confession ii; MY MOTHER IS […]

IT’S SHOW AND TELL DAY DURING CIRCLE TIME.

my teacher asks me what i want to be.

“my mommy,” i reply without hesitation.

my mother is my world.

i want to be just like her,

nothing else.

doctor?

my mother can fix me up in no time with a warm bowl of homemade soup.

teacher?

my mother is the smartest person in the world. she can solve arithmetic problems in a single heartbeat.

actress?

my mother can do that in a second when she laughs and talks with people who she might not necessarily like.

when i’m at kindergarten during the day, i draw my mom with radiant hair, a beautiful dress, and the reddest, prettiest lips. and i draw a tiny figure next to her, looking up at her, and label it me.

i want to be my mother.

she is my superhero, my world.

beautiful, lovely, and kind.

IT’S RECESS TIME AND I’M EATING MY FRIEND’S BAG OF CHIPS.

my mother is mean.

i wish i had a different mom.

she won’t let me invite people over to our house.

my friends go over to each other’s houses.

i feel left out.

i feel horrible.

she wants me to finish homework – boring boring homework – before sitting down on the large recliners to watch The Suite Life Of Zach and Cody.

it’s not like i’m not going to do homework before it’s due.w

she won’t let me buy the new Nintendo DS Lite.

“it’s bad for your eyes.”

she won’t let me go to mcdonalds with my friends after i finish my gymnastics class.

she wants me to do gross math.

“it’ll be worth it in the future”

she won’t let me paint my nails.

“they’re bad for your nails.”

i wish i could have a different mom.

IT’S THE DAY MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO THE MOVIES.

my mother doesn’t understand me.

she doesn’t understand i need to text my friends to keep up my social life.

she doesn’t understand that the closet full of clothes i have right now is not enough.

she doesn’t understand that i want to go to a mall by myself with my friends.

because walking around with parents aren’t cool at all.

“i’m thirteen,” i protest to my mom indignantly.

“you can’t.”

“i hate you,” i scream, running to my room and slamming the door shut just to let her know that i’m fucking pissed.

she says no to everything.

i lock the door so my mom can’t enter and shout at me for shouting at her.

i’m mad at my mother for not understanding me.

she doesn’t understand that studying is hard for me because i’ve never studied in my life.

she doesn’t understand me because she was perfect and beautiful and smart and all things in between and i’m just me.

my mother doesn’t understand.

IT’S 10 AT NIGHT

i’m tired from studying at the library.

my back is aching from all the textbooks i am carrying in my tattered book bag.

i trudge home, looking around carefully to see if there is anyone trailing behind me.

i have seen countless news reports of rape and sexual harassment and i know that the things that are happening are not someone else’s story.

i am scared.

i see the light reflect from my house like a life vest in the drowning sea and i run faster than i have before.

i rush in, and my mother is busy washing dishes from tonight’s dinner.

“did you eat anything?” she quips worriedly.

“no. i’m sleepy, mom. i’m going to go to sleep. don’t bother me.”

i’m irritated and tired and exhausted and my eyes are drooping shut.

i walk into my room and shut the door behind me, flopping onto the bed.

as soon as i’m about to fall asleep, i feel a warm, soft hand over my cheeks, and a small kiss is planted on my forehead.

“as long as you’re not sick.”

“i love you, my baby girl.”

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL SUNNY MORNING,

and i’m crying; sobbing; begging my mom not to send me back to school, that hellhole.

my heart aches and i know i have to tell her.

the look on her face is heartbreaking, as she gathers me up, broken fragments and all, like i’m her newborn baby girl all again;

“did something happen?”

“he never liked me, mom. it was all a joke. i can’t face them. i can’t.”

i let out a heart wrenching sob and latch onto my mother’s shoulders like i’m five again, fallen off my bike, knees scraped.

because although i know better, although i know that she isn’t a magical being,

i cling to her because she’s my mother.

she’ll know how to fix me.

she’ll just know.

and she cradles me and whispers soothing words and i never want to leave those arms.

because if i do,

i’ll have to be alone.

i’ll be crowded by those dark, opaque thoughts that i thought i could never escape no matter how fast i ran.

i’ll feel suffocated whenever i pass by him and look into his smirking eyes and realize that i was so fucking stupid.

i’ll never be okay.

i don’t want to leave.

IT’S THE DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT,

and i don’t want to let her go.

i have a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach

as tears roll down my cheeks whenever i try and form syllables,

and i try and laugh

because i don’t want to see my mother cry.

i’ve made her cry too many times.

when she said no to everything,

maybe i was forgetting the thousand times she said yes.

when she wanted me to stay at home,

maybe i was forgetting that she wanted me to be safe.

when she shouted at me,

maybe i was forgetting the times she smiled at me and stroked my hair and told me she loved me.

when i rolled my eyes at her constantly,

maybe i was forgetting the times she gave up the master bedroom in the small, cramped house we had, painted it purple, and made it into my room.

when i thought that she was a hero,

maybe i was forgetting that my mother is human, and she is flawed, and she is as scared as i am.

when i thought that she was bothersome,

maybe i was forgetting that although she would sometimes feel weak, she would have to be a pillar for my weakness, and be a shadow of a tree for my vulnerabilities.

when i slammed the door of my bedroom,

maybe i was forgetting the time she remembered everything i wanted and eventually bought me everything.

when i screamed at her and told her i hated her,

maybe i was forgetting that i had made her cry one too many times and i hurt her with every word that was carelessly spat from my mouth.

IT’S BEEN FIFTEEN YEARS EVER SINCE,

and i still get irritated at her sometimes,

i still lock the door after a screaming match.

i still roll my eyes and spit sarcastic words at her.

i still throw tantrums and beg her to buy me unnecessary merchandise.

but i miss her.

i fucking miss her.

i miss her presence everyday when i wake up and she’s not next to me.

i miss her when i can’t smell the scent of delicious food wafting from the kitchen into my room.

i miss her when i have nobody to say goodbye to when i leave for school.

i miss her when i come back to my dorm and there’s nobody to excitedly tell stories of what happened to her and him.

i miss the sound of her laugh.

i miss her scent.

i miss her.

my mother is my world.

i want to be my mother.

because although she is nowhere near perfect,

she is the best damn person i know.

so next time i see her,

i won’t scream at her.

i won’t tell her i hate her.

i won’t slam the door in her face.

i’ll go up to her,

hug her,

and tell i her i love you.

and thank you 

thank you for being my mother.

*

– a confession to my mother; [MY MOTHER IS MY WORLD]

written Apr 24th, 2017

{ dear mom,

there are so many things i have said, and so many things i have not said.

and god, mom, i regret them both.

i love you. i love you. i love you. 

dear mom,

i love you.

i could say that a thousand times and it wouldn’t be enough.

i could also say i’m sorry, and it wouldn’t be enough.

but i’ll settle for i love you.

because although i’ve fucked up way too many times,

you keep forgiving me, and i don’t know why because if i think of the things i did, i really don’t deserve it.

but how do i apologize for all the things that i’ve not become?

every time i think of how you’ve put my needs in front of your needs,

i feel terrible.

because i’d never be able to do that.

and i’ve hurt you too many times,

when all you tried to do is love me and care for me, and watch out for me.

i’ve screamed things at you that i didn’t mean, mom.

and i believe there are only a certain amount of words one can tell another person,

and i’m scared that i’ve used them all to spit negative things in the spur of the moment that i never really meant in the bottom of my heart.

when i was upset and crying and broken,

you patched me up and stitched me back together again.

i’ll also settle for thank you

because although heroes don’t exist,

you do.

and guess what?

you’re so much better than any stupid hero running around with a pair of spandex boxers over tights.

i love you mom.

and also, thank you. }

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queen of underworlds

HADES

kiss her freckles,

chart them against the constellations

that have never been seen.

lips on hair

laced with roses.

was the journey to hell worth it?

PERSEPHONE

fingertips against skin,

map out the whole blueprint

of the underworld

lay a wreath of flowers

on the dark crown of his head.

can you see me in the darkness?

DEMETER

feel the cold winter breeze,

bare knees and skinning ankles

around the barren ground.

hear the cries of the famished,

see the withering wildflowers.

am i still a mother?

the martian and the ohioan

The Martian and the Ohioan sit side by side on a piece of wood, looking at little things that buzz around.

The Martian has never seen anything like it.

“What’s that?” The Martian asks.

The Ohioan casually shrugs. “Meatballs.”

The Martian and the Ohioan sit side by side on a comfortable object that looks like an upgraded piece of wood, looking at other little things that buzz around.

The Martian has seen something like that, but it looks different.

“Are those meatballs too?” The Martian asks.

The Ohioan looks at The Martian, and raises one eyebrow. “Entropy.”

The Martian and the Ohioan are in Dreamland, when they walk into an intimidating looking thing with hair coming from all over the place on their face.

The Martian starts palpitating profusely.

“What’s that?” The Martian asks. “Entropy?”

The Ohioan laughs, then stands a little taller. “That’s me.”

The Martian and the Ohioan keep walking, until they have to stop to let a hard shelled overly slow thing waddle across.

The Martian wants to kick it.

“Is that also you? Because of the slow talking?”

The Ohioan looks perpetually offended, as he says, “That’s me because I am smart.”

cracks in the mirror

the face in the thin reflective pane stares back at her.

there is a crack, and she cannot help but think that she lives in it.

lives in between the words of (i love you) and (please kill me).

between (stop) and (start).

and after a few shots of vodka

(one-two-three-four-five-six-seven – )

and after the lights became fuzzy,

and figures became silhouettes,

and after a few kisses

(one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi – )

the crack in the mirror starts to morph until

all she can see is not her but him.

what she really wanted to say was (stop) and (please don’t kill me)

but then it was too late.

the taxidermy of human emotions

I cannot love you.

They say that love is a preservation;

Hearts locked in specimen jars,

Brain dissected and limbs unscathed.

But the word love said out loud –

eternal, everlasting, endless,

is not an emotion.

Nor a preservation.

It is nothing but a cage made up of 26 steel bars.

It is a taxidermy of emotions locking hearts in specimen jars.

The taxidermy of human emotions

is clinical like a 10-blade making the first cut through skin,

Removal of organs, cutting through the cage made of twenty six steel bars

The smell of formaldehyde seeping into the latex gloves.

A lion is ephemeral but feared.

A taxidermied one is eternal but displayed.

I cannot say I love you;

I don’t love you.

a confession

  1. i hold two pieces

together; 2. at the same time i

tear them apart

how did you think that

you could heal his woulds when you

haven’t stopped bleeding?

 

he:

is a lightning rod
just waiting for bad weather;

rumble of thunder.

 

she:

rumble of thunder

just waiting for the flash that

struck her to the moon.

 

theory: if you aim

for the moon you can still land

among the gold stars

 

you see i wanted

to start this by saying that

i love you; too late

Introduction || Conclusion

The Signature workshop really helped me shape my view on writing. I was an adamant fiction writer: I wrote novels (long, long novels). That’s what I do. But I had so much fun writing poetry, expanding my horizons. I feel like I developed a sense of the kind of poetry I love: I love biological metaphors, dark, earthy feels. I love how I can expand on the imagery I write in my fiction. I also have tried to write many genres — romance, action, fantasy, mystery during this time. I really love writing any genre (save from horror) with a side romance plot (because it’s my guilty pleasure). I think I’m the most comfortable in writing action and romance. I drew inspiration from a lot of music and books. Some books that really inspired me were: An Ember in the Ashes, All the Rage, and It Ends With Us.

Since I write novels, I sometimes feel like the pacing of my plot in shorter pieces is either too fast or too slow. I think the love of poetry everyone has has influenced me to develop one of my on too.

I love exploring human relationships and connections because I think that is what makes us special. At the same time, I think that it is also interesting to look at what can go wrong in those relationships.

I think every piece of writing I write has a part of me. Apart from the non-fiction piece, a lot of the poetry I have reflects the insecurities I have in small amounts.

 

I really hope to go to a writing camp and explore my style and what parts of writing fits well for me in the summer. I’m very excited to take the novella course this winter so I can work on the planning and pacing of a book! I think for my Capstone project, I’ll keep working about the strings of human emotions and what makes us, well, us.

A run on the Mill Family Reunion

Mom’s always been the pillar of the family. The rock. She absorbs worries, and always is the one to reflect those into a calm. She’s got everything under her control. She never loses her temper; she never panics.

Until we have to go to my grandma’s house.

I’ve never really been a big fan of family reunions, especially on my Dad’s side. Most definitely on my dad’s side. I see my mom’s side enough to not actually have family reunions, but my family’s more distant to my paternal relatives, so family reunions become a thing. And in my point of view, they’re awkward, formal, and get-me-out-of-here. We usually meet Christmases and Chu-suk, a holiday that is known as the Mid-Autumn Festival here in the US.

Both times, Grandma expects Mom to cook the food.

Thus, when we go to her house, Grandma lounges around and does nothing while Mom works in the kitchen, moving and stirring multiple steaming pots at once. After all, she has to cook for nine people. There is a old Korean unspoken tradition of how mother-in-laws are supposed to haze (for a lack of better word) their daughter-in-laws. Sons were precious, so they would see if their daughter-in-laws were worthy of being wed to their sons by making them clean, cook, and transform in to Cinderella.

In the modern day world, however, this only happened on soap operas.

In my younger ages, I had always thought that Grandma had watched too many Korean soap operas for her own good. Dad and Mom had always told me that sometimes, what one watched on television could impact their behaviors and perspectives, even if it was incorrect. So I thought that maybe Grandma had just been led the wrong way by evil stepmothers.

Now, I was definitely, one hundred percent convinced that she just liked seeing people suffer.

My strong dislike for my grandmother isn’t unwarranted. In her defense, she’s never done wrong to me, but in my defense, she’s done everything wrong to my parents. She was the second highest paid voice actor in the entirety of Korea (also, see: rich as hell). Whenever I turned on the television and flipped channels, her voice would always be on one of them, having narrated countless of commercials, reality shows, and documentaries.

But you see, it was a known fact in our family that my grandmother loved money. She and money had an exclusive, no dating others relationship: when my parents had just gotten married, and my dad had no money because he was attending law school, my grandma had said that she had no money.

After telling my mom (who was pregnant at that time) that if Mom and Dad were really desperate to earn money, she should go work at a supermarket, my grandmother went on a cruise to Paris with the no money.

I’ve never really understood why she’s been this way. Dad told me that it was because her parents doted on her; they never made her lift a finger, and she took that for granted. And even at seventy, her selfish tendencies has yet to disappear.

However, whether her meanness is justified or not, she beckons me to sit down next to her and tell her about boarding school while my mom, alone, stays in the kitchen. Whenever she looks at Mom, condescendence is etched into her saccharine smile. I try to stay focused on Grandma’s mouth moving as she asks me something, but all I see is my mom, alone and vulnerable.

It breaks my heart.

I’ve always had this preconceived notion that Mom is invincible. You know, like the long lost Supergirl or some version of a comical Marvel hero. Mom’s title went like this: My mother, ultimate fixer upper, heart mender, owner of indestructible super powers. Whenever something is broken, or I’m convinced I’m broken and upset, Mom is the one on my number one speed dial. She’s always been my anti-kryptonite shield for the longest I can remember. Still is.

She’s always protected me; never vice-versa.

But this is the first time I notice that she too, can be vulnerable. This is the first time that I notice that my mother is feeling lonely and sad in a sea of familiar faces, that she can too need to be protected.

“Hey Mom,” I say brightly, getting up. “Why don’t you sit down and watch television with Dad? I’ll cook. Looks like you’re almost done.”

Mom frowns at me. I know what she’s thinking. That Grandma’s going to think that Mom put me up to this, and leading into a vicious cycle, she’s going to dislike Mom even more. In Grandma’s eyes, I’m the sweet granddaughter who has half of her DNA, and Mom is just an outsider. Always has been, even if my parents are almost at their twentieth anniversary.

And to me, that’s more than enough of a justifiable reason to hate family reunions.

Scraping the last remains of the food onto plates, I bring them up to the table.

I’m done seeing Mom being mistreated.

I slam the plates down.

“CHANGE MY WORLD FOR ME,”

she breathes in his ear.

“YOU ARE MY WORLD.”

he stares at her,

as jumbled words – incoherent and not fall out of her trembling lips.

“YOU ARE MY WORLD AND EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG.”

a tear runs down his cheek and she knows

she knows in the back of her mind

that it is not real

that it is not sincere

that those are just crocodile tears

that he will never change

but he is her world

and you simply cannot leave everything that you know

or you will be left with nothing

perhaps, she wonders,

nothingness will be better than now.

what does nothingness feel like?

but she cannot bear to leave him

he is her adrenaline.

he is the number of breaths she takes and the carbon dioxide she gives

his presence makes blood run through her veins;

he is her blood.
“BUT WHY IS EVERYTHING WRONG EVERYTHING RIGHT?”

her heart beats in such a foreign way that she cannot even understand its language.

he is the only person in the world that can speak it.

 

“YOU ARE MY WORLD”

he is the ribcage holding her lungs captive,

her skin plastered to the bone,

and she cannot bear to listen to the cracks and fissures of her voice.

 

“BUT, YOU ARE MY WORLD.”

he feels like a sound stuck in her throat.

 

“CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ME.”

he squeezes her into a mold so small

that she can hear the snaps of her bones;

ripping into the flesh

that he tore away a long time ago.

 

“YOU ARE MY WORLD.”

she feels too much,

and he doesn’t feel at all.

 

“CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ME.”

he takes her into his arms and tells her that he loves her

she has tried to love him

and she has tried to hate herself in return

she has tried to calm her racing heart,

the number of beats per second that her heart pounds

until she is sure that she is a hummingbird

with wings that are broken

but how can she be calm

if her body is merely a small souvenir shop

she goes when she misses nothingness?