Wednesday, May 11, 2011


What a fun ride to the bus I had with Michael this morning as we discussed his graduation poem! He took me up on my suggestion to title it "Song of Myself", so that I discussed Walt Whitman's earlier Song which had inspired me to suggest the title. This is how poems most healthily live -- as part of everyday conversations instead of within coteries or academia or ___fill-in-the-blank.

Speaking of SONGs OF MOISELF, I am newly-featured on 8 RED GATES. I don't know the people behind this new site, which makes me more gratified that I came to their attention. I'm also happy that this isn't a purely literary site -- the site also focuses on athletes, artists, designers, organizations, performers, (political) leaders, singers, etc. from the "Asian Renaissance in the West." YEAH! I'm on the same site as speed skater and Dancing with the Stars champ Apolo Ohno! Or, how about Ai Wei Wei, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, the energetic dancers Quest Crew, politician Ben Cayetano, Sun Tzu (Sun Tzu? laugh), Kinki Kids (I highlight them without knowing who/what they are but loving their name) -- to paraphrase Whitman, they and you are all part of Moi.

Anyway, I seem to be the first up among the identified Writers (soon to come, too, would be Beau Sia, Eiji Yoshikawa and Soon Ok Lee) -- Moi sings HERE. And what's always interesting about strangers' response(s) to one's work is discovering which poem(s) moved them. I'm glad 8 RED GATES focused on "Sk[e]in" as it's a poem that risked being lost in the focus of its context, a haybun on a failed adoption (that's haybun which incorporates hay(na)ku, not haibun). By lifting the individual poem out of the haybun, 8 RED GATES was able to give the poem its individual due--by their read, the poem evokes "the qualities of silk, wind and song with just a few lines", which is far different from my initial intent of exploring how "skin" is comprised of "skeins" of different matters, pasts, contexts and so on. But that their read differs from authorial intent is of course fine -- and, in this case, wondrous. Thank you, Lori and 8 RED GATES. Here is the poem which I, too, am reconsidering anew:


silk stiffens wind

wind smolders silk

silk lengthens song

song sunders silk

silk stiffens song

song stroking wind

silk sunders wind

wind smolders song


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