Belgrade, 23 July 2008

Belgrade, 23 July 2008

Ivan, our favorite Serbian punk rocker dude
plays translator as we walk from church to
museum to atelier. His dark paintings already
surpass Mayon, but he’d be nowhere without her.
Seven months of bombing in 1999 rid the town of
Milosovic but not Karadizc, and how many died for
this? Ivan wants out; he’s tired of shortages, sleeps
where he drops, saving bus fare to the rocky suburbs.
He never used bomb shelters as sirens blared: if the
bombs got him, so be it. The clownish morose, post
Francis Bacon look to his art is horrifying, sharp, fresh,
accountable. Maryon slams the door as we leave, having
twice talked of suicide on a closed-up Monday before
cold rain came. These two need the smoke and drink
more than anyone I’ve met so far. Although the terra cotta
forms placed in families on the square are funny, even
swimming, the medieval music can’t turn black clothes
and lipstick into merriment for long. Lyubo laughs, talks
to friends; he knows everyone. Two days later Karadizc
is arrested, Mr. President looks down on park whores.

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May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008

 

Professor Stuber’s pick-up crew is out again on Thursday, by
Example, imploring students to stop dropping trash wherever
They sit. Now two more professors drop by to lend a hand,
Yet all you can think about is how spring goes by on Misty
Morning Way, where your father, proudly walking toward
Eighty, marks another year on the back of his bedpost. Not
The front, as that would ruin the décor. Is there any way
To reach back to capture and relive the train ride loud with a
Dixieland band, or converted, topless fire engine adventures?
Professor Stuber likes his new gig. It’s not screaming co-ed
College groupies loving your last set of music, or fellow
Poets applauding your latest rant, or even an art critic firmly
Lauding your ability to remain an expressionist against
All common sense. No, now it’s wide-eyed or hung-over
Students learning way more than English in what amounts
To a cross-cultured anthropology class, with English laid
In over the top. If your father could experience how happy
You are, could he, even after all he has been through, be
Happy enough to recapture the spark of youth? I hope so.

 

 

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Article 9

Article 9

 

Here in Makuhari, surrounded by well-wishers, those seeking
peace enjoyed your rhapsody in B minor, Bush minor that is.
The trigger was pulled on Paul Wellstone, as he persisted
in his investigations. Likewise Benazir Bhutto, and to
start it all off, Dodi, and accidentally, Di Somebody
somewhere decided we had aided the Muslims one war
too many, and though this turnaround was anticipated,
few thinkers dreamed up the scenario that unfolded.
Poem? > What poem? Who has tie for fluff?

Here goes for the Iraqis:

The only grievance in this war is the price of oil.
Our commander chiefly told his generals where to go.
When he did our soldiers died, and Fallujah’s life and soil.
Now we rally for Japan’s Article 9 in Tokyo.
Mothers who lost their children, now part of the refugee flow.

This congress is still mostly fun, although Ms.Weiss implores
that action is the only way to beat them at their game.
So if it takes a singing voice to break down power’s doors,
then show them how, by being brave, you can douse their flame.
The lies have gone on far too long, war is the greatest shame.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire reads twice, so glad that we came.

 

 

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Article 9 a.m.

Article 9 a.m.

At nine a.m. this group of twelve waits at Makuhari.
Inside the air-conditioned hall dust floats over chairs.
Speakers will again insist on peace within and everywhere.
A train leads to a monorail, but the ladies ask where are we?

They are asleep, in fear and rage, refusing to take part,
or mired in over-studying to avoid another day of hate.
But now, alone together, will they realize it’s not too late?
Or will green jealousies again arise to squelch their hearts?

The ladies who are of an age to have seen it all
arrive an hour early so they can sit on the front row.
On day one they waited in the rain, only to be told no.
So the main attractions repeated their words out on a grassy mall.

Multitudes flee guns these days, arms never solved a thing.
A new type of globalization erupts when witnesses testify.
A photo or two from Abu Graib is enough to expose the lies.
Aiden and Cora speak about what our actions could bring.

Youth is missing at this event, it’s enough to make you scream.
As the earth devolves into war over depleted food and oil
children play at computer games, knowing nothing of the soil.
Optimists persist: we teach, we sing, we hug, we dance, we dream.

 

 

 

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Cramp Transference

Cramp Transference

 

She’s transferred out of here due to cramps? No, that
can’t be it. But what on earth is this cryptic note getting
at? I’m humored, she’s humored, we both know I’ll
be around even if Jin Hee cramp transferred out. Now
the mind wanders to the possibility that she ended up
at Humun, the Chonnam back gate. If so, that’d be a
hoot, as its even more in my neighborhood. Oh, she’d
shit a Twinkie to see me walk in, for sure. Tomorrow
is parents day, meaning 5000 Won flower baskets line
the last ten meters from Shinay to the bus station. I
was told to buy some for Kwang Suk’s parents, but had
thought that Park herself is a Mom, and maybe I could
sneak them to Hyuntay and have him give some to her
as well. Would this amount to a cramp transference
too? Is that shaky, wiggling rear in Adidas pants also
a cramp transference? And how about when the crampy
blood transfers onto pad or tampon, or when New Jersey’s
own “The Cramps” cranking their version of Halloween
heavy onto the heads of appreciative ticket holders, with
neighborhood curio cabinets rattling. Does that count?

 

 

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Prophecy, Friday February 28, 2007

Prophecy, Friday February 28, 2007

 

The wide-winged hawks that glide the wind
are cheered by little boys
whose parents huddle by the fire
as if they had a choice.

But times are tough, the drought moves in
as cattle eat hills bare.
Pandemic flu slows elders down
but they still have time to care.

On sunny days we turn the soil
with ashes, leaves and rinds.
February adds a day this year:
a chance to clear our minds

so overwrought with changing times
we’re scared before seeds grow
we’ll have to move the family
if the mortgage lays us low.

Pa said he was a little tike
the last time money soured.
I know I’m spoiled, and caught unmasked
with no wheat to flour.

We send out signals to our friends
and even to our foes.
We’re here to help, if you can work
then join us in our woes.

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How I feel in the morning

The Innocent #1

There, at the rock, the innocent stands waiting
for what she’s not sure, but she knows the
man she once dreamed of could not be out
fishing until two in the morning, nor could her
busy parents be lured away from the fields by
the promise of money, nor her dreams fulfilled
in the rice paddy, nor will some Batman, half
hero, half millionaire show up, nor will wearing
a yellow, pleated mini-skirt and pumps attract
the type of guy she wants to spend the rest of her
life with. She doesn’t see a salamander popping
its head up above a fallen leaf. She hears the owl
call his hunting call instead. Fog dampens night.
She can’t explain why she knows this is the place
she is meant to wait. She can’t relax or even sit
without the pain of growth spurts ruining her
yearning. No hikers present themselves, no slow
moving conversations, so she marches back down
to her lonely room, sits reading by a new lamp,
listens to her parents snoring, fully aware of time.

Twenty Lines to Freedom

Twenty Lines to Freedom

 

One listens for hours, patiently waiting her turn, before heading
to Sucheon to play outside with her Dad. Another busses home
to make or eat fried or boiled kimchee-fish soup; then there’s Su,
hopping, joyous, life-changed, spiritual, philosophical, knowing
one day the support needed will return; already this or that angel
has stopped at her doorstep, sometimes talking, sometimes smiling,
she knows the best will come. Silver bicycle, oversized pink trunk
and the smell of fresh-baked-goods mingle here. Brick walkways
lead lookers, lovers, lost souls past each other, and Ding Yun, the
one who, twenty three messages later, sticks with it, though with
lowered expectations, not ever giving in to today, always focused
on a better tomorrow. One will fiddle for Hyuntay, another only
wants life abroad, her boyfriend could not meet family expectations,
yet her mother nods in a room her father isn’t in. Now the two faces:
one wants a comfy job at the Korean Exchange Bank, the very best,
Wood’s wish, will stop by for modeling time tomorrow, a wonderful
tomorrow, with long-hairs walking by, work-out sweaters bobbing,
museum visitors moving in a slow rhythm reserved for interested
eyes, old legs, young minds, tuned to a complex life available within
a ten minute walk or bus ride from the Chonnam faculty apartments.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Come in Come in

Come in Come in

 

It’s hard to believe she’s never been to Ande Musik,
since so many would-be cultists have followed him
up the stairs. Peace, and the quiet of classical strings
flow around that unbeatable preppy smile, pure face,
yet able to lie, and resorting to lies lately, when the
truth would be so much easier to deal with. She makes
her “second office” debut on a day, third in a row, when
delivered home-made lunch does not arrive, and loving
wife who makes it later wonders whether professor-boy
will be clever enough to get his own lunch. This man will
never be without office again: productivity is a must when,
at 50, nothing has been accomplished. Moonflowers, coffee
cups, untrimmed hedges, and this ever-present wall greet the
lunchtime interlopers who find solace in the lonely weeks
that smash, sometimes grind, stealing energy even in a place
full of youth. Dandelions and sewer stench attract then repel
as she bends to pick. It’s crunch time again. Sand, meant
for the space between bricks piled in your path is evidence
that no gains can be made without solid persistence. This
flower, that garbage, thumping heart, flushed toilet. Teardrops.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Earthquake Blues

Earthquake Blues

 

She didn’t get certified, so must study more, more
language, more life, more gripping handbags, thin-calved
walking, slender-footed parades, waves good-bye, the one
who didn’t dare has come and gone, leaving her with eyewear,
a slim-banded watch, see-through lace skirt, tenacious
desire, and new friend called Yaya who sits, red-eyed,
pen-stroking, jean-skirt surrounding young legs, separate
life, light blue heart-shaped hair clasp, blue sweater
on a warm, rainy day in case she has to hide her top from
conditions both frigid and hot that have crushed her party
here in Gwangju. This man she told me about won’t leave
her alone, and he proposes great things, but is not her type,
so she wears three thick layers even if this is late May.
No matter the joy, this year the earth shook, broke, quaked,
leaving no time for chit-chat. So how to connect to those
who go home before they fade out, but wait, the switch
got flipped a long time ago, so she stumbles around in his
darkness, losing certain functions, until, via friendship
she steps out smiling, her life is her own, but she still
has red eyes, not fully aware of how it all happened.

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Barf Bag Poem #24 Incheon-Narita 3 May 08 JAL 952

Barf Bag Poem #24 Incheon-Narita 3 May 08 JAL 952

 

Su Joeng sits with wine tucked into 54G
It caught her breath, so after a sip she set the bottle free.
Her converse match Marco’s should play well in Tokyo,
where wedged wood paper houses repel Kawabata’s snow.
Emilie awaits us, so too Takae and Ban, her old friend.
What fun it is to sit and watch the ladies blend.
A thick-knuckled, snorting, ill-shaved young man
guards his large-breasted girlfriend who has a natural tan.
Once a month Su’s blanket is stretched over her head,
instant evolution from Seunim to Nun who needs to be fed.
Park is quiet, maybe sad about missing Children’s Day.
Her blood boils when Su flips a light: beautiful sleep into day.
Jealousy is ingrained, this trio is out of time rhythm, joy.
It might as well be 1970 in downtown Hanoi.
So now the battle will rage for three more days of fun.
We spent three hours on subways to walk around a bit.
Ironically, the bathroom light refuses to be lit.
The shower is already only two feet from my brain,
comes with sound effects, an open door, maybe a sheet stain.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Messenger

Hook-Billed Albatross

She stakes her dreams to the field’s love-shielding
grass at the end of her perforated rainbow. He takes his
turn ensured that she loves him by her food shopping,
house cleaning, love making. The hawk’s nest resists
the wind, remains aloft, agape for eggs and hatchlings,
fertile reminders that measuring time, even if only once per
season, does not slow it down; that migrating King Mackerel
offer themselves in massive schools to even amateur anglers,
as buffaloes had before sported to death. Six-toed cats and trans-
continental reunions emit their cosmic hum. Games and big news
keep connections alive. New friends meet old in a town you
haven’t lived in for twenty-eight years. Opposite colors, orange
blue collide, retract, expand over oysters, not slimy to hide pearls,
but slippery to replicate the activities they supposedly support.
Then a bull gator walks out of Lake Alice, scares drunk frat boys
and walks back in without incident. Our corresponding spouses
see the joy, join in the stories, though they are older. Beer
loosens the social bra straps, allowing a free flow of ideas to
sprout forth. Ibis flock issues screams from Payne’s Prairie, let’s
face it, this prairie is a swamp, Audubon’s swamp, thus stinky.

tychogirl

Piece honoring the Mercury MESSENGER mission created for my 7,000th tweet.  The text is taken from the title page of a translated version of Galileo's "Sidereal Messenger."  Background image was taken of Mercury by MESSENGER on October 18, 2014.  Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Piece honoring the Mercury MESSENGER mission created for my 7,000th tweet. The text is taken from the title page of a translated version of Galileo’s “Sidereal Messenger.” Background image was taken by MESSENGER on October 18, 2014. Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

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Fearless Play

The mothers come to watch their kids
run and jump and fall
Thirty six people play here in the skids
at the local, once-popular mall.

Korean, English, Spanish, Japanese
hit curious ear, no one is here to shop.
Community centers replaced, if you please
by climbable fiberglass props.

But it’s warm in here and playing is free
so this little alcove is packed.
Awestruck merchants stand, others properly grieve:
the hole in the dam has just cracked.

Kids don’t understand, but pack up the van
to move in with great auntie Betty.
A beautiful Persian talks to her son as a man.
Barriers disappear, a new village springs up, ready.

 

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dad Sonnet, Father’s Day 2008

 

 

Dad Sonnet, Father’s Day 2008

No abacus is equipped to add
All youthful occasions when your kids were “bad,”
But, before you call me your second eldest spoiled cad,
Remember all the fun you squeaked out of being “Dad,”
Now past the latest health “egad,”
Still making merriment as if it was the latest fad.
The experiences you inspired are the best we’ve ever had,
It’s been true since we were little lads,
That some around us could make us mad,
But once we graduated to our own pads
Around colleges other than the famous Hahvahd Quad,
We invented creative lives some would label “rad.”
No time these days for anything like sad,
Only sporadic smiles and laughter when we visit Dad.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Weehiyeu!

Weehiyeu!

Light blue heels, not spikes, but wide-heeled, butt-shaping
sandals stroll below a woman with Kyung Jung’s hairdo.
Where is Kyung Jung now? In Paris, Alex, Raleigh, Schnurr?
This family, three daughters within six years, could be my
brother, eight years ago, both parents tired, looking everywhere
but at each other. Today’s sadness is short, vivid, bubbling
up from a bad day with a caddy, bad memories, bad timing,
and this book, slap-dash, not acceptable, not funny, digging in to
marriage, spirituality, pulling 100-hour weeks to try to exist in a
place that will not accept me no matter where I stand. Counterweight
comes when young ladies model, wise ladies tease, short lady put
hair up into pigtails to play youngster, attempting to “cute” her way
into a grade. Later you find out her English is shaky, analysis flawed
logic unavailable, proclaiming herself prettiest, but nowhere near it.
Unabashed freshman exudes the youth-dominated sexual revolution
that openly threatens centuries of Confucianism. Her parents may have
broken the rules themselves, but, as a tiny closet minority. Plastered pink-
shirted princesses vomit, get pulled to taxis crying for their lives, amazed
about alcohol poisoning, blowing off Monday, still bent by Friday. Here
the gents don’t take advantage of this, still pure, or too drunk themselves.

Weehiyeu!

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.