[Update, apology & then…]: Jeju Airport (8:56 a.m)

My online presence, has reduced significantly, I feel. I’d just like to offer an apology for not being more involved in other peoples’ writing; something I really enjoy engaging with. I am, as well as working 7 days a week sheltering tourists & feeding them, working on a collection of short stories, which is constellating in the forefront of my mind: their anxieties, movements, conversations— right there playing out, too quick for me to keep up with. As well as this I am thinking about reviews for 2 poets (you know who you are—things are happening); then of course poems don’t let up throughout all this activity, I have no control over their arrival. I am also, owing to recently taking to Twitter, finding many journals to submit to & have increased my submitting activity significantly. Then, reading, which is my entertainment. I am currently reading Notes from the Underground (again) alongside Nietzsche’s The Gay Science & I swear it is as if they complete each others sentences. I hope, perhaps after I have polished off some of the above, to write some incisive, multiple short pieces on these correlations as they turn up. I am just underlining & producing marginalia for future use at the moment; always a useful habit to get into.
So busy & apologetic (but pleased with so much activity) & here I’ll conclude with the next poem from the Yoon Yong set.

Jeju Airport (8:56 a.m)

…The Plane lands! The carousel | luggage
—people rushing to the toilet

—people rushing into the Malbok heat | to meet
placards | hand written names | strangers

who know each other from a phone call or email
—men in suits | importance-posture

as if each step were a spike in their profit margins
hiking up pecuniary scatter graphs

—& taxis | hire cars | mopeds humming in designated areas
—people sipping lattes | coffee | more like brown crayons

dissolved in skin-blisteringly hot water
—check-in | schedules & tickets— the flapping of digits

on digital boards | so much attention to time
in the business of tourism— the steady erosion of authenticity

even as they seek authentic experience.
Weather dense as granny’s fruit cake |

Halla Mountain barricaded behind breeze blocks of moisture.
The exoticism of palm trees | still | in this heat |

their previous incarnations |
parched rungs up slow-retting trunks.

I need a new hat: the weave came undone.
I need a Toothbrush & Tampons—Taxi?

“You’re not going to walk all that way alone
in this weather? | look at it…”

26 thoughts on “[Update, apology & then…]: Jeju Airport (8:56 a.m)

      1. It’s ok, not a riveting post…Ive not blogged or been reading much on here for ages but it’s my most recent one. Go check out the cake! I was just kidding though and making the point that clearly what you have on your plate is of greater priority (to you) and no need to apologise unless you’re British. Oh wait…😂

      2. I am not a good person to comment on birthdays (I did read you post, sorry I’ll comment here). I don’t really celebrate my own & don’t tell people, a few close friends remember & of course we have Facebook to tell us now. I find the celebration of time passing sort of odd: why do we celebrate New Year in the west, where on the whole, our lives are pretty comfortable & yet we yearn for the freshness of a new 365 days to change everything. I just think, how can people be living so wrong? I have an unexciting, unremarkable life. All I do is work. If not running a business then writing or doing something. But I never think, “ok new year, going to do better” because I know everyday when I wake up is a countdown & I need to be doing something. I don’t need to do anything extreme, neither travel, just be aware that I am here & be productive. So there’s my insight. & what’s more, though I have never wanted nor will I have a child, I can’t help but admire those who do it, so I don’t have to. I couldn’t do what you did. I’d have told the kid to go play in the road haha. Wouldn’t have minded a piece of that birthday cake. though

      3. I love making a fuss of my boy’s birthday…and mine too. I see it as a celebration of life rather than a morbid marking of the clock ticking. We don’t do much for Christmas…just the bare minimum token nod for my son’s sake, but even then, it is creepy old bearded man-less and no special effort in food etc. As for new years, I stopped buying into the hype long ago and like you ( I think?) see any moment as a chance to renew, change, set new goals, bring new dreams to fruition etc. Birthdays though…I just LOVE organising. It was do much fun crafting the decor, thrift shopping for supplies, making the pinata etc. Mine was fun too with an 80s office party theme and I really enjoyed seeing all my guests get into the spirit of it with their hair, make up snd costumes. You just sound like you need to pick a dress up party theme and throw a big shin dig for your next birthday…you’ll never look back! 🙈 p.s. I had no idea I had a child so you wouldn’t have to but I’ll remember that next time he has a tantrum and you’ll owe me one 😂😂😂

      4. My opinion isn’t there to change others I just have it is all. I think you have enough balance to justify going full throttle for birthdays. Ignore me, I am just a miserable git. Haha.

      5. Ha! You mean I could have just really said what I thought (you’re just a miserable git) and saved time writing? I do have this probably really unfounded view that jeju is like the siberian gulags but I’m sure you smile at least a few times a year 😂

      6. You could have saved time yes haha. A few if the year is lucky. I think my 30s are dragging me down. Or I take ordeals too seriously as a spur to writing. In my misery I don’t half write a lot. I think I am scared that if I am happy I won’t be able to write.

      7. You will. It is a fallacy that creative genius has to be destructive or filled with pain and misery. Life is too short and filled with too much beauty to squander it on setting the ‘right’ mood to create. You sound like you know what makes you happy though, in the simplicity of your daily focus and the things you spend your time on. Go on..be happy 😊

      8. Oh, good! Now I must sleep. I will make a point of googling jeju on the weekend to discover its beauty so I can stop thinking you live in an austere, miserable place. I wonder if your northern neighbours are any more creative due to their circumstances. Maybe they have to be, in the little parts of their lives they have to themselves (their thoughts) to maintain any sense of freedom or sense of self.

      9. Haha sorry…silence wasn’t cause I took offence…was busy with said 4 year old when I got your last message and was also thinking over your words before replying but didn’t get as far as replying and went bavk to reply no and saw this message.

  1. Very lively read! The Malbok heat was a surprising element, unheard of that anyone could have a specific timeframe for a weather pattern. Maybe like our Indian Summers, except those never happen on schedule.

    Great to hear you’ve got so much going in that poet’s head of yours. In the meantime, will look you up on Twitter.

    1. Yes the Koreans have quite a few terms for specific patterns of weather & what-not, I don’t have them all committed to memory. They even have a name for the ratio of cold days to sunny days, sam-han sa-un (삼한 사운, I think), which just translates as 3 days warm 4 days cold but is known as nomenclature of a sort.
      Yes, a little too much, maybe I am spreading myself too thin, but it isn’t as if I can help it all closing in on me. All I can do is keep scattered notes till I can get round to writing the damn stuff. Thing is, I can’t concentrate on writing for more than an hour or 2 really. For instance. I am in the process of handwriting a 1st draft short story into a 2nd draft, which means handwriting over 4000 words. However, it is the only way I can write stories. They have to be sketched in bullet points, then a narrative drafted, then copied & corrected into a 2nd solid draft, then scribbled with red pen, then typed & pocked & prodded until I can leave them to settle. It is exhausting to be honest. Watch interviews with Anthony Burgess, he talks about the trade of writing as a job a lot. When he was given a year to live, he wrote 5 novels in a year. Something like 2000 words a day, which comes to 90000 a month. He had calculate what he’d need to write each day to be as prolific as his was. I’d love that. But as he says, sitting at a typewriter 9 to 5 creates problems: alcohol.caffeine dependency, heavy smoking, back ache, insomnia, anti-social problems. Is it worth is? I suppose to be a sort of god it is.

      1. Isn’t that what creating fictions is, to have the power to divert someone’s fate, to see a whole life leaking out your brain into the tips of your fingers & pasted in ink? I get really emotional writing fiction, in a different way to writing poetry, because I put the pressure of responsibility on myself. I kill a lot of people in fiction & it hurts. I am not a psychopath like God.

  2. There’s no need ever to apologise for not keeping up with other writers’ blogs and social media. We have to recognise that’s impossible and be sparing in our expectations of others! 😊 I enjoyed the poem by the way.

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