Yeongsil hiking trail (1:12 p.m.)

The above pic is not from Yeongsil Trail, but Donnaeko Trail, which is connected. The pic captures a hazy view of Seogwipo, the 2nd, other, southern city of Jeju. Donnaeko is, for roughly 6km a steep path, sheltered by dark umbrage most of the way—you suddenly come out of the trial & are met with this stunning vista.  Just down this lush trail is a graveyard. A decent days hike, is  to ascend Yeongsil, coming round the head of Halla (Baengnokdam, which you need to hike another trail to see into & thus see its dish). Yoon Yong doesn’t go to Baengnokdam, but she would know that it holds a lake, with access restricted to the public & not even a conceivable route down. She would be more than capable of making the dish analogy—it’s a well-known sight to all Koreans, even if they’ve never hiked the Seongpanak or Gwaneumsa Trails to Baengnokdam.   (Below is a photo of Yeongsil, pretty much the opposite end of the featured image.)

Yeongsil hiking trail (1:12 p.m.)

…Baengnokdam is a dish left in the rain |
a cloud rummages through its feelings lent to the earth

: the hike up Yeongsil trail is worth the energy & time
for the perspective & view of Seogwipo city.

An 1hr & ½ to the shelter | people enjoying Baengnokdam’s facade
eating ramen | rice cake | drinking bottles of rice wine.

Alone | Yoon Yong eats melon & swigs a tin of beer.
She sits & watches society in miniature | in exile

from their usual selves & functioning better for the parallax
—they look so innocent | carefree animals.

After all we are still animals.
Sun frills in the rim of her can |

jetsam of shine—antumbra: rumour.
From Donnaeko trail on the way down | there’s

a graveyard | with Seogwipo city behind it then the sea |
the headstones like dominoes & the small mounds

that hold the dead like supine | pregnant women
—death provides everything | I want a good death

: everything we do is from our fear of death
—money for quality | health for longevity & words for immortality.

To waste time is a contemporary sin.
“It’s relative y’know | just think about that for a moment…

…Anything learned is stubbornly resistant to being
rehashed by outside interference | to a source

of information from another ego challenging
the value of what the other knows

: it was time spent become a debt to the biological clock
which must be repaid | exactly…”

—A barter for time is energy & energy is bartered time.
“Who said that?” I did.

For every question a library of answers.
Right & wrong are just the binary solutions—we’ve others.

No matter the rise of the machine | our mechanisms are not
1s & 0s nor do they fit on the sides of a coin…probably…

yeongsil

The end in sight…

Last night, i went with a friend to the beach.
The few squid boats that sailed out were returning early, around 8ish.
We’d found a low bench outside the perimeters of society’s light & with a bottle of soju, a box of kimchi & veggie pancake, talked our tired into something productive & admired the uncommon sight of a few printed constellations.

We somehow got onto conspiracy theories & my friend, not knowing much about them, asked “why do they believe in such things.” Being Korean she’s had little exposure to what is, to my mind, a very Western phenomenon.

i outlined (roughly) Foucault’s power-knowledge: holding & creating the codes & keys to knowledge; there is no power without knowledge.
But, what is the control conspiracy theorists have? It is that they know something important, have tirelessly awakened to something we don’t understand, or more accurately can’t see as it is “hidden in plain sight”. They do what they do for our benefit, turning them into a conduit of truth— they’re on a moral track; fulfilling a duty to the survival of open, free society.

Going off the subject it dawned on me how erroneous we are to assume problems, with such wide reaching, immense scales can have any end in sight.

Let’s say for instance that every system of governance, politics, philosophy, religion,ideology is in itself a timeline, plotted, deterministically, in progress, towards a fateful moment in the lives of the collective that follow it & by extension (through survival of the fittest) compelling everyone else to fall in line to this track, seeing the benefit (as the adherent or faithful would see it).

Isn’t this ridiculous? It brings into sharp focus all our reasons behind why we cherish ideas, why they become personal, character shaping.
i’d say a good many people believe that what is an all encompassing process for them, seeing as, in reality, it exits in tandem with other processes, means it is unlikely there is a singular destiny. Numerous processes, always in motion together, has been the vital matter of man. Ideologies conflict with ideologies.

Our history, our ideas, are not necessarily a process of trial & error to eventually discover suitable methods for going forward to some fateful day when everything is corrected to a set of tracked demarcations. We have no destiny.
Things happened, but not for a reason.

Even peace is an ideology. There will never be peace. Never. Nor will there be a day where evil triumphs & nothing but war fills the world.
The liberal, the conservative, republican or democratic agenda will never win over an entire population. The likes of dystopian fiction will never be realized in their total form.
i’ll go ahead & wager the same for ecological issues, the world won’t end with a bang or whimper, it’ll hobble on, inconceivable moments of change may occur, but what ever volume of human content stubbornly rises against the back hand of its own stupidity, will adapt & humankind will plod on, forgetting, then becoming the mythopoeic madmen we all are, at heart & do best with our easy hearsay.

What does it mean to realize this?
For me, this is not about persuading anyone. This will not enlighten you.
i once believed, years ago, that the logical end (all evil would need to play out for this to happen) of humanity’s crises, was to just end up fully, organically understanding good; this was the only method of living that made sense. There is no waste in good, except the loss of bad.
Evil, corruption, always sacrifice something, create hardships & pain, which is wasted energy.
If there is peace & prosperity, would we really be more human by denying our coarser, more violent natures? i don’t know if this is cogent or an easy thing for good people to accept, i doubt it.
i know for me, this realization of no end in sight, emancipates me from the track of that end.
i can, with George Saunders, be free to just like everything; or not so much like, as accept it being outside my influence yet remaining within my control; if only the control is an alteration of the context of my capacity to influence. This comes frightfully close to sounding like ignorance of the difference between right & wrong, but in reality is it is a realization of limits.

Would i end world hunger, the deaths of children, the slavery of teenage girls if it meant i had to kill a single man, even a room full of evil men with the click of a lever? Sure. Sorry fellas, you’re for the chop.
However, that is a foolish thought experiment & life just isn’t that simple. The exception to the rule seldom becomes the rule.

Why this public act initiates me into some personal collusion with myself, i don’t know, it feels necessary somehow; sort of like the symbolic act of cutting the Gordian knot.
i think Wallace Stevens’ final line from his poem Parochial Theme “Piece the world together, boys, but not with your hands.” sums up what i am trying to say here. To build something with your hands means an end in sight, the mental world is always going to get revised & emotions are not built with your hands.
Oddly, i’ve never been happier with chaos. The next step is deciding what that means— i suspect, it doesn’t mean anything other than i am finally human.

A month | not so much as cloud piddle…

A month | not so much as cloud piddle.
The bamboo i snipped last month

is dry as an old man’s cough.
In the vice of the fire it snaps

& heckles | its plumage retting up
the windy stem | a split seam in linen

fibers hooked on dry skin curled
off the nail like a slow flame purls paper

—naked the peeled apple | nude man
: nude woman : human animal.

i’ve this fiasco of cadence to scrum
—consulting ash that looks just like

the dorsal mountain’s vaulted ambition | props
the sky with granite scaffolding

: the well counselled marriage
of this n’ that or tit for tat.

i’ll know you’re coming by…

The question mark defines our humanity, we are human because we have questions. Ask questions, always. Hang your humanity on it. i’m working a lot on sonnets these days; it is a wonderful form.

i’ll know you’re coming by | the momentary dip
in light. Describe yourself in the space of a quatrain.
i’ll take just 4 words & a ?: what makes me human?
The a priori tapped in human does the job
of cryptic semiotics | the crossword puzzle | hopscotch
of nouns & adjectives— is this the nihilism of progress
or the progress of nihilism? Reduction | acquiescence
or just plain sensible? i’d call it nothing short of deadlock.

This basic | we’re all odd & even: even with one another
& odd with the inestimable latitudes & longitudes
of the skull | which nature probably won’t survive.

The light still hasn’t dipped | you haven’t said a word |
while my 4 & the ? | remain hung on the air
in tension | daring to inform | our every move.

Why did the world begin…

Why did the world begin to turn on axles
of hendecasyllables? A beat off each
side. Everyone | every instance on one side
or another | literature— get your terms out |
pass back n’ forth | critic. To keep me warm | in
winter’s belly | i picture root vegetables.
The word | not a plurality | just one | rests
on the tip of my tongue—a caterpillar
dawdling at the rim of a leaf | y’know that
irritation?— a word like eczema: itching
improves the irritation’s longevity.

The sun | climbs in the soil like a man into
a monkey suit. To say every word in the
dictionary at the same time means nothing |
it doesn’t make a single word to best all
words— more | a moan of agon besting all form.
Words pinch the gaps between themselves—soil by sun |
critic by term | root by soil | caterpillar
by chlorophyll | word by word & you by me
: the blind led by the blind led by the word led
by sentence after sentence strung by the law
of grammar’s | motive like the need to make lunch.