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last section of Hermit Kingdom

the last 20 pages of Hermit Kingdom is a sequence. Here is part of the sequence:


leaving, you leave, leaving

the bags

shoved into compartments

restless legs on concrete

geese warping

time along the river

sijang sijang sijang

green cloud erodes the slug

the slug slimes the branches

branches I can’t keep track

of the branches

thoughts pinch and poke

pinch and poke

in the listless light

sijang sijang sijang

weatherchild be told

gravel occasionally in drains


sewers opening in monsoons

sijang sijang sijang

haul off the inheritance

in amenonia and dung

in ageless revolutions

of dirty little secrets


a burial with open eyes


at the ridge

of thumb and forefinger

to restore all the vitals

in the likely company

of life in the deathcell

tick tock tick tock

the microscopic brilliance

of passing into Jesus

frankly in folded notes

lights crisscross the sky

body in water

horizon that graces mercy

how can I reach this moment

after the sensory

it’s pleasant and understandable

short on prestige nibbling

on dried squid and yogourt

in the evening in

the littering leaves

with a red nose

on a windless night

with bicycles

and high pitched

brakes and turning


sijang sijang sijang


I was introduced to poetry when I needed something to believe in. I was introduced to sound through geographical seperation. In sepia cat claw still scratching at curtains. Ich muss mein Mund screiben. On the cracked trains of nations and where, and why, my lips have kissed. A kid on a float. I can’t resolve the proposals. Populations flock. In my head itself a picture of a head. Far-off murmur of surf and salt sifting through slatted blinds. I was introduced to the tyranny of sunlight at age 22 and wrote under the sanctimonious blink. Still searching for permission to live. . .





the weight


I told


truth or


to: small hammer






I told


the self, as we

have it, bumps

and swells

with the


of the heart, caustic

ribbon, cut

in the ice

through which

to fish, all

wet, in flight, drift

of plastic

bag against

the washing line


Not me, but me, in fire, stillness persists, pathos snows, under the scalp: hippocrite, hippocrasy, sick fight for rights


bbq on sultry Sunday with professors and soju-croon of nationalist ethos: Japan and China and America


snail’s breath within an inch in a man’s life the greatest events occur in blindsight


to Korea with dog’s underlip

on high from Lucifer

Poetics divorced from the tribe

burned form vanishing in light


making-out in the dug-out, stirrings underground, rumbling the groins, pushed

against the fence, how to swing a bat, tight grip come round the belly, frozen burrito at Steve’s, time cleaves, catategorical masturbated, reflections of a self-righteous decade, New Order, guns and ammo, lost accent, Madonna, chlorinated brain, Now-and-Laters.

Battle of the Boyne: Battle of the bulge

Thy kingdom blown: Thy kingdom drawn


in the dug-out












a bat

history and the end of history, it happened on a Friday, from grass to desert, fear in a basket rushed down the river, Billy Lundy and Billy Budd, orange sash and red slippers, squeel of the monkeys and squeel of money, Union Street and Arville Apartments, lowland Scot and E.T., little red ridding hood in a sea of lights, it takes a shape, Ian Rush and the Lone Rangers, 7-Eleven and 7-Eleven




gruff in the underbrush, unforgotten victory, u don’t drink our wine, they have blown up the herd

salty sausage and chips: a burger fit for a king

blue lights at K-Mart: red lights in the town square

bags – breached – a new movement

what’s left and what remains

ground in the mad and let grow – forever

feverish – dancing down

the years – imposter –

self posture – of the ghost

in the music

What lay “behind” the Korean madness? Itaewon as border. Konglish. The presence of troops heightened my exposure. A moving

back – below – a wandering – kingdom –

no name – but war

Korea hustles into the future. I purchased designer suits. My western entitlement is naked

Confuscian harmony between – get rich – and quick

what borders – the self – bores


desire – for dic-



leashed on




and behold he did tilt his head and stretch the space between skull and brain

and behold he did study diverse mysticisms and feel the everlasting omen

descending the sharp angles of a descending staircase

the message breaks smashes the curse

the sign of the nail

lightening enchanted white cloud

in the desert

drilled knees

a volunteer force &

a republic


Bulging and heavy

the day was mad mad

was the house was

the leaving of shirts

and undergarmets

and books stacked

by the airport toilet

scribbled on a small piece of paper

in English and taped to the stall door:

do not flush paper

thought was the silence of power

re-entry visa just in case

to the revolution yet to come

to the duality of tongues

to the lost soul

to the masculine-feminine interior of heaven

to the seafoam of another dirty hotel


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