Friday, April 17, 2015


You disappeared.
Then the dogs found your body
hanging from a tree.

I understand why you did it.
But I do not approve.

It is not fair
that I wanted you alive
although you were in pain.

But you should not have killed yourself
you should not have devastated so many
you should not have devastated


Because I am not that strong.
And I am self-centered.
Prone to despair.
Apt to fall into myself
for weeks on end.

And I will stop this endless crying and weeping and wailing for you.
I will forgive you
because I understand.
But you should have held on.

As others have held on.
As others still hold on.

So yes
I do not approve.
And I will not go to your funeral.

Poem: Listening to Vladmir Costa's "Promenade Sentimental"

Once, my husband put on a jazz tune, urged me to listen.
Who the musician was I don't remember,
don't care to.
Forgive me.
I know very little of Jazz.
But it all seems the same to me.

Jazz ruminates, closes me in.
Trapped in the musician's mental rumination
and the thread of his thought
I grow impatient
at the over-thinking
at being locked into someone's mind
at the pursuit and end of thought.

It's navel-gazing.
And as the saxophonist, pianist, whoever,
pursues and gets wound up
in his thread of thought
I don't like the fraying.

I find myself hoping with each
theme and variation
that he will leave his thought behind
that he wil just let it all go.

But now, he repeatedly returns.
Again, the stasis
Again, the looping.
Again, he returns to the theme and thought
which he is determined to muddle through.

And I, cannot free myself from his mind.
I am captured without being captivated.
Because it is all so mental, so interior.

But this --
this "Sentimental Walk" of Costa's.
I've heard it played on piano
and on guitar.
And it never fails to please
to heal
to bring me outside --so to speak--
into a larger world. 

It iterates, yes,
and reiterates,
echoing and repeating
the similar strain
but it's the heart's iteration
and the repetition doesn't close the hearer in.
Instead, with each iteration,
there is an out-movement
a rising higher
from the original thought. 

In my heart's mind,
in my heart's eye
I see through Costa's eyes.
He is strolling carelessly
near a lake in a small park
or on the boulevard of a large city.
The day may be bright or dark.
There may be people nearby or he may be alone.
But there is solitariness. 

I do not mean
or reclusivity
or solipsism.

Because I feel that 
the composer's heart is fully engaged
with his surroundings
and with whatever his eyes look upon.

Here he sees a pretty girl
and smiles, perhaps remembers one like her...from his past.
He blesses the memory, then, 
Then moves on.

His glimpse catches a ripple in the lake.
He stops to ponder the water flowing outward
from the center of the ripple,
receives it into his spirit, so to speak,
Then he looks up
at a cloud drifting across the sky.

One feels as one listens
that the air is crisp
but Cosma doesn't feel the cold.

Or the night is dark
or his own life's night is nearing its midnight
yet the composer's eyes and heart
are seeing the world anew.

There is nostalgia and sentiment
in this gentle meditative strolling.
The past is enfolded in the present
and if the past ever held grief or sorrow
the composer is now at peace with it.

Several times
a note lingers
as if Cosma has stopped midway in his stroll
to muse on a little pebble or
another rippled in the lake
but the musical movement never lingers long.

There is closure for the past
peace in the present
and acceptance. 

This does not happen in Jazz
which is often so preoccupied
with fully knowing
and fully understanding.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

In Honor of Terry Pratchett

Spring into another world in April: free sci-fi/fantasy contest in honor of Terry Pratchett!


Writing Contest - Echo of Another World

Inkitt's April contest is focusing on the sci-fi/fantasy genre. The theme is "Echo of Another

World." In honor the late great Terry Pratchett, they want stories that will take you to another

world the way his novels did: bring you to outer space, to an enchanted castle, to a forest filled
with fairies – anything with fantastical or science-fictiony leanings goes!

Submission Details

All fiction up to 15,000 words is eligible for entry. Novel excerpts are encouraged; fanfiction is

not. The contest begins on April 7th and will close on May 5th .


Winners will receive Amazon gift cards ($40, $30 and $20). The first place winner will also
get five printed copies of their story, with a custom cover created by Inkitt’s designer!
Got fantasy in your fingertips, sci-fi on the mind?
Go check out the stories at and do the Discworld proud!

My story, FLIGHT, is located here 
Please read and vote for it. Thanks!
Spring into another world in April: free sci-fi/fantasy contest
in honor of Terry Pratchett!
Contest URL Twitter Handle Hashtag
www. @Inkitt #AnotherWorld

Monday, April 06, 2015

Dark Parables: God will show and Time will tell

I had a vision this morning. Been a while.

A wind was blowing debris and a white garbage bag down a street. The wind was white. Just white transparent/cloudy. Ash? The streets were deserted.

Wondering what "white wind" represents.

God will show, and Time will tell.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I roll the word over and over on my tongue until it attains a foreignness.
I repeat: They --harsh people, harsh words-- do not matter.
I test the healing words: "You do not matter."
I create a mantra on my bed: "She does not matter."
Matter. What does it mean that they do not matter?

When my friend Rain was small
a little Arab-American kid
walking to and from her Catholic elementary school
on the streets of Brooklyn
voices of neighborhood kids
would jeer at her:
Arabian Nights, Arabian Nights
they would sing.

It was the 1950's
and she was dark then
she has lightened over the years
But her then darkness
her Arabianness
her smallness
was perfect fodder for the cruel.

For many days she endured
Then one day --
even at so young an age --
the wisdom came:
"They do not matter."

She repeated the insight
allowed the epiphany to seep into her
and soon she stopped crying at their cruelty.

At last they noticed:
"Rosemary, why don't you cry or argue with us anymore?"
She answered,
"Because you don't matter."

They laughed.
But never again did their words hurt her.
And now she advises me to think:
"They do not matter."
I'm trying to see this present cruelty as not mattering.

Matter. Mattering. :-) Muttering. Mutter.

But if I were to manage to mutter to that cruel one: You do not matter....
what would that mean?
Would it mean that I see her unmattered, non-existent, dead?

To be of importance?
Matter to me:
To be of importance to my life?
Matter to the world:
To be of importance to the world.

You do not matter.
Your cruel words about me do not matter.
You do not matter to me.
Your cruel words about me do not matter to me.
You do not matter to the world.
Your cruel words about me do not matter to the world.

That last one:
the world.
Yes, your cruel untrue unkind words about me
do matter to the world.
For they brought down grief on my head
a feeding frenzy of cruelty
And they cannot be unsaid.

The words do not matter.
You do not matter.
Could I say that?
No, I am not so cruel.

But you. . .
you were.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Poem: I saw them as well

Those crows you spoke of --
I saw them.

Winging agitatedly
across the graying mackerel sky.

I did not see the wounded raven
or the family of rabbits.

Because I had no dog with me
as you had
pulling and scenting and chasing.

So I have seen what you saw.

I wonder why the crows
cawed so loudly
why the darkening day
sent them
flying back and forth
their shadows dotting the winter sky.

I do not wish to see them again.
Whatever their purpose
I do not want to know.

Nor do have I cause to find the dead raven.
Nor do I want to see the limping hare
hobbling toward its family in its hutch.

But I wanted to tell you
so you would know
that I'd heard you
and your sleeptalk of the crows.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Poem: Watching Lee Jun Ki dance

So then...
if we stand outside of an ugly emotion

and peruse it

without guilt,
without self-recriminations
without moralizing

We can see the need
that birthed it.

So then...
this bitterness, this envy 
-- and do not tell me
that suffering makes the soul purer.
It does not!--

this bitterness, this envy
rose and continue to rise
from a pure need.

Again, I will not judge myself.
I only wish to be well.

Today I saw a body move effortlessly
across the dance floor
a beautiful body full of life and joy.

I fought against envy.
Being old, I fought against despair.
Being sickly, I fought against envy and anger.

I sat and watched
and managed to rejoice
in that one's lightness and youth.

I couldn't quite hope.
But I didn't hate either.
And I managed to smile.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Poem: Ten poems on Lee Soo Hyuk (my ICB)

Yesterday, early-early, I opened my computer:
you were there.
A glimpse, merely
But later, all my thoughts were of you.

Men should not be so beautiful
Or old women so lustful.

As a teenager, I loved David Cassidy,
Edward Albert Jr, Martin Sheen, Jan-Michael Vincent
Forty years later, I'm scouring websites
for stories of you
If I had a grand-daughter, I would steer her to you


I want to be a vowel in your mouth: caressed

In the teaser,
You walked across your studio,
eyes moist from welling tears
On the window pane raindrops trailed;
Teaser indeed:
I wished you were not for me.

You make me smile
Jae-rim makes me laugh;
why should i love you so much
you who only make me smile?

A fragile delicate beauty
milk-white skin
some hidden unspoken pain
eyes that become narrow slits when you smile
and I am suddenly lost.

I did not like suits
until you wore them
you've made me shallow.

Surrounded by your friends
all as young as you
all as beautiful
but even there you stand out:
why has my heart chosen you?

My friend asked me what "ICB" meant:
I gave her the literal definition
"Imaginary Celebrity Boyfriend"
The metaphorical meaning
only old women understand.

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