Dunhwa gets

Dunhwa gets

water-heating pot,

slips on orange hand-

knit or crocheted

slipper socks, rattles

cups behind drawn shade, then she

reappears, uncurls

new rice paper paintings for

visitor

to see.  He wants them

all, picks one.

Her kindness

comes from magic heart

connected to roots

sunk in old markets:

men without eyes, Eve creates,

men think, women birth,

are attached to earth.  First woman

means new life

but paint dries in so

many ways:

over and

over to find the right flow.

Dunhwa hides

nothing, moves forward,

discovers her path

as she goes,

creates as a woman should,

as one who

is directed by

universal tug.

EC “S” C

IMG_0342  IMG_2569

EC “S” C

It started

when you approached me

on behalf, I found out soon,

my bosses domestic and

volunteer.

But what must be the

reason you disappeared goes

beyond your knowledge

base, and cultural norms, as

you get me to put

out there the

exact stuff they thought

impossible yet had big

suspicions about.  There I

was feeding to

you until even

your role as spy was too much

to fulfill.  Hence I

wonder, to this day, whether

to remember you

as foe, faux,

confidant, advisor, ping

pong mentor,

beggar, artist, self-

absorbed beauty queen,

teenager

forever, sufferer of

Han, absent

daughter, loving Mom

or my best friend.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2013. 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.

ZXX

Nice Color!

            Nice Color!

ZXX

Torn between tying

in to the system or to

make a life

of your own in some

far off land, you even have

what it takes

to lead a charge for

the workers, or to

save planet

earth, or to make a

farm and save friends when

the money system collapse

occurs.  What

will it be then?  The

“safety” of party cocoon

in China,

seeking know-how and

romance abroad, or

working to

save what is left of

arable

land for s GMO-free

grocery chain,

new generation

of healthy babies

rather than

sterilized men, Viagra

needed at

age twenty?  Make a

full play. Accomplish.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2013. 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.

Harold Lear’s Swan Song

Lear Dancer Lear passes Microphone to Norbert Lear Sings

Harold Lear’s Swan Song

Dr. Bob and the Disco Beaver played its last show ever at Speakeasy on March 6.  It was packed like sardines, which was appropriate, since many were initiated as “Honorary Newfoundlanders” by “kissing the fish” and slamming an insane Canadian whisky named “Screech,” at the end of the night.

Also onstage was the G-Jay band, with a recently revamped line up of Tim Crawford (saxophone), Norbert Morvan (vocals and MC “Royale”), Tony Boyd (bass), Gordon MacKay (guitar), Caleb MacIvor (keys, vocals, songwriter, originator, bandleader, task master and booking agent), Ed McEntee (drums), and Carlos Gentile (percussion).

The packed bar had barely enough room for dancers to improvise.  Couples were spotted doing the Mashed Potato, the Bus Stop, and the dance that has made Speakeasy famous, the “your-place-or-mine?”  And who could resist a swing around the dance floor with the blues-driven, hard-driving guitar riffs of Harold Lear and his accomplished band?

You could see the emotion of playing his last gig in Korea on Harold’s face, but he scored a tenured professorship in New Brunswick, Canada, and could not resist teaching sociology, though his PhD is in Eastern Philosophy. “My masters degree is in sociology, so it’s not a big stretch,” he said with his characteristic smile.  His music and merry-making will be much missed.  He named the night “Saturday Mayhem,” and it was not shocking that many who knew him from his latest stint in Suncheon made the trek to bid him adieu.

Not to be outdone (except notably on drums and guitar) the G-Jay band also got our feet moving, as Norbert toasted the crowd, and the band played funk, reggae and rock numbers from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, as well as Caleb’s soulful originals.  You couldn’t be faulted for thinking this band was formed at a catholic church, what with the Macs and Mcs, and it turns out bassist Tony Boyd hails from Scotland itself, thus not one of the millions that are part of the Irish and Scottish Diaspora.

As a music critic, I’d pick Tim Crawford as the undisputed star of the G-Jay band.  His sax riffs began halfway through the Disco Beaver’s first set (he was in the upstairs pool room, or precisely, in the kitchen/storage room next to it at the time).  His runs, more Charlie Parker than Eric Dolphy, kept going non-stop, except for a brief breathing period to walk downstairs and set his microphone height.  Did he “warm up” during the stage preparation? Yes.  Did his hyperkinetic, beautiful, lyrical alto sax solos continue through everything but other solos?  Indeed.  Was it a distraction to Norbert’s singing? I think not.  Why not?  Because Crawford is good.  Very good.

You can tell these guys love having a gig outside the realm of teaching English, as the pre-show banter was flowing like earth-rumbling splashes emanating from Viagra Falls.  “One night we had a small crown, maybe 12 people, but all 12 were dancing. One dude fell, broke our mike stand and knocked himself out.  We picked him up and he kept dancing,” McIvor said.  “We’ve made it into a Korean documentary, and play just about everywhere we can find.  On the originals I write the music, and Norbert writes the words…the songs grow organically.”

Many of the members are “lifers” in Korea, meaning, once they arrived here and discovered the gentle culture, sincere friendships and positive working conditions, they stayed for life.  Three are married, four are Canadian, two are from the US and one is Scottish.  They play out of Jeon Ju.  “Being right in the middle of the peninsula is an advantage when it comes to playing gigs all over the country,” MacIvor said.  He also said there were no “real leaders” in the band, and that they are “living the dream,” by being able to play so often.

“We changed a lot of songs this year, with new members.  Everyone brings in ideas for cover songs and then I shoot them down,” MacIvor said, laughing.  “We have an advantage because we can play sets of covers with just three members, so we’re flexible in case some people are too tied up to make a gig.”

Dr. Bob and the Disco Beaver played near-perfect renditions of classics like the James Gang’s “Funk 49,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” and, to allow a little improvisational guitar freedom, Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile.”  G-Jay then kept the “Groove Thing” going with originals like “Faces,” and a memorable cover of the Specials “(a message for you ) Rudy.”  The trombones were not missed, with Crawford’s sax work, and the appropriate multicultural Specials were great to hear, as it had been a while, since there is nothing like a classic rock or rock station anywhere near Gwangju.  You would think GFN would cater to the tastes of the foreigners in town, with it being the Gwangju Foreigners Network, instead they play KPOP songs that are just as often from the bands managed by the director’s son than from KPOP itself.  There would still be plenty of time for a genuine rock hour or two per day, but helping foreigners feel at home is apparently not the goal of the station. I like what Pete Ross does, but his show is not rock either, but 75% mamby-pamby British obscurities.

This too is why the Disco Beavers will be missed, and why we hope the G-Jay band will be back.  Speakeasy impresario Derek does a great job locating Korea’s talent, and there is little doubt that new bands shall arise from the pool of English teachers.  There is no way any will touch the guitar mastery of Harold Lear though, as his musical resume includes a stint with Ringo Starr, and by golly, if Harold’s good enough to be a tenured sociology professor at New Brunswick, and has the musical chops to be Ringo Starr’s guitarist, that’s one mighty hard act to follow.

First Published in the Gwangju News:  http://www.gwangjunewsgic.com/

Ann Mary Campbell U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees: Afghanistan and Korea

Janey 17 profile for real

The Face of the Generation that could be lost

UPDATE:  Campbell also told me the fate of 2million Pakistanis who became refugees within a six week period in June and July of 2010. American paid mercenaries were making it impossible to that many Pakistanis to remain in their homes, the comparison speaks volumes. It tookabout8 years to create 2 million refugees in a full blown war in Iraq 2003-2011. How did the UYSA clear out so many Pakistanis, thus making local governments impotent, and clearing the way for the last 200 kilometers of the Afgan/Pakistni oil pipeline?  They were calling out the local governments and holding massive town/city meetings and giving the governments a choice:  tell people to clear out,or face the “consequences.”  WOW  Just as in Iraq and elsewhere, all dubious to insane military moves are made by well-paid mercenaries who are NOT on the payroll,nor liable to act under a chain of command. Thus the dirtiest deeds are NOT done by  our military, thus with no responsibility or consequences..

Anne Mary Campbell, the globetrotting United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Seoul seems to always appear during or just before massive refugee crises.

Before working for the United Nations, Campbell pulled four years for a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Thailand, just as 160,000 refugees were fleeing Pol Pot’s killing fields in Kampuchea (Cambodia). Her work there gave her the experience needed to be placed in Kenya, just as 260,000 refugees poured in from Somalia, and in Mazur, Afghanistan do deal with the uncountable thousands internally displaced Afghans from 2004 to 2007.

What then could be the challenge for such expertise here in the Republic of Korea, which, of its 2500 known applications for refugee status, has only granted 175 people the papers they need to work and live here as refugee asylees?

Rather than meeting the food, shelter, clothing, medical and educational needs of refugees in tent cities, Campbell’s herculean task will be to achieve legislation that formalizes how refugees are accepted in Korea, and, for now, to at least find a way for those seeking refugee status to be able to do so at a port of entry with or without proper paperwork.

Her May 22nd GIC Talk laid out the definition of refugee, the immediate plight of 32 million refugees around the world, and the need for private funding of the UNHCR’s $2 billion annual budget.

Before the talk the Gwangju News (GN) chatted with Campbell and her assistant, Park Yoo Kyoung, the UNHCR Face-To-Face Fundraising Coordinator in Seoul.

“The legislative process is slow in Seoul, but if a refugee act can be passed, we would then work to strengthen the law. In East Asia, only Japan and South Korea have refugee asylum systems,” Campbell said in her native Irish accent. “North Koreans are not considered refugees here because they are given citizenship and assistance with many details of their lives once they arrive. A sign of the importance of foreigners was last year’s Together Day in Seoul in which President Lee spoke about the important roles foreigners play in Korea.”

Since guest workers are such a large part of the economy, it is an anomaly that only 3.5% of those seeking asylum have been granted working papers. South Korea’s prosperity relies on foreigners, but an onslaught of refugees may well be more than the export-driven economy here could handle.

GN: How is the drive to find more private donors to help asylum seekers going in the ROK?

Campbell: It is a brand new initiative, so we’re breaking even with money invested, but the 20-30-year-old age group is responding well.

GN: How can English-speaking readers get involved?

Campbell: You can find us at http://www.unhcr.or.kr . Among the refugees here, most come from Asia. For African refugees, they are on their own in a culture that is very different. For Asians it is much easier.

GN: In March the first recognized refugee ever, a man from Ethiopia, was given citizenship in the ROK. Is this a trend, or an exception?

Campbell: Our goal is to try to assist refugees as much as we can. First we’re working on expedited asylum claims, and looking forward to a refugee reception center that is expected to open in 2012. The Ministry of Justice, UNHCR and National Commission for Human Rights have met with pro bono lawyers representing refugees back when I was in Kenya. This kind of on-the-spot discussion is good. More can happen here, but the Ministry of Justice is already meeting more often with lawyers assisting refugees here.

Campbell’s talk began with an informative 15-minute movie about refugees in Africa and Columbia, both often created by ongoing civil wars. In Africa 5 million have died from war recently, two out of three being women. At its worst, 1000 people per day were dying from wars, notoriously in Rwanda, Sudan and Somalia, but elsewhere as well. The Columbian situation closely mirrors that in Seoul, where refugees are harder to assist, since they are in cities, thus spread out, and melding into large populations.

“In Seoul asylum seekers do not get assistance unless the adjudication process takes over a year. During this time, they do not have the right to work. In 1992 the ROK signed the refugee convention, and received its first asylum seeker in 2001. Many Asian countries never signed the covenant,” Campbell informed. “There are as many as five million Columbian refugees living in Ecuador. Eighty percent go to cities to gain anonymity, as they fear reprisals. Most earn one dollar per day, but the UNHCR has issued three million refugee cards there which gives the children a chance to be schooled. In the barrios (impoverished neighborhoods) 60-70% of the children are displaced.”

The movie also noted that many Koreans were displaced and moved toward Busan in the Korean War. Pictures of wind-driven snowy treks in the winter showed hundreds of Koreans walking toward Busan in the South, and lined up to take trains to Busan from Seoul.

“The will to live is strong during war, but the refugee asylum procedures are harder now than in the post World War II era,” Campbell said. “The UNHCR assists a government when invited to do so. Since World War II, the U.S. and Russia have had a lot of proxy wars, so refugees from the cold war, in addition to Rwanda, Columbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and many other places are internally displaced. You can’t be a refugee in your own country.”

This makes it hard for the UNHCR to help everyone, as certain criteria must be met before the worst atrocities can be handled. Among the most heinous examples: “In Rwanda one million or more were killed and the international community knew the slaughter was coming, but no one did anything until an outsider Tutu came in with his own army,” Campbell said. “In 1995 in Srebrenica, Bosnia, a UN ‘Safe Haven’ was set up and protected by 400 Dutch UNPROFOR [United Nations Protection Force] soldiers, who could not prevent the mass murder of over 8000 Bosnian Muslims. In 1996, Albanians in Kosovo were also victims of genocidal Serbs, but the international community’s reaction, a military intervention by NATO, not the UN, made matters worse until the Balkan wars finally ended. In 2000 a poorly planned military intervention in Somalia was too heavy. The result was more bloodshed. So who has responsibility to protect? 1) the government of the county involved 2) the head of State of the country involved and then 3) the international community. But the level of atrocities must rise above human rights violations before international military interventions should be used,” Campbell suggested.

“At the 2007 World Summit, 150 heads-of-state agreed that a human rights problem is not enough to warrant intervention,” she continued. “It must be atrocities, and even then, it must be at a Rwandan level before the intervention could be a military one.

“I have been in the middle of many massive refugee situations. The UNHCR does not want to see anyone pushed back into harm’s way. Every asylum seeker during a war must be given due process and a proper interview,” Campbell said.

Many seeking asylum move due to drought, floods, and economic conditions, Campbell pointed out. “If we want to have control over the movement of people, developed countries must work to help economies grow so people do not need to flee. Those with questions after the meeting asked about what could happen with global climate change, and natural disasters, and how to help those who are forced to move for reasons other than war.

“The UNHCR has 200 offices and a staff of 6500. Our budget is $2 billion per year and our mandate says we must raise funds from private donations. The quickest way to help is to make donations, and the place you can start is by looking at http://www.unhcr.or.kr” Campbell said.

Speakeasy

IMG_8647

Speakeasy

The steam age
takes a respite as
Bulmers cider flows, mini
dresses skip to meet old mates,
where the heat grows new skin.

Smoke, unshaved beanie
cap wearing hipsters
mingle with
newbies, freshly off
some flight to teach in

woebegone
Gwangju. Alcohol
lubes the stress of massive shock
delivered by an ancient
culture: boxes in

more boxes; Russian
multi-boxed life for
graduates
used to breaking the
rules. Many end up

jailed here as
they forgot to research their
new surrounds.
Others, used to free
love, find none or pay.

But all men
pay, long or short term
right? It’s the
disadvantage of
hormones far astray.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2013. 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.

Eunheungsa One: 8 November 2011

Eunheungsa One: 8 November 2011

The shade of a 300-year-old Ginko stretches away
from the double-persimmon called “cam:” the ancient
tree grows fruit and then a baby one inn the center remains
intact, a local phenom. Beautifully colored roosters
flair wings, young hens follow bobbing tail-feathers as
adults and children sort fruit from yellow fan-shaped
leaves. All hands repair to the mushroom logs, sixteen
inches wide, maybe four feet long. These mushrooms are
dried and made into medicinal tea, good for those ailing
from bad circulation, like me. A monk and six helpers
fill baskets, and a hen chases another away from the game
cock. Twenty six types of birdcall and one human singer
fill quiet hillside with their best songs. Ji Hun, the lucky
fourteen-year-old opens a rice-paper door to wave “hello.”
Sometimes a fan-leaf spins down, another dives quickly.
Visitors speak, a quiet monk gathers. Six-year-old lifts black
mesh to discover rolling Ginkos, as singing man sits with a
branch-full of fruit. A boy learns many days worth of school
at once here. His first real lesson in life from the land comes
none-too-soon, but Ji Hun stays roomed, having lost interest.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2011. 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.

10 am Final Exam

Seoul Walker 1

10 am Final Exam

Ha Neul asks
a predictable
question as
writing cramps exude
to fill frantic Four-Oh-Two.

Essays pour:
hand, in to paper
as students learn one
last lesson
in how to think in English.

Their web site
evaluates me
ruthlessly
but work equals grades
and they learn more than language.

Mi Young, my
favorite this time,
slings purple Kipling,
makes perfect
face to attract the right one.

Contingent
from China adds perspective
so that the
parochial shoes
don’t dominate here.

Enough men
kept the ladies from over
extending
the gossip patrol.
One cries, but shouldn’t.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2010. 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.

April 7th Poem, 2012

April 7th Poem, 2012

 

Our “one-world-government” activist from the 50s has lived to see
the economic equivalent arise from the World Trade Organization,
IMF, GATT I and GATT II treaties, in which trade considerations
outweigh sovereignty. This ideal moment for the profit centers of
the world has, unfortunately, been soured from within, leaving him
to wonder about the fate of the next 20 years, but he still reads hard,
is sharp about human relations, forgiving to absent-minded children,
interested in his grandchildren, wrapping experienced arms around
James three, the one who has international eyes, the ability to walk
into any classroom and excel, who takes the Asian rock game “Go”
or “Padook” as seriously as any chess match or soccer practice. This
and so much more make up the experiences he has to thrive on when
the present slows down. This man, advocate for the freedoms won in
many battles, example to us all about how to squeeze everything out
of each day, threw fundraisers one season, lake frolics the next, and
is thought of each day by more people than he can remember, has not
lost touch with those who matter, and finds those good stories to keep
his brain brilliant, to extend new meaning into each day, to live more
than one life, the way he always did, say 40 years ago. You inspire us
from afar; we’ll be alright thanks to your allowing us to be who we are.

 

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 20012. 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.

Windows, BB #29 SFO_CHT June 12, 2008

Windows, BB #29 SFO_CHT June 12, 2008

She says he’s recovered some color since his heart
attacked the same day as Harabojay’s* third stroke. High-
healed walkers negotiate new grooved cement on one side
of campus as the dust settles over sandy bricks that
finally cover construction that twisted ankles all semester
in front of Humanities-One, where office-class time
stretches from six a.m. to midnight depending. . . Back
benches beckon bold beauties, who sleep folded over
each other through three classes, undisturbed by passers
yapping, ROTC drills, and snickers, since her hand is
placed on top of his groin. It’s the funniest window
view yet, as the between-class stream is dull, landscaping
hodge-podge, and Ggachi birds scarce, but just this once,
this couple is enough to distract you from dwindling family.
Solve this dilemma: first your Dad’s wife says “don’t change
travel plans” right after his cardiomyopathy flared, so you
keep all plans, but he is not in good enough health to see
you, and it appears you’ll only have a six-day window in
which to visit with him before you have to leave again
for your next semester in Korea. Feel rejected yet?

Harabojay means grandfather in Korean. My wife’s father
and my father had a stroke and a heart attack, respectively,
on the same day, May 30, 2008. Both survived.

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.

Future Shock?

Future Shock?

He bows, nods, and points to hawks gliding.
Wide-eyed, 14-month-old gusto, untainted by experience
and foreboding forecasts about ice-cap or economic
melt down, happily engages in self-feeding, floor hockey
and fire watching. This latitude should provide food,
extra rain, and room for friends in the post-American
world, barring local war. As a parent, I’m torn: do I
teach activism or farming? Accounting or self reliance?
The glory of the moment is the way a back-spun Frisbee
wavers before settling on oak. Sometimes flipped quarters
vibrate to a rest, but not the way a Frisbee does. So each
morning, after he pulls me out of reading, little James
hands me an inflated bat we use for hockey, or the
fluorescent green Frisbee he wants me to spin. He speaks
volumes in a language trapped between Korean and English,
And no matter how I respond, we’re off to the next adventure.
It’s a crying shame that so many parents get so little time
with their children. Heck, the economics of suburban life
keep getting harder, meaning less goofing-around time.
Caucasians have been in ascension for thousands of years,
with few interruptions. What will James face as deserts grow,
ice slips into the sea, and Asians, through good old hard work,
take charge? If he’s lucky, his Korean heritage will help keep
him motivated, while the ability to grow his own food serves
as a back-up, just in case all the prognosticators have it right.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2007. 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.

Paris Baguette Finale

Paris Baguette Finale

A retro-skinny, power-faced 40-something
scowls as she barely glances, moving her head
dramatically, high above the pedestrian show that
never ends. Oozy-rap can’t beat the word count,
even when piped many decibels above the booth
chatter. Arm-in-arm the ladies walk, about two
percent stroll paired-up heterosexually. “There are
no gay people in Korea,” she says, as we walk past
the Golden River Motel, six stories, adorned by pink
tip-down neon triangle trapping the word “in.”
There’s something about ultra fat lips that take up the
full width of a high-cheeked face that make you
want her number, whether you call doesn’t matter,
as the number would be enough to jog solo romance
time. Now camouflaged pants, tight, mix in with
those famous schoolgirl skirts. Banilla hits me in the
nose, as the goat-footed salesman whistles far and wee,
conjuring Taesan temple with its noisy stream, concrete
island, and Chilsun Cider soda machine. You occupy
the same space in Korea: an energy using contraption
full of contemporary issues, wildly out of place.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2007. 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.

Kim (Barf Bag Poem #19)

Kim
(Barf Bag Poem #19)

Kim serves six hundred drinks a day,
sometimes smiles at angles that cause
rainbows to appear, like Surat’s tiny
dots up close, but also a sharp blade
of color, brightening cross country flight.
You ink bottle the moment, but it
may never get back to her, unless, unless,
well no, this rainbow is private.

Still, don’t you wish you could be
in love with everyone? People are
the greatest fun, but, fear not, I will
be alone again tonight my dear.
The ever-expanding set of universes
accommodates all who continually jump.
Two more drinks worth of life, a dash
of grenadine, twist of lime, big smile
and another gesture of warmth. Friends
made, moments cherished. Closeness.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006. 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.