Lunch notes on the Selfie (noon-ish)

Lunch notes on the Selfie (noon-ish)

…A Selfie with Biyang island behind her |
a sea “glittery as jewels—ㅋㅋㅋ.”

She shudders at the squeaky cute voices
: this habitual conformity to “Selfie…ㅋㅋㅋ” |

people queueing to take photos in designated

She deletes the photo & vows to take no more.
The Selfie is an odd fad | habitually required of

like a document of proof | a notarization of the done
—a passive showcase of life for others to glance at & nod |

to flick past…pause…with a prod…a moment’s recognition
—it say’s more about them than where they are

—could I get rid of myself as easy as their passivity?
Technology designed for passivity.

To touch the screen is to scroll through time.
“Do you understand what one lonely hand can do?”

I’d use that “lonely hand” to slap the world
& him | even though I know better: I should guide

the world with it— I should know better: (—ctrl + alt + del
ctrl + alt + del ctrl + alt + del ctrl + alt + del—)…

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…


In the empty park…

In the empty park
the disused swimming pool
is | for now | the home
of a lone heron
& a paddling of mallards.
They listen for the wind
rummaging in the grass
& reeds | sweeping momentary dimples
which pass like shadows
over the slippered | gaggle
of the adjacent ghyll
curving through the empty park.
i’m the only person
here | the park’s so empty i can
touch it—it’s Lunar
New Year. The moon
is a sphere of rock
we used to measure time | now
we celebrate its habit of renewal
even though it never leaves
our orbit—a fixation of the eye.
The moon’s at a loose end: it has no use.
It is better than a clock | of course.
i think of it…in
a different way altogether…

Who put a magnet in the loin…

This should raise some discussion.

Who put a magnet in the loin
to watch it pulled clean through a mortared wall?

The a cappella traffic gives mice
& birds migraines— make(s) food a weapon!

Younger poets are charmed by polysyllables
: they’ve ample time to waste

—am i still young or have i always been
this old? My allotted time

has never felt that short | so much spare
then what to do with it all?

As poets grow grey & dewlaps skip
the floor they switch from scudding words

to steady | stomping monosyllables |
to keep the time they have from pecking bone.

The sun has left off land | 2 cats melt
into rock & shadow | stalking ducks

with water at their back | the cats
know better than to lunge the arc of dusk.

Kicking the old year into the new

i don’t quite get New Year, hearing people’s “goodbye” to an abstract stretch of moments & welcoming new time like a new pair of underwear. It always saddens me how we take time for granted, so much so that we celebrate the death of it. i don’t make resolutions, because i am always resolving to do something whether over a short or long period; i am not overweight so i can’t make that a goal, neither do i have any bad habits; neither does unwavering happiness interest me as the spectrum of emotion makes me more human & fuels how i observe— i get nothing much from the partitioning of time, nor of the celebration of it “exit”.

& on that bum note, i would however like to say that i hope in this new year, the poets & writers i divest a good chunk of my reading time to, continue to produce exceptional poems & writing. You know who you are. & know that, your reading compels me to be constantly inventive & to constantly produce, keeps my mind ticking over, never remaining stationary long enough to gather mold. Thank you & here’s to a healthy continuation of our relationships.

A funeral rite was once an art…

This is not a Christmas poem (i’ll pretend that isn’t happening), neither is it exclusively about Shelley, despite the Louis Edouard Fournier painting suggesting otherwise. i suppose, if the man being cremated is a poet, then the funeral rite, through contagious magic, becomes a work of art.

A funeral rite was once an art
but now | is nothing more (“or less”)
than | a service industry— a putting out of sight |
slinging the arrow of time | aflame
toward | at least | a metonymic pyre
—“to metaphor the dead is to keep
them dead | but metonym replaces with a life”
Why would you say such silliness?
: “the lobed hermaphrodite hunkered
in the snitching dynamo of our cortex |
acute enough to bathe us in dimethyltryptamine.
That’s what you said once over drinks.”
& yet | they swiped a digit round
the beveled edges of their Smartphone.
She shuts the device between her legs |
to trim & foul the agon of history
but | the mythos & logos tap
into her like a gavel rasping code.
“The beaches of man | now made with
the granulated pulp of their literature.
We pick through the silt rubble for more
coagulate bits intact | in search of …|…
in hope of | lost forbidden words | to hear
aloud | with our tremulous voice
for the first time in millennia
while 99% just sun bathe Self.”

A miserable git no quarrel there…

One of them difficult poems i’ve been banging on about lately.

A miserable git no quarrel there | Larkin
the everyman’s bard, the lad the lark Going, going
— i see what he was driving at | it came to pass
: our tarmac | clogged up vagus nerves & ventricles
the fields fenced & penalties for fishing pools
—the folk don’t give a toss so long
as there’s a Topshop in town & extra pubs
so they can move in cycles of that place
got shit so now I drink in the Lamb’s Arse
They’re all the same unless a messery’s on draught
or the landlord never rinses out the pipes
—maybe if the Guinness doesn’t go down well.

The world’s always been down the shitter
& yet Max Tegmark blathers on about AI
to a crowd of Google maniacs | the coming
Enlightenment of Tech
— everyone claps
he sells books of guess work | larkin about.
Seems to me another resource squanderer
but i like him & | a Luddite with an LED candle
worried machines will lay off some poor sod
left to scrap a livelihood from soup kitchens
& what he forages in refuse. There’re interims
between the point of calculus & results put
to some benefit | “by the populace for the populace.”

In that gray patch | plenty of room for error.
Regard Thatcher’s great plan for the city
Gillette’s cylindrical monolith apartments
J.W. Dunne’s Serialism & inventive streak on time.
i’m pissed up | the booze is cheap | best quit
while i’m ahead | trail off to the Land of Nod…
(…Tardigrades living on the floss n’ lint
of my nonsense | when you’ve so much to eat
beyond the Oort Cloud! | Millennia later
you returned to Earth evolved & full of fever.

i speak with one of them | measured words
from the lips of a doughy scholar | looks like us.)

The Wreck of the Wallace

Another from The Wallace Variations. After too much time in the spotlight of the media, Wallace needed to get away & visited me in Jeju.

The Wreck of the Wallace

He was a salvaged man in my B&B,
the media’s attention started getting on his tits,
he needed to escape interrogation
& so took temporary residence at Inn Jeju
: he welcomed the choice
of cinnamon pancakes or cheese & sausage omelet.

Moreover, here felt outside of the world out there,
as if there was no time to grudge the motions of the day;
only a pattern of things to be done & do.
To be part of established patterns was common for him,
a comfort & distraction.

We grafted most the day, he made no quarrel with hard work.
& in our leisure time employed metaphors
to reason why the things outside of time
& reason why the world out there.

We took our makgeolli in little cups without handles
when shadow overtook the garden in the evening.
No sadness followed the plunging of the sun
behind Biyang Island;
here, outside of time, outside the world out there.



instead of reading Heidegger or Edward Young
i listen to Suzanne sung by Simone
her piano, subdued as the gloaming, the distant neon steps of stars
her minimal rhythm that fills limbs with move
& sing along as throatily as possible
in imitation of the nightingale Simone caged in her ribs
stomp like a rain maker, trying to crack the tiles
to break free the spirit of the floor, with bare feet
in the marmalade glow of a single light bulb
so that i pass in & out of shadow.

all i own, all i have made
to dance with a friend
as if we were dancing
to alter everything to a denser facet
than matter shows.

the days go quick but time goes slow.
i want to pour my pal
a cup of makkoli again.

i found a firefly
on the cafe stairs
aglow still, in limbo
between life & death
dying of the season
—so i scooped it up
& offered it a child
to mind until its tail glow
diminished to 0.

Silent Hook

talking about his novel Shark, Will Self explained that he set out to write Jaws without the shark. i am not entirely sure what he was getting at, but when i read the book i sort of understood his purpose: to have his narrative, a character’s past circumstances developed & swivel around something articulated, but never spoken. here is my little aside to that idea, but more abstract so that what is swivelled around, the dumbstruckedness of seeing whatever is seen that causes dumbstruckedness, whatever that may have been is far even from being hinted at. i don’t know if this just makes sense in my head but is actually a total load of crap.


Silent Hook

Captain Hook was too fixated on the crocodile.
His real fixation was with utter obedience to the whim of time
against his will, conscious or otherwise;
while brats -like mosquitoes- paused in age,
tormented him & his crew
: a tragic figure with nowt to brag about
except his fashionable wardrobe, a pearl in his ear,
a well regimented galleon, spick n’ span & swift.

So that when i saw it,
against my impulse,
without cause
– the workforce of the heart,
stevedores of the mind,
stopped what they were doing;
production muted.

Most noticeable was the gawped ㅇ of the mouth,
long, dry ㅈ of the throat, which colludes
with a ㅁ to form audible signs
: it must be said, i was silent.

What else must then be noted
is that what i saw: it,
silenced not only me
but the clockwork demarcation
that is the habit of form in motion
: nothing whatsoever moved in it.
It must be said, all was silent.