Thursday, December 20, 2007

on conversation

If I am asked a question
               I should not answer it.
               should I answer it?
               will I answer it?
               I will fail at giving an answer
                             deemed desirable.
                             that answers the question.
                             that is decisive.

Today I saw Eileen in her office. Came in to return books she let me borrow almost 2 years ago. She told me that at 23, ages 23 to 27, it's difficult to get by, or rather those years were difficult for her. At that time she relied on people for meals, couch hopping, lived off other people's money.
She asked me about my parents. I told her very little, the relationship isn't as typical as it must have sounded to be; I am not just weary of my parents and distant, what I told her, I am also greatly in awe of their ethics, what I made no mention of.

Have been thinking about our conversation since leaving her office. I've been continuing the conversation in my thoughts, explaining myself, amending to what had been said as though she were there.

I was told by a friend, while waiting for coffee, no longer thinking and talking in my head, was told by this barista friend that his Nancy t-shirt has been getting acknowledged by people who think they've heard of Nancy Romero, the writer.

I laughed.

Writer: a moment of commiseration.

I don't know my future, so why do I think life is pointless, life, like I already know the future, and it's meaningless, what I see for myself. Talking to Eileen made me realize I don't know anything because I am too young (maxim and harshness in tone is my inclusion). So like, this is the answer. Right now, for the question "What is the space between living and death?" It is the part in living where everything you do is forgiven or neglected. I am forgiven for every step I am going to take. Although good steps.

Nancy Romero, December 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Watermarks or Shadows

At some point it all has to end. I’m very comfortable in my bed. Children in the world starve while we grow cows on trees. It’s going to crush us, the weight of it. I haven’t touched money in months. My wealth, for I am rich somewhere, hovers about my head, a green aura of credentials. I need more than I need, and that’s ok. And we’ll all be surprised, shocked, then terrified, and then, still wonder: why? We don’t worry too much these days. What good would that do? It won’t just happen to us. There are comfortable people in every country. Even the pueblos with their tiny courts, are being denied sanitation so somewhere someone can buy a new silk pillow.

To one, he says: you go there. And to another: stay where you are. He gives them knives and tells them to kill. One man dies and the other only survives. ‘Only,’ because one cannot win when one loses a hand.

You there. And you there. You, move to that position and say what I’ve told you to say. State it clearly. They’ll never believe you’ve been stabbed if you smile while you speak. Remember who you are. Always be that person when the lights are on. The curtain will fall, that we all know, but that you are not who they think you are, that is key. My pockets grow with the day and continue on through the night. They never slow. When you sing in the first number, try to bleed.

He wants the child to be an intellectual and so he works everyday at exposing his son to the word “book.” He says “book-book-book, yes, book” as he shakes his head before the baby, tickling his chin. “Book?” he asks. “Yess, book,” he replies. Soon he finds it difficult to say book when there are so many other things he must tell the child: eat, sleep, etc. Soon he has to describe dangers and love. Soon he can no longer only say book.

Six hundred houses piled up. All the doors and all the windows shut. Belongings scattered about the floors and walls. Six hundred and one? —one asks—I bet it falls.

We're all deserving of tragedy. All men are created equal, it’s true.

-felipe martinez
December 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Deplete, Delete

My heavy-haunched depletion, attached to the gut by multi-pronged polyps.
You offered to cut the tissue, to detach with broad arms. And I said no leave it and you complied-a quick shift of heels. I was disappointed, as I am apt to be.

You take what can be gleaned, the plums of my misery picked clean off bone for your bountiful consumption. And you leave me voiding-the ink spreading-and I choke.

-Saehee Cho
November 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

excerpt from "C + Me"

Allow me to pick a sharpened pencil and ram it into my neck. Allow me to materialize a pistol from the rage I can pit into the palm of my clenched fist. Allow me to thread the years of my life, my halo of a childhood, through the pupil, past the iris, the pistil of a flower, to see what I have never seen, the silencing of my life, the blackness, time through gusting tunnels of thick howling clouds hurling me from my body, out of myself, suffocating on the gulps of frigid air, like on the tops of mountains, becoming tepid, teetering to asphyxiation. Let me have this. Let me die.

I cannot say this mission is a recent acquisition. I have begged my mother for my death on the 12-pack of children's stickers that had a furry, upright monster, smiling, with a lion's mane of purple fur - the sticker primarily being three inches of white space, its boundaries outlined by a large speech bubble pointing out of the monster's open smile. I had saved them in my drawer, cherishing them for what they were : relics of the second grade where I was the recipient of these stickers for being well-behaved, and good. These were special. I had no idea what I'd make them utter with such glee, I had no idea until I stopped caring. I took them, knowing the act of writing on them would be my own murder, a pen to the empty space, ink on the vapid, all saying the same thing, the only thing I wonder if I've ever wanted: "Kill me," in Spanish. Kill me, I wrote on all of the stickers, without peeling their backings, reducing myself to a machine that would fling the desecrated rectangles of paper. Kill me, I wrote in Spanish, because I wanted her to understand the severity of this plea, and two weeks later I was still eleven years old, and she was still my mother, and nothing felt right because nothing had changed.

Nancy Romero, November 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Beginning Of A New Short Story

Death had a strange way of being at the beginning, rather than the end which is the rightcorrect order of things, or sotheysay. Her mother (Carolina, 34) had been dead for three minutes before Iris had been loosened from a gash under the navel, a womb that had only recently become a wound. Slick fat, echoing a motion that had lost its source.

Follow the history of that motion and the path dries up, becomes an ashy twig.

Her father (Mortimer,-) chose not to tell Iris of the cold circumstances of her birth. He 'd say she was born, fully formed like Eve from Adam's Rib; like Athena from Zeus' skull, cracked open and split.

And in that way, she was entirely of him and no part of death. The explanation satisfied both parties in a fuzzy and incomplete way. Mortimer accepted that he would wear the role of a mother the way children wear private school uniforms-with a sense of unsure obligation.

-Saehee Cho
October 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

excerpt from "you myth, i mith"

We see the grapefruit and hold it in our hands to weigh. There is no cashier, the world at the moment is a grocery store. If there were a cashier in this world he’d be standing solemnly, looking out the window while we shopped, trusting fully in our thievery. He’d be right. With a blotched navel and porous rind the grapefruit we are considering over the others is coarse, a texture that debatably correlates with taste. I think it will taste bitter and I think that it will drip when broken apart.

Nancy Romero, October 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007


A photograph of an elderly couple holding a photograph of their grandparents holding a photograph of their grandparents, and so on, sits within the confines of a thin wooden frame upon the small table and beside the empty flower pot in the back room which neither of the home’s owners ever thinks to enter. The flower pot is not as young as the wooden frame, but
will be around much longer. If there were a flower inside the flowerpot, it would lean to the right for sunlight. For there is also a window in that lonely room.

-felipe martinez
September 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


They, together, had the weathered look of a couple that had lost their sexuality, softly endearing. He-sweetly confident, steady, affectionate but with moderation. She-casually swivel hipped, elbows all over the place, angles angles angles. I saw him give her a flower once, something unassuming like a daisy, and even that act seemed a little drained of romance. I wanted them to be thigh high children throwing dust in a sandbox, exchanging pretty shiny things.

~Saehee Cho
Excerpt from "Re-"
Summer 2007