How much work have you
done for your children,
grandchildren, husband, peppers,
and now this clown who
dances through life, no
worries in the world,
yet full of weldsmerz
with all that
is going on to melt what
was once a planet
all creatures enjoyed.
You’ve seen Oh-Il-Pal,
Occupation, war, every
Horrible thing we
Can dish out, yet, as
Koreans do, keep
your day’s work done, your
friends at hand
in the glory days earned by
such commitment to
then lives of your family. Rest
now, but no,
you can only slow
never rest, as to
stop is to
stop. If I were to learn some
it would be first to
She works all day to soothe away
the anguish in his life.
She finds the class, she knows he’ll pass
such a dedicated wife.
When needs run high, like a butterfly
she fills our lives with honey.
I love her, and by now she knows
it’s not about the money.
She never spends a single cent
on diamonds, pearls or fashion,
and when the day slips into night
her art becomes her passion.
He wipes his tears and heads to bed
after ten hours of TV.
But there he finds the comfort
sure to fill his every need.
So here’s a toast to Yobo,
you deserve more love than this.
Just have fun with the one you love
and he will do everything in his power
to give you everything that you wish.
James Hyuntay at Five
My son turns
five today, joyous,
playing among sets of friends.
Should we shield him from
the real world
or can we find a
place that meets his needs:
true to its word, forgiving,
enough to grow strong?
He still asks
many questions, calls
Gwangju “Korea,” accepts
After dinner he
runs in restaurants,
jumps in gyms,
copies chess moves when stumped. Finds
A true friend,
he opens our eyes to a
but feels no burden,
no payback needed.
star will ride out any storm,
grow his food,
live long and prosper.
Three Dee imaging
makes implants one step
better in a world you’ve
seen change exactly
as much, maybe more
than I have.
you solved? What
being handed large
grants and larger strange
days at your home school?
You calm in the face
of storms, gale and small
opposites, as you are in
the time. This roller
coaster, too much for
most to ride
is also taken in stride.
Flows to you: so wise,
hit the gym so much
slowed you down, how as
Illinois? As much or more
fun than the
heard form U-N-C,
or Paris? Is your
in Seoul adequate
for a month, Europe-
bound? You have been gracious, and
your work on
is noted, and one
assumes you will be
strong at work these next
years, so the
desired outcome (is money
will lead to the place
you want to be, to
do what you
want to do, with the friends you
want to be
with, family you need,
to mountain temple
assures health, spiritual
cardio, legs, mind
You guided us to
the last refuge of
and Confucius. Tea,
music combine as
curatives to polluted
earth, yellow dust, foul
food, large stress.
The ancient ways are
all but gone, yet must
be used to
make earth whole again.
You teach Hyuntay well,
by trying hard. You travel
with us, then
do not, yet your play,
rough-house, gives my son
a chance to
practice self defense, which could
in times to come, should
we devolve this way.
powerful, smart, and
to apply it when
it in case
it chases away the man,
whoever that may be. You
got blessed by parents
members, so you know
how to weed
out riff-raff, but not
your own fun. Able to score
great grades, jobs and social life
in twenty-four hour
touch short on
sleep, but isn’t that the way
to get the
most out of life? I
want the twenty-hour
of the highlights of your last
eight years. Don’t
forget your desire
to help poor; earth.
Oh, but if we just
had relief pitching
could rule the league, stride
proudly in the waning years
of Choi, Hee
Sub, christen the new
stadium with V-
than lose our
voices over yet
another blown game.
Your wild times
may one day end…then what strong
friend? Back to
tequila in El
Paso, or Madrid?
Wait, you’re no soccer
fan, so the
be a target: Miami,
the home of
all things Latin and
a baseball club that’s
get tickets to might suffice.
your calling card, gives
choices, youth fulfilled.
The LA cops have struck again
(His wife had called nine times)
Each time that no report was made
They added to man’s decline.
We point fingers at the poor
We say they should work harder.
But the jobs are headed south,
Soon capitalists will barter.
Wives get killed around the states
At better than ten a day.
And battery, like rape,
Is a crime for which few pay.
Where is the love the preachers ask
While communities rot and fester.
The new era’s entrepreneur
Is druggist, thief, molester.
The problem isn’t just downtown
Or on the nightly news.
The problem is the horde who scream
“Go Juice, Go Juice, Go Juice.”
New World Reich
It took this long to hide my penchant: Rhymes.
Another reading forces inner looks.
Where is Ed and his heroic elegy for us?
What happened when we traded love of lines
For time cards, bosses, corporate crooks?
Here’s what happened: life became a chore,
There is no time left to rage creating.
Competitive suburban gardening is a bust.
What there is left is not elating
Except the love of soul-mates through this door.
The Eagle’s Nest is now a restaurant.
You get a 15-dollar turkey-plate up there.
But is a fourth Reich rising from the rust,
Or are we evil, just nonchalant?
Oklahoma City fades like sunset air:
The only lasting image is your own.
One veto and the fascists will shut us down.
One thousand points of veto from the upper crust
Without a batted eyelash from this clown.
What further outrage can we condone?
As long as TV says it is OK
Our lives submit to the worst human rages.
Just when we’ve farmed this place to dust
Some half-assed savior will come our way
Passing manna to those left. One for the ages.
A peacenik Smiles a genuine smile,
Frustrated, but relaxed, under a tree,
Away from the crowd protesting life.
Philosophical conglomerates form while
One of this park’s boarders takes a pee.
A price, integrity, pays the rent,
His place invaded by screaming hordes
Who say they care but walk right by.
Angry about where the money went?
It went to fashion missiles, bombs and swords.
The lesbians scream testosterone,
The poor blame the rich. Both are right,
But how do you stop for-profit war?
The MX takes up 26 election zones.
Too many jobs: no one left to fight it.
Talk of converting to peaceful uses
Hides in the “Utne” in recycle bins.
Peace dividend is swallowed up by debt
Incurred while corporate offers no excuses
For the profits made by mortal sins.
A series of Poems from Italy
June 24-July 6 1996
Of June 25, 1996
We pulled an all-nighter as you might
Do considering the task at hand. Desolate drive,
Bad money change experience, “sky-bar” flight,
Old men arguing for six hours with themselves and
All passersby about who-knows-what. Sleep
Is, for you a sly temptation, but no. It’s straight
Off a mondo-flight to the Hotel Napoleon,
Piazza Vittorio. A quick breakfast, accommodating
Concierge, early room, and out, on foot to
“Old Town” Rome. Hawkers at the Colosseum,
Renters snarfing as you sit on their stairs, sipping
A cola at Ceaser’s Forum. No dice. The
Will to go leads you up 843 stairs to an
Old church, flanked by a suckers museum
On a square by old Mike, on top of a hill,
Behind a big monument to some rich banker
Who rightly felt dwarfed by the hundreds
Of tombs of this Pope or that, this church
Or that, and more well-carved marble
Than an ark full of slaves could haul here.
Some slick designer took one from Disney
When spiraling the entrance to the Vatican Museii.
(That’s plural Latin meaning: one hell of a
Long walk in the midst of mad tourists.)
The Pope is walled in! A true paranoid, no
Wonder he likes to travel! Everyone and his
Artist brother-in-law has sent a painting in for
The “Bore-Ya” rooms. It’s the only semi-
Prominent gallery accepting all donations without
A jury! That’s a hint folks. Address your art
To Pope: Vatican City, Vatican, Rome.
You can even write your dedication on the canvass
And send it postage due! But do not bore
The Pope or he will vault that sucker in a
Space so untraveled it won’t even get
Recorded, noted, bibliographed or a gilded frame.
A canvass, any size, is a small price to pay
For such prime exposure. Thousands of foot-
Aching tourists will soon blow by your
Work to get to the world’s greatest gay ceiling.
Two French girls, not from Montreal, snap
A photograph of a California boy. “Excuse, Photograph?”
“Sure I’ll take one.” “No, I’ll take one of you.”
A Catholic Pilgrimage exalts a Latin Hymn.
(They flew in from Tai Pei.) Three German speakers
Plug in a tape by INXS, address post cards,
Laugh at lines written to amuse those friends left
At home with parents. The number six comes up
As some idiot breaks a biscuit to pigeon-size bits.
Some Joe in shorts wanders around waiting
For his wife to finish touring the basilica.
We found a few charms today, but they don’t
Equal the full alto laugh, the Bergman face,
The night before at the Red Coach Grille with
Jubelbier and Due´ Suppli. Once the clouds clear
Potent sun drenches the covered shoulders of
Girls wearing thumb rings. You stop. Dreaming of
Five-dollar gelato just doesn’t make it so. So
The shirts get tugged on one hand, buttons exposed
On the other. Two or three more languages cross
Mid-air in the always-windy, seldom-lonesome
Piazza San Pietro. The working stiffs:
Nuns with briefcases, light-suited locals
And ex-patriot dramatists mingle, or pass.
Now you are we again to hear perilous
Tales of narrow steps up to the top of a
Cupola way to high for human consumption.