Monday, July 28, 2008

I Like California Better (Simple Syrup #4)

I was sitting in the car with Seung Kyoon, he seemed a little excited about sitting in the front seat and I wondered for a moment if it was illegal, or something. I think I had heard somewhere that you had to be 80 pounds to sit in the front seat on the car but I'm no good at gauging a person's weight-or anything, really. We were in the car alone and it struck me how strange that was, and how much stranger that this thought would occur at all.

Chemistry is decidedly different in the presence of just one other person, it shifts/slants in, canisay, a more accurate perspective. Seung Kyoon seemed more shy, more aware of the focus, but all the more grown for it and there was something sweet, maybe a little somber, about the whole thing. I was asking questions, the kind that suggested larger questions, but made digestible. Questions like, "Do you like Korea or California better?" I had asked this questions before, in its many forms but somehow, in this moment, it seemed understood that the expected answer was something a little meatier than usual. Usually, there'd be a boxy answer that required little supplemental explanation but I think he knew that this was not what I was looking for.

He said," I like California better. I..."
He paused, broke.
"I'm just more comfortable here."
He paused again, the effort of interpolating reason and emotion evident.
"I don't know why."
He laughed in a requisite way.
"I just do."

And the whole thing seemed as good an answer as any.

We parked and got out the car and I hung my hand mid-air and he reached for it. I've always found these moments immense, because of the compatibility of understanding in the absence of words-finding an expecting hand without much meditation. It is, if anything, a nice reminder that I am, in fact, not a cold person. But with Seung Kyoon, these things are easy. He is, by nature, an incredibly affable child-endearing, and I think I've always felt that way about him. He seemed genuine, like he experiences things with wide fingertips and is apt to smile about it. And I was grateful.

-Saehee Cho, July 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

to the unfortunate lack of understanding, nr

what should i have looked at?
to grow again before
a person.


in comparison
to now.

the extension

hanging from
an outlet

in a way
is powering

the space in
which i am writing

but not the
one in which you are

which is a
a translation.

and i don't know
who to tell

that years ago
i was not

the truth

          i really did feel
          i would be young forever

in telling you
i hated you


now seeing you

you   you   you, like
accepting the lottery,

lucky you,

is how motherhood is

i can't say
more (remorseful)

          four palm trees
          and two hammocks

          are ready
          where you grew up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

void - n.r.

the sound of a helicopter as a low growth
heard from within a garage
until its distancing

the recording
of a favourite

between these two
distinct sounds
after STOP
had been pressed

was silence

for a moment,


Monday, July 14, 2008


Big black heart big black spots all over outside
Beat beat beat hole got beat into big black heart
Went right inside
Time gets tough for all of us
Everyone try and everyone die and everyone lie the whole way through
Big black heart with fresh new start
Forward on forward on goes song
Big big big dark and dark shadow grows old in shadows of holes
Deep and deeper machine goes boop
Big black heart with holes throughout begins to slow begins to droop
Begin and end this dirty heart flesh begin and end says only we


Friday, July 11, 2008

by n.r.

No creative project completed. I tried to sleep to have my dreams tell me something. And they did. I dreamt there was a hole inside the ruins of a church that one descended into to feel what it is to die. You had to pay to enter. My mom handed me our Chihuahua and went. I was also expected to enter, but my excuse was the dog. I was afraid of it running off. So I did not enter. The fact that you had to pay wasn't humorous in the dream. The money was more of a donation and wasn't necessary if you didn't have it, but we all had the money. The brother I hardly ever speak to was in the dream. I had made it down some huge crumbling stone steps that were made for a giant to climb effortlessly, and when I reached the bottom, still carrying the dog, my brother couldn't make the final jump down and asked if he could support himself on me. I said yes and stood rigidly. He put his hand on my head and lunged off the stone. I felt all his weight push down my vertebrae and I cried, What the fuck, I'm never letting you jump off me again! My back felt awful, and I tried straightening my posture, feeling my back snap. Scornfully I watched my brother as he gave money to the woman seated at the hole. I didn't see him enter. He was just gone.

I remember how the hole had been described to me. I was told you'd see unbelievably terrible sights despite it being pitch black, you'd hear the wails of cloaked demons mourning your death, right next to you, and the origin of these sounds would be unknown. Full pain beyond any experience one could live through, worse than the arms being ripped off like an insect’s, pain ripping apart your soul -what allows you to perceive the beautiful, shriveled and crying- and your mind, disseminated -your thoughts ending as they are formed. The thoughts formed during your living obliterated- so that, in death, there'd be nothing of you left. What was most eerie was not that the description of the torments continued, detailing who you would fearfully encounter, and what you would see done to you. Not this. The unreal aspect of death was the return of your tortured self, unharmed, the You you had known yourself to be emerging from purgatory, somewhere, there, awake, beside the church, and you'd see the woman seated, accepting donations, from far away.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


a bottle
looked into
as though it were a

to see