Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year in Music (+a few lines)


I sent you both
a text.
Your responses were
so very different.
I'll send you both
My childhood innocence
on your shoulders.

I wrap my arms around
in the cold night
you are beautiful
yet I know
I could not love you.

I wake up in the night
--it was a dream
of your body next to mine
your graceful limbs seem
to leave a dent in the sheets
You're a flickering flame
small and hopeful
in the darkness,
You're a long, black shadow,
I see you in the opaque yellow warmth
of milky glass lamps
candlelight, oh, now have I
begun to long for you?

I returned to Ben Howard
As I did to a stranger
Now I send flares
At sunrise my messages
Cross the Pacific
But Japan, my old lover, is not your home
And coffee shop dates
And drunken eyes
See our truth
More vividly than I.

If you'd been at that party
all the nights I'd
wanted to kiss the death out of you
might've become reality.

I picked the lyric version.
my mom won't enjoy
the pole dancers.
I didn't either but
this music is good for applying eyeliner
before drinking too much,
feeling a strangers fingers
rest on your pelvis and
pushing him off, coming home,
throwing up.


you in powder blue
the world at your fingertips
the sky so open and grand
the sunset so warm
spring at hand
we would see the world together
and cross this continent
like stars, the sky.

"...even if I disappear from this room
no one will know that I have existed.
I never thought you were such a traitor,"
And so in March
I thought of my old love again.

Charlottesville is more beautiful in spring
than all the castles of all the kings
than riches of men or jewels of foreigners
your eyes and Charlottesville on a spring night
the gentle glances I gave you
the way I touched your arm
you whispered in my ear
you called out to me
That city and I answered, with that city
with you
I fell
into a deep, fevered kind of love.

I spent a warm night by the music building
just sitting on a step
the bluegrass band I didn't know till now
calling back to my deepest heart
--Appalachia, my home,
a distant memory,
one woman sang this song
fingers flying across the mandolin
maybe I shouldn't go away
I should just stay and stay
till I die.

Compelled to turn
our eyes met
the boy I had been
so caught up in
was smiling at me
as if I, too, was once his dream
standing on the stairway
among the cream acanthus designs
among the paintings
and the velvet carpets
I said nothing
but I'll never forget
the way he looked that night.

It was supposed to be cold that night
but some friends and I
we burnt up the dance floor
until it felt
like the middle of summer
to swingy covers
of pop songs
we spun in fevered circles
feet pounding the ground
like frantic children.

I let go of my muse
when he let go of me
and I lost
my class ring
no fault of mine
blame the mailman.


i thought it was a party anthem
but my guiding star, my lifeline,
my middle-aged mother
heard the radio edit
and thought of it as a love song,
and so as the waves crashed
against the shore of the outer banks
i closed my eyes in the dark
let the synth hit me hard
and felt those sparks again.

I called your pretty lips
sacred, but in the deep night
drunk and high,
your tongue became a sword
slashing the skin
of my vaporous body, you
were fighting your demons, and I
was your virgin Mary
crushed by your overwhelming
desire to lose yourself,
you should
put on more clothes,
I'll hang up the phone,
at 4am my brother says,
"...bother with someone who loves
you more..."

we barely speak
just an old paper card
and some gifts
in our defense,
but you never know
until you try,

Sometimes it is our souls which belong
in a certain place, finding a way
to thrive in broken bodies,
and your soul found a home
in your body which
is now in the Orient, I guess I
will never measure up to it
a body in the right place
a soul with the right fit,
but I'll try.

Regardless of what he's heard
an American girl
doesn't always give up
when the going gets rough,
he better toughen up
and get ready for true love.

The streets spiral
out of their ancient confines
Joseon street designs
are the maze for my mind
to "figure it all out".

On rainy nights
a good track
for romantic thoughts.

Brilliant sun and blue skies
the wind in my hair as we sail
down the coastal roads
the ocean air and smell of flowers
Jeju's warmest blessing
my soul growing stronger.

turning your back
on the tainted relationships
haunting you.

Super in love
under the moon,
spinning like a child,
let me show you the world
I'll make you smile,
for the first time in a while,
electric storms on a
warm summer night,
be mine.

the sea
black and endless
and so deep
greets me
with emptiness
each morning.


After giving all
to mere man,
the votes roll in-and wait-
we need a spot of sunlight
and the touch of God
to mend our pain.

swingin' through the empty classroom
I'm dancing alone
glue on my fingers
glitter in my hair,
a twelve-year-old Korean boy with
brown puppy eyes
requested "Original Jingle Bell Rock"
a shot of holiday spirit
for my lifeless body.

Street serenades
finally I found you
someone to sing this song to
who won't try
to shut me up posthaste. 

It was Christmas Eve.

I told you of my grandfather
his deep bass voice
and the Little Drummer Boy,
the song he'd sing to me
which I recall to this day
made me feel sad tonight

But while I was lost
in sorrow far away,
you reached for me
holding my hand in yours,
and though you spoke,
my dearest, I heard no words.