instagram won’t solve your problems.

stop looking through your phone.
you’ll be looking for him anyway.
just think,
and face your thoughts.
acknowledge every one,
soak them in, be familiar
they will disappear
along with his face.

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3 years.

the moon floats
quietly, afar
glows without sound
noticed in the midst
of empty space
all around.
too many lights
render it small
and faded
from a pair of eyes –
though, from afar
its light glows on and on
nightly.

its soft demeanor
and eternal gaze
continues
without care for
whether you choose
to see
or not.

off the page

Will my words ever
reach, touch, or simply resonate
to another person
1.2k miles away
or further –
will the letters
the truths written
help to reconcile and tie into
a knot the fragile strings of relatability
the familiar, distinct red of pain
and also love
that was once
limp
lonely
unsalvaged?

I wish I knew.
I should keep writing.

the earth is green, so money is too

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should a coffee cost 5 dollars?
how about a birthday card?
postcard? a clump of hair-ties
or cheap socks –
comfy, snug does the job.
one sheet of a green
Abraham Lincoln can get you
half a Subway foot-long or
a cute charm bracelet that
may rust if it joins you in the shower.
would one wooden plank upholding the balcony of a house
cost the same as a fancy coffee table leg,
air-brushed glossy mahogany
supporting another millennial haven?
can $5 get me into that startlet crowd or will I be stuck
with those who hang out at school
for nothing better to do?
Will it buy me time
with him, the bookworm
nestled in the corner of a rustic
vintage used bookstore?
(got to find the right one, then.)
three cans of cola or one (small)
cup of a macchiato to satiate
your tired soul?
where, or who can a
‘5’ lead you to? its value rises or falls
based on your aesthetic – indeed, money is
a system of compromise for your ideals,
wishes, insecurities
and more. only if you really need it
with your life
do you know.

it’s b/c you denied it to you.

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Loudness?
Too Western.
Culture, then? (Or wit. Bravery.)
The mistake of that one jacket
(or) her excitement that had
you conjure up the (sudden)
notion of boundaries (aka walls).
Or the mere fact of
waiting, versus her having
cut to the chase?

She was cute.
She liked me.
We clicked.
But then time ticked.

No.
She was the air.
You were a wind.
You thought you’d lose your breath
so you left
but now she’s short
of a scent
left craving
wondering if she committed a wrong
for simply
seeing the best of you
that you denied
kept denying.

Happy?

he thought it’d be easier.

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Who’s responsible for that little orange 1,
hovering on your phone screen
day or night –
a quiet, incessant alarm
that feels like a Christmas gift
you shouldn’t have asked for;
as if candles can whisk away
his cologne –
a surprise one class period
and since then; as if
you can imagine (too bad you can’t conquer)
his voice echoing in mid-air
but with no face to
accompany it, might as well
talk to a ghost before you cuddle up to sleep,
have him cuddled warm in your cranium
for another heart-to-air talk
someday, since this
is what you must do when you
(or he) fails to respond with enough
honest courtesy (or better yet,
“flirt”) via a
fitted glass screen.

Is it your phone to
blame for simply
functioning – you type in all sorts of
rage and the separate words
blink up at you and
you imagine mocking
(or) a quiet sigh
shuffling his phone back into
his pocket –
honesty can wait.
Can you blame your Android
(or KakaoTalk, Instagram
even WhatsApp) for being utterly
powerless and
only reflective?

Then who or what
in your mind
should be handcuffed
for this crime of triggering
what cost your naivety?
Who’s to blame for
the simplicity to type
but not to speak –
to be a faceless voice
mimicking vulnerability
for an audience of one to
be satiated
by him,
from him?

I guess the little orange 1
drew the line between him & I, the line
that I didn’t deserve to cross
one more time, in his stead.
Because it’s so easy to uphold, to talk
through a barrier
that doesn’t judge.

(Should that ever make you feel righteous, make sure to never smile, then play hide-and-seek with a ‘her,’ ever.)

i wish i knew.

is balance –
in life, health, workload, emotions, mentality
or simply one’s happiness –
an achievement
an illusion
a result of something earned
or just for a selective
few?

hmph.

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I’ve come to terms
with the fact that
you can (are allowed to)
forget.

Finally, I can forget
(you) and let go but
I curl up in shame
(for holding on) too long.

I wonder, wonder
(useless) how it’d be
to see you materialize
here (but why, I won’t be happy).

Don’t dare
“making up”
(or doing anything beyond)
smiling. A devil in disguise

(are you).

Heater

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I lose myself thinking that a
gust of wind is
your breath warm traveling down
my arm, brushing by my neck
after an imagined hug that
my skin rejoices in, intoxicated and
dumb, quite even now.

I imagine your fingertips tracing
art on my skin, my breath holds itself
back from breaking the spell –
it’s too real, your slim touch
tracing a heart on my
chest, going down my stomach
in slow swirls, squeezing
my inner thigh and
inviting yourself in to
tune me up and have me
echo a song for you
in a dark hushed room
acres away from any form of reality.

It’s your legs that keep
mine apart,
believing no forgetting
desperate not wistful
to mold into warm, living being
some kind of love
that exceeds imagination
or painful history.

No way is this
merely fantasy.
This warmth can only
be yours
to keep for
me and me.
Appear when I ask and
stay for eternal moons,
don’t leave me cold to
watch the next moonfall alone
you were once here.

let the truth sink in.

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the secret to put an “end” to more learning, to
cap a lid onto the steaming elixir to close the
window, block the onslaught wind of
others’ approval others’
voices and simply think
accept wait – hopeful is
to see that this length is sufficient
to show just exactly what you
meant but
not really
it is seeing that
errors are imaginary enemies
disguised as letters and the keypad has
been told to shut up letting you
click tap away when the
document has had enough of
relifting, editing and cosmetics and
it too just wants to breathe let
the words sink in like carbon dioxide
brushes the top of your still
hands
you’re breathing now and seeing
everything as is and the enemies
have said goodbye, jumped back in
the abyss they have come from and
now you’ve unraveled the
quiet truth for yourself, the next to be
set free amongst a sea swarm that are not.

Congratulations, you are now content.
So go.
(*inspired by Grace Paley’s poetry)

개물소리

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넌 어떠니?
바쁜 시간에 문득 생각나며
또 추억들이
마치 작은 개물같이
몇 방울식 흘려내린다.

멀리서 들리는
노래 처럼
우리의 웃음소리
조용히, 선명히 들려.

묻고싶다.
‘잘 지내니’보다
‘요즘 어때’?
니 머리속엔
누가 있을까.

끊임없이 궁금해가며
이 밤도 끝없이
숨막히게
흘러간다.

this is a letter to myself.

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Honestly, you don’t need to know
why you’re a step slow,
forgetful, anxious to stop
and see where else
you need to go
(but not always how far you’ve come
already).
Misfortunes rob each breath that
fail to escape lungs and
instead clouds up the heart
already filled with a million and one
unspoken junk, strung
together on a
long string of panic.
There isn’t room for
peace – only calamity
and the notion of lost
sanity at all the things
I do wrong.
Even still, you’re
hungry for
rest – no plans echoing
in your mind
to paint a false sense
of doing “it” right –
“adulting.”
But where
is running
taking you?
Self-love
is an act
of healing –
you’re not selfish
for choosing
yourself.
You’re so quick to bring
light to others, but
where is yours?

moments & memories merged into a mess.

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Smiles and
questions
conversations and
texts
the laughs
the awkward
quiet waves
or the many times you said
good night, good morning
I’ve arrived here to
do this or that
like clockwork.
Our lives
intertwined merged as two
like ink bleeding writing
illegible under a sheen of
spilling colors throbbing
life love and a
wild dream I yearned
to stir, but did with
my hands (only).
You changed my scenery
then ran – the jarring silence
the blank page
I screamed
split my eyes to cry
tears copied the ocean
to cross our distance
while I was here and
you were there.
I lost my
voice,
couldn’t stand
the empty white
a lack of any
presence. With you
gone
what was clockwork became
an ongoing sequence
of dreams colliding
with the sun
daring the moon
to conquer me through
fitful sleep
answers unfulfilled
life unrequited.

not always.

raindrops heavily drop,

splattering

to their deaths,

soaking up the grime

of human

footsteps.

what if they actually

clung onto the

cloud they were from,

and revered only

the anticipation before

the final finish?

what I kept until near 2:00 AM.

Loneliness is

madness, just –

instead of

flaring anger,

in which

water

soothes –

there is only

ache.

heartbreak.

the split, uneven breaths.

limbs feeling like 100 pounds;

movement restricted.

the unchanged light in the room

suddenly dimmer.

the agenda book, threatening.

friends’ hearts turned into backs.

family, so far away.

nothing beyond the dark encasement –

a cold, thin blanket satisfies.

even when lifted,

light looks bleak.

neither side welcomes

the other.