Category : Uncategorized
Category : Uncategorized
You fools who ask what god is
should ask what life is instead.
Find a port where lemon trees bloom.
Ask about places to drink in the port.
Ask about the drinkers.
Ask about the lemon trees.
Ask and ask until nothing’s left to ask.
© Ko Un
translated from the Korean by Suji Kwock Kim and Sunja Kim Kwock
from Poetry, November 2014
1. Select a material object from your daily environment and ask yourself at least 20 questions about it.
2. Speculate on how many people came into contact with the object before it reached your possession. (Even if it’s something you grew or produced yourself, where did the seed or raw materials come from?)
3. Write a poem in praise of the object, and the people and processes it has passed through. Include some praise of yourself in relationship to the object.
4. Send me what you write! I’d love to share it!
My sister laughs, says she can eat Ramen noodles
for lunch and dinner, instead of just lunch.
It’s no big deal. She’s been poor before.
No washing whites in hot.
No deodorant, floss, Q-tips, Kotex or Midol.
One-ply toilet paper. No Kleenex. No cotton balls.
No new shoes. No espresso. No Red Bull, or Taco Bell.
No vacation, Lord knows, and no cash for the collection plate.
But, she says, I can take on more cleaning jobs. I can do that.
Ginger Andrews, from Hurricane Sisters, © 2004
When I was a girl I didn’t know
I was a girl. I thought I was
more of a pigment, a choral tone,
some kind of weather that disrupts
everyone’s life in the living room.
I knocked over the cast iron iron again,
and this time it broke. How could
you break an iron iron? they yelled,
but how could I not? The weight of
metal on the earth, wanting to return.
When money was missing, I thought surely
I must have taken it.
When it rained, a hurricane this time,
I thought, see what you’ve done now.
I didn’t believe in cause and effect, elements of
surprise, or the slim chance meetings
that changed everyone’s lives. I didn’t know
that people were supposed to end,
contained as vases to hold
whatever you gave them.
I thought we were more like land, islands even,
unfurling in the brown haze of the sea.
I thought there was water everywhere,
pouring us into changeable shapes –
leaf or puppy or branch. All falling
toward wherever we came from
not afraid or surprised,
not bad or tricked into good.
All falling back into the horizons that come
each evening to meet the fire.
from Animals in the House, ©2004
is not really the title of a movie
but if it was I would be sure to see it.
I love their short legs and big heads,
the whole hippo look.
Hundreds of them would frolic
in the mud of a wide, slow-moving river,
and I would eat my popcorn
in the dark of a neighborhood theater.
When they opened their enormous mouths
lined with big stubby teeth
I would drink my enormous Coke.
I would be both in my seat
and in the water playing with the hippos,
which is the way it is
with a truly great movie.
Only a mean-spirited reviewer
would ask on holiday from what?
Billy Collins, from Aimless Love