some really wet paint

Seoul Station
(May 5th 2006)

Waiting for a bullet train I am heading to Pusan to see some Korean sea. It’s overcast, dirty, dusty, muggy. My shirt sticks to my body. It smells like shit and everyone is mumbling in staccato. Rush. Push. Bali bali. An old Korean lady (ajima) wanted money. When I refused she slapped my ass.

Pusan, Korea
(May 6th 2006)

“In the prosaic rooms of our later understanding . . .”
(Walter Benjamin)

I’m at the roulette wheel at Paradise Casino. I’ve never gambled with money. Heavy flooding outside and I have wet jeans, wet socks, and a wet head. I’m winning a few hundred at the wheel. I’ve many holes to fill. Turning language: turning tricks. I’m not holding, or folding. I’m letting go. From dry earth, modeled, stretched, torn, twisted my gods stretch out in rows upon rows of old teeth. A coarse shadow in the absence of draperies. Blood and fungus. I am building an illusion of choice.

Hot Sun Restaurant
(Gangnam, Korea May 17th 2006)

Baked chicken and Budweiser. Yellow raddish. My new shirt is sticking to my bones. This area is full of the young and fashionable. Haagen Daz and Starbucks. Polo and Abercrombie and Finch. How you dress is how you’re treated. You’re treated according to your branding. Ranked and filed. People swarm under paper lamps. My eyes cannot sit still.

Dental Clinic
(Banghak, North Seoul May 20th 2006)

“We penetrate the mystery only to the degree we recognize it in the everyday world.” (Walter Bejamin)

Today I am in a clean clinic with an aerial view of the dentist’s fingers. I am surrounded by mechanical devices. I’m becoming part of the furniture. The scraping and molding of teeth. The drilling. The clean smell of bones. This is not a spinning barber pole full of cheap hookers. Not a bridge with businessmen in power suits. This is not a room full of westernized noses and westernized eyelids (in Korea plastic surgery is the norm). Korea hangs by a single thread over a violent ocean. Korea is bali bali and not knowing what shadows snake the corners.