejkoh.com/

Sugar is a Necessary Prey


Hourly the lamp headed-nymphs Whisper to me through The lily root of my subconscious There is little shelter From the flutes of language Fish-mouthed mantras of poetry They flame in me frog-hoped The reebit of time’s fugitive Unfaithfulness to the … Continue reading

Cartwheels From Inviting Blaze


39

I must have written you poems/
In my lonely sleep
To wake up feeling
Like comparing life to wine vinegar
=
And, threatening to change my mind/
On dying young –
I must have had some
Epiphany between, suicide attempts

To threaten the universe/
With a big black-hole love
That broke the laws
Of my morning dark –
(
It wasn’t every day/
That invoked your virgin lap
I need to be slapped
From some maker’s room

Where you thought of me/
And it made me think of you –
I must have left the door
To my heart, ever so slightly-ajar
)
Turning down the dark hall/
In the middle of the night
To crash into you, I guess
It was just meant to be.

That I Hold You Forever


23

I have too much ingratitude for children
Too much dysfunction for marriage
It’s time to pour into my flute all
That I have left, the sum of shepherd-thoughts

Simplicity, of this life of neglect
According to its own rhythms
With the sustained voice of its own
Infinite exchange, dancing sums

I only have blank joys, to decorate my heart
Outlined ideals I would share with my friends
Imaginary beauty, lovely years left lonely
My suns will quickly run their course

Have their due, their little sport
Of wishing, and complete tender rounds
Of giving and secret fidelities
I own to much narcissism for family

With too much of a conscience for defeat
Toward all life embracing it from afar
The turbulent troubles between my inner shores
Are my last excuses saved for the future

A future where everyone is going to die
It suffices me to deepen, to endure
With vaster concerns than I am now capable
I am ashamed, since your departure

At the premature immaturity of my supplications
The light-fingered censure of my woe
To you, in whom I don’t confide, know this –
I have tasted the thirst that magnifies us.