Monday, December 29, 2008

John Donne

A Fever

O ! DO not die, for I shall hate
All women so, when thou art gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
When I remember thou wast one.
But yet thou canst not die, I know ;
To leave this world behind, is death ;
But when thou from this world wilt go,
The whole world vapours with thy breath.

Or if, when thou, the world's soul, go'st,
It stay, 'tis but thy carcase then ;
The fairest woman, but thy ghost,
But corrupt worms, the worthiest men.

O wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire,
That this her feaver might be it?

And yet she cannot waste by this,
Nor long bear this torturing wrong,
For more corruption needful is,
To fuel such a fever long.

These burning fits but meteors be,
Whose matter in thee is soon spent ;
Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee,
Are unchangeable firmament.

Yet 'twas of my mind, seizing thee,
Though it in thee cannot perséver ;
For I had rather owner be
Of thee one hour, than all else ever.

Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 20-21.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i love my new camera.

© Sujey Lee

Charles Baudelaire

I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago

I love the naked ages long ago
When statues were gilded by Apollo,
When men and women of agility
Could play without lies and anxiety,
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines,
As it exercised its noble machine.
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then,
Would not place on her daughters a burden,
But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people,
Would feed creation from her brown nipples.
Men, elegant and strong, would have the right
To be proud to have beauty named their king;
Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking,
Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite!
The Poet today, when he would convey
This native grandeur, would not be swept away
By man free and woman natural,
But would feel darkness envelop his soul
Before this black tableau full of loathing.
O malformed monsters crying for clothing!
O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise!
O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size,
Children that the god of the Useful swaths
In the language of bronze and brass!
And women, alas! You shadow your heredity,
You gnaw nourishment from debauchery,
A virgin holds maternal lechery
And all the horrors of fecundity!

We have, it is true, corrupt nations,
Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients:
Faces that gnaw through the heart's cankers,
And talk with the cool beauty of languor;
But these inventions of our backward muses
Are never hindered in their morbid uses
Of the old for profound homage to youth,
—To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth,
To the eye as limpid as the water current,
To spread out over all, insouciant
Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers,
Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.

- Charles Baudelaire

April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stephen Dunn

The Vanishings

One day it will vanish,
how you felt when you were overwhelmed
by her, soaping each other in the shower,
or when you heard the news
of his death, there in the T-Bone diner
on Queens Boulevard amid the shouts
of short-order cooks, Armenian, oblivious.
One day one thing and then a dear other
will blur and though they won't be lost
they won't mean as much,
that motorcycle ride on the dirt road
to the deserted beach near Cadiz,
the Guardia mistaking you for a drug-runner,
his machine gun in your belly—
already history now, merely your history,
which means everything to you.
You strain to bring back
your mother's face and full body
before her illness, the arc and tenor
of family dinners, the mysteries
of radio, and Charlie Collins,
eight years old, inviting you
to his house to see the largest turd
that had ever come from him, unflushed.
One day there'll be almost nothing
except what you've written down,
then only what you've written down well,
then little of that.
The march on Washington in '68
where you hoped to change the world
and meet beautiful, sensitive women
is choreography now, cops on horses,
everyone backing off, stepping forward.
The exam you stole and put back unseen
has become one of your stories,
overtold, tainted with charm.
All of it, anyway, will go the way of icebergs
come summer, the small chunks floating
in the Adriatic until they're only water,
pure, and someone taking sad pride
that he can swim in it, numbly.
For you, though, loss, almost painless,
that Senior Prom at the Latin Quarter—
Count Basie and Sarah Vaughan, and you
just interested in your date's cleavage
and staying out all night at Jones Beach,
the small dune fires fueled by driftwood.
You can't remember a riff or a song,
and your date's a woman now, married,
has had sex as you have
some few thousand times, good sex
and forgettable sex, even boring sex,
oh you never could have imagined
back then with the waves crashing
what the body could erase.
It's vanishing as you speak, the soul-grit,
the story-fodder,
everything you retrieve is your past,
everything you let go
goes to memory's out-box, open on all sides,
in cahoots with thin air.
The jobs you didn't get vanish like scabs.
Her good-bye, causing the phone to slip
from your hand, doesn't hurt anymore,
too much doesn't hurt anymore,
not even that hint of your father, ghost-thumping
on your roof in Spain, hurts anymore.
You understand and therefore hate
because you hate the passivity of understanding
that your worst rage and finest
private gesture will flatten and collapse
into history, become invisible
like defeats inside houses. Then something happens
(it is happening) which won't vanish fast enough,
your voice fails, chokes to silence;
hurt (how could you have forgotten?) hurts.
Every other truth in the world, out of respect,
slides over, makes room for its superior.

© Sujeylee

I first read this poem when I was 15, and my recollection of it was very different from what it actually is. Today was the first time I have read it since. Today I understand it wholly. Today it fits very completely.

And last night I found myself writing something so similar it is scary in two parts. One: my thoughts are never going to be original thoughts never thought of before, or feelings never felt. We are all, in sentiment an appropriation of well everyone before us. It has all been done before.... and so on.
Two: Full circle. A validation of thoughts I had been thinking. It is always such weight of the heart to find something that you can fully relate to. The way the universe works is a tremendous laugh.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

tiny feet dreams

you are a silly girl with silly lil tiny nothing dreams

and all this will ever be is a trail of shells leading to a gaping hole somewhere far out in space where no one would want to be

you feel it deep and creeping along the bottoms of your feet at night
a substance


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


URGENT: need your help - Impeachment Petition Deadline Midnight Wednesday

Dear Friends,

Because of your vigilance and support for democracy, last Friday was a day of singular importance in Washington. The House Judiciary Committee met to discuss the Bush Administration's abuse of executive power and for the first time the case for Impeachment was discussed in front of a Congressional committee, in depth, at length and with authority.

Twenty members of the Judiciary Committee attended the six-hour hearing, during which twelve witnesses, including myself and four members of Congress testified. In this hearing I called for the Impeachment of the President for misrepresenting a case for war.

This week I will present members of Congress with Impeachment petitions submitted by those of you who have signed the on-line impeachment form.

I need your help.
In the next few days we must redouble our efforts to get more signatures on the online petition at kucinich. us.
I'm asking each of you to please contact at least ten of your friends to go to www. Kucinich. us now and sign the Impeachment petition that will be delivered by me. Wednesday night is the deadline.

Please send out an email to all your friends and family, post this link, http://kucinich. us to your blogs and make this effort count as this is the only petition that I will deliver.

Sign the petition. Thank you so very much.

Signature - Dennis J Kucinich


Paid for by the Re-Elect Congressman Kucinich Committee

PO Box 110475 | Cleveland | OH | 44111 | 216-252-9000

if not for yourselves. do it for my cat

Thursday, July 10, 2008

life in berlin

© Sujey Lee

closer to home.

currently working on:
a collection of poetry and prose to finally publish.

wish me luck.

tune in.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Charles Bukowski and Korea.

It has been almost a month since I have visited this site. I have been away in Seoul. Above is a picture I took in the Changdeok Palace/Biwon Garden.

I miss it there. But in order to reconnect with my sick life in Los Angeles, I did what any self-deprecating lush would do; I picked up Charles Bukowski's, Tales of Ordinary Madness.

A lot of the stories have references to my neighborhood, making it an especially special read. And although it is seemingly misogynist, drunken, offensive, male hetero gab, I somehow am delighted in having some sort of obscure relation to the pieces. It is Bukowski and I love it. The stories are not very long;consisting of around 4 pages each.(so far) So I have been bouncing back and fourth, cutting up my main read with some of these stories.

and in the spirit of things a little poem:

An Almost Made Up Poem

I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny
blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny
they are small, and the fountain is in France
where you wrote me that last letter and
I answered and never heard from you again.
you used to write insane poems about
ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you
knew famous artists and most of them
were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right,
go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous
because we’ never met. we got close once in
New Orleans, one half block, but never met, never
touched. so you went with the famous and wrote
about the famous, and, of course, what you found out
is that the famous are worried about
their fame –– not the beautiful young girl in bed
with them, who gives them that, and then awakens
in the morning to write upper case poems about
ANGELS AND GOD. we know God is dead, they’ told
us, but listening to you I wasn’ sure. maybe
it was the upper case. you were one of the
best female poets and I told the publishers,
editors, “ her, print her, she’ mad but she’
magic. there’ no lie in her fire.” I loved you
like a man loves a woman he never touches, only
writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help. you said
you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and
the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying
bench every night and wept for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide
3 or 4 months after it happened. if I had met you
I would probably have been unfair to you or you
to me. it was best like this.

Charles Bukowski

August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jean Cocteau

"A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses."
Jean Cocteau
July 5, 1889 –October 11, 1963

Preamble (A Rough Draft For An Ars Poetica)

by Jean Cocteau


A rough draft
for an ars poetica

. . . . . . .

Let's get our dreams unstuck

The grain of rye
free from the prattle of grass
et loin de arbres orateurs




It will sprout

But forget about
the rustic festivities

For the explosive word
falls harmlessly
eternal through
the compact generations

and except for you


its sweet-scented dynamite

I discard eloquence
the empty sail
and the swollen sail
which cause the ship
to lose her course

My ink nicks
and there

and there

and there


deep poetry

The mirror-paneled wardrobe
washing down ice-floes
the little eskimo girl

in a heap
of moist negroes
her nose was
against the window-pane
of dreary Christmases

A white bear
adorned with chromatic moire

dries himself in the midnight sun


The huge luxury item

Slowly founders
all its lights aglow

and so
sinks the evening-dress ball
into the thousand mirrors
of the palace hotel

And now
it is I

the thin Columbus of phenomena
in the front
of a mirror-paneled wardrobe
full of linen
and locking with a key

The obstinate miner
of the void
his fertile mine

the potential in the rough
glitters there
mingling with its white rock

princess of the mad sleep
listen to my horn
and my pack of hounds

I deliver you
from the forest
where we came upon the spell

Here we are
by the pen
one with the other
on the page

Isles sobs of Ariadne

dragging along
Aridnes seals

for I betray you my fair stanzas
run and awaken

I plan no architecture

like you Beethoven

like you
numberless old man

born everywhere

I elaborate
in the prairies of inner

and the work of the mission
and the poem of the work
and the stanza of the poem
and the group of the stanza
and the words of the group
and the letters of the word
and the least
loop of the letters

it's your foot
of attentive satin
that I place in position
tightrope walker
sucked up by the void

to the left to the right
the god gives a shake
and I walk
towards the other side
with infinite precaution

Above is a one of Cocteau's erotic drawings.

And below we have another one of the many forms of art, Jean Cocteau has indulged in. Here is the only decent clip I could find of his first film, Le Sang D'un Poete, or Blood of a Poet. Filmed in 1930, please CLICK HERE for a bit more information on the film.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Suicidal Poets

Word Use in the Poetry of Suicidal and Nonsuicidal Poets

Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, MA and James W. Pennebaker, PhD

Suicide rates are much higher among poets than among authors of other literary forms as well as the general population (1). This phenomenon has variously been attributed to the types of writers who are naturally drawn to poetry as well as to the features of poetry itself. For example, there is retrospective evidence to suggest that many suicidal poets have suffered from some form of depressive disorder throughout their lives (1, 2). Poetry, it has been argued, may be a particularly appealing medium by which to cope with the unpredictable episodes of mood swings.

Full Article

or for an abbreviated version:

Scary Place

sometimes getting straight to the point is best.

In honor of all these suicidal poets. lets take a look at some of their works.

Suicide Off Egg Rock
Sylvia Plath

Behind him the hotdogs split and drizzled
On the public grills, and the ochreous salt flats,
Gas tanks, factory stacks- that landscape
Of imperfections his bowels were part of-
Rippled and pulsed in the glassy updraught.
Sun struck the water like a damnation.
No pit of shadow to crawl into,
And his blood beating the old tattoo
I am, I am, I am. Children
Were squealing where combers broke and the spindrift
Raveled wind-ripped from the crest of the wave.
A mongrel working his legs to a gallop
Hustled a gull flock to flap off the sandspit.

He smoldered, as if stone-deaf, blindfold,
His body beached with the sea's garbage,
A machine to breathe and beat forever.
Flies filing in through a dead skate's eyehole
Buzzed and assailed the vaulted brainchamber.
The words in his book wormed off the pages.
Everything glittered like blank paper.

Everything shrank in the sun's corrosive
Ray but Egg Rock on the blue wastage.
He heard when he walked into the water

The forgetful surf creaming on those ledges.

October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963

Suicide Note
Anne Sexton

"You speak to me of narcissism but I reply that it is
a matter of my life" - Artaud

"At this time let me somehow bequeath all the leftovers
to my daughters and their daughters" - Anonymous

despite the worms talking to
the mare's hoof in the field;
despite the season of young girls
dropping their blood;
better somehow
to drop myself quickly
into an old room.
Better (someone said)
not to be born
and far better
not to be born twice
at thirteen
where the boardinghouse,
each year a bedroom,
caught fire.

Dear friend,
I will have to sink with hundreds of others
on a dumbwaiter into hell.
I will be a light thing.
I will enter death
like someone's lost optical lens.
Life is half enlarged.
The fish and owls are fierce today.
Life tilts backward and forward.
Even the wasps cannot find my eyes.

eyes that were immediate once.
Eyes that have been truly awake,
eyes that told the whole story—
poor dumb animals.
Eyes that were pierced,
little nail heads,
light blue gunshots.

And once with
a mouth like a cup,
clay colored or blood colored,
open like the breakwater
for the lost ocean
and open like the noose
for the first head.

Once upon a time
my hunger was for Jesus.
O my hunger! My hunger!
Before he grew old
he rode calmly into Jerusalem
in search of death.

This time
I certainly
do not ask for understanding
and yet I hope everyone else
will turn their heads when an unrehearsed fish jumps
on the surface of Echo Lake;
when moonlight,
its bass note turned up loud,
hurts some building in Boston,
when the truly beautiful lie together.
I think of this, surely,
and would think of it far longer
if I were not… if I were not
at that old fire.

I could admit
that I am only a coward
crying me me me
and not mention the little gnats, the moths,
forced by circumstance
to suck on the electric bulb.
But surely you know that everyone has a death,
his own death,
waiting for him.
So I will go now
without old age or disease,
wildly but accurately,
knowing my best route,
carried by that toy donkey I rode all these years,
never asking, “Where are we going?”
We were riding (if I'd only known)
to this.

Dear friend,
please do not think
that I visualize guitars playing
or my father arching his bone.
I do not even expect my mother's mouth.
I know that I have died before—
once in November, once in June.
How strange to choose June again,
so concrete with its green breasts and bellies.
Of course guitars will not play!
The snakes will certainly not notice.
New York City will not mind.
At night the bats will beat on the trees,
knowing it all,
seeing what they sensed all day.

November 9, 1928—October 4, 1974

Love And Death
Sara Teasdale

Shall we, too, rise forgetful from our sleep,
And shall my soul that lies within your hand
Remember nothing, as the blowing sand
Forgets the palm where long blue shadows creep
When winds along the darkened desert sweep?

Or would it still remember, tho' it spanned
A thousand heavens, while the planets fanned
The vacant ether with their voices deep?
Soul of my soul, no word shall be forgot,
Nor yet alone, beloved, shall we see

The desolation of extinguished suns,
Nor fear the void wherethro' our planet runs,
For still together shall we go and not
Fare forth alone to front eternity.

August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933

Untitled (English translation as well as Original in Russian)
Marina Tsvetaeva

I’ll conquer you from any land and from any sky,
For the forest is my cradle and it’s where I’ll die,
Because, here, on this earth, I stand - only on one foot,
And because I’ll sing for you - like no other could.

I’ll conquer you from any epoch, from any night,
From any golden banner, from any sword in a fight,
I’ll chase the dogs off the porch, toss away the key
For, in this night, a dog is less loyal than me.

I’ll conquer you from all others and from that one too,
I’ll be no one’s wife, - you’ll be no one’s groom.
I’ll win the last battle, - hush! - and pull you aside
From the one, with whom, Jacob fought all night.

Till I cross my hands on your chest, - I’m cursed! -
And until that day, you’ll remain - just yours,
This is why your wings aim for the upper sky, -
For the world’s your cradle and it’s where you’ll die!

Я тебя отвоюю у всех земель, у всех небес,
Оттого что лес -- моя колыбель, и могила -- лес,
Оттого что я на земле стою -- лишь одной ногой,
Оттого что я тебе спою -- как никто другой.

Я тебя отвоюю у всех времен, у всех ночей,
У всех золотых знамен, у всех мечей,
Я ключи закину и псов прогоню с крыльца --
Оттого что в земной ночи я вернее пса.

Я тебя отвоюю у всех других -- у той, одной,
Ты не будешь ничей жених, я -- ничьей женой,
И в последнем споре возьму тебя -- замолчи! --
У того, с которым Иаков стоял в ночи.

Но пока тебе не скрещу на груди персты --
О проклятие! -- у тебя остаешься -- ты:
Два крыла твои, нацеленные в эфир, --
Оттого что мир -- твоя колыбель, и могила -- мир!

Translation by Andrey Kneller

8 October 1892 – 31 August 1941

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And finally Brautigan

My Tribute to Richard Brautigan
Dear Colby,

Once in San Francisco our breath was dripping of whiskey. I found myself watching you put on a record, while reading me Richard Brautigan poems. I was so very happy.
Affection is vibrant and endless, of course.

Thank you.


now for some of my favorite poems.

The Moon Versus Us Ever Sleeping Together Again
by Richard Brautigan

I sit here, an arch-villain of romance,
thinking about you. Gee, I'm sorry
I made you unhappy, but there was nothing
I could do about it because I have to be free.
Perhaps everything would have been different
if you had stayed at the table or asked me
to go out with you to look at the moon,
instead of getting up and leaving me alone with

Boo, Forever
by Richard Brautigan

Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
I'm haunted by all
the space that I
will live without

by Richard Brautigan

Do you think of me
as often
as I think
of you?

Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting To Rain

by Richard Brautigan

Oh, Marcia,
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsicord.
I want high school report cards
to look like this:

Playing with Gentle Glass Things

Computer Magic

Writing Letters to Those You Love

Finding out about Fish

Marcia's Long Blonde Beauty

The Galilee Hitch-Hiker
by Richard Brautigan

The Galilee Hitch-Hiker
Part 1

Baudelaire was
driving a Model A
across Galilee.
He picked up a
hitch-hiker named
Jesus who had
been standing among
a school of fish,
feeding them
pieces of bread.
“Where are you
going?” asked
Jesus, getting
into the front
“Anywhere, anywhere
out of this world!”
“I’ll go with you
as far as
said Jesus.
“I have a
at the carnival
there, and I
must not be

The American Hotel
Part 2

Baudelaire was sitting
in a doorway with a wino
on San Fransisco’s skid row.
The wino was a million
years old and could remember
Baudelaire and the wino
were drinking Petri Muscatel.
“One must always be drunk,”
said Baudelaire.
“I live in the American Hotel,”
said the wino. “And I can
remember dinosaurs.”
“Be you drunken ceaselessly,”
said Baudelaire.

Part 3

Baudelaire used to come
to our house and watch
me grind coffee.
That was in 1939
and we lived in the slums
of Tacoma.
My mother would put
the coffee beans in the grinder.
I was a child
and would turn the handle,
pretending that it was
a hurdy-gurdy,
and Baudelaire would pretend
that he was a monkey,
hopping up and down
and holding out
a tin cup.

The Flowerburgers
Part 4

Baudelaire opened
up a hamburger stand
in San Fransisco,
but he put flowers
between the buns.
People would come in
and say, “Give me a
hamburger with plenty
of onions on it.”
Baudelaire would give
them a flowerburger
instead and the people
would say, “What kind
of a hamburger stand
is this?”

The Hour of Eternity
Part 5

“The Chinese
read the time
in the eyes
of cats,”
said Baudelaire
and went into
a jewelry store
on Market Street.
He came out
a few moments
later carrying
a twenty-one
jewel Siamese
cat that he
wore on the
end of a
golden chain.

Salvador Dali
Part 6

“Are you
or aren’t you
going to eat
your soup,
you bloody odd
cloud merchant?”
Jeanne Duval
hitting Baudelaire
on the back
as he sat
out the window.
Baudelaire was
Then he laughed
like hell,
waving his spoon
in the air
like a wand
changing the room
into a painting
by Salvador
Dali, changing
the room
into a painting
by Van Gogh.

A Baseball Game
Part 7

Baudelaire went
to a baseball game
and bought a hot dog
and lit up a pipe
of opium.
The New York Yankees
were playing
the Detroit Tigers.
In the fourth inning
an angel committed
suicide by jumping
off a low cloud.
The angel landed
on second base,
causing the
whole infield
to crack like
a huge mirror.
The game was
called on
account of

Insane Asylum
Part 8

Baudelaire went
to the insane asylum
disguised as a
He stayed there
for two months
and when he left,
the insane asylum
loved him so much
that it followed
him all over
and Baudelaire
laughed when the
insane asylum
rubbed itself
up against his
leg like a
strange cat.

My Insect Funeral
Part 9

When I was a child
I had a graveyard
where I buried insects
and dead birds under
a rose tree.
I would bury the insects
in tin foil and match boxes.
I would bury the birds
in pieces of red cloth.
It was all very sad
and I would cry
as I scooped the dirt
into their small graves
with a spoon.
Baudelaire would come
and join in
my insect funerals,
saying little prayers
the size of
dead birds.

For more information and selected works, please click and enjoy: Richard Brautigan

January 30, 1935 – September 14, 1984

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Getting Personal

Postcard above taken from: PostSecret.

I frequent this blog because it is clever. sweet and makes me smile. This postcard in particular hit a little close. It is my favorite.
It's personal.

I connected with whoever wrote it. I would have not made a connection if I had not read it online. I often argue that I wish the internet never existed. Today I found out why. I never really knew how to properly express my thoughts when presented with an argument. A reoccurring trouble of mine. The other end almost always would make one of their main points about "connecting" Connecting to who exactly? My final statement is this: if a computer screen is what it means to connect or make connections then we are more disconnected then ever.

random "personal" thought.

and further more:

new notebooks. Written by Sujeylee

a new clean sheet
crisp and blank
it smells untouched
then it begins with tiny flutters of vacant orifices and sinking in we say: I have nothing to offer being me (diminutive silent observer hit with gasping unknowns)

i do believe that hope is a series of sounds creeping into ears at night
causing stirs in slumber airs

shift and struggle

writhing various body parts remind us we are still attached and alive
it opens and it shuts and continues until we are unable to tell the difference
sweeping floods, chilled waters dreamt up by something fleeting
too simple
we are not attached

i am saying this because i do not feel it
it is always with excuses, explanations and glances something we are suppose to believe, yet completely out of physical grasp
full of simple banality (this i know, but it does not make it untrue)
a constant battle between the generations
all i see are muted colors, desperation floating into trees like ghosts and my sallow reflection thinking i can make it perfect with time

another false concept to slide around
i resent it because it feels like waiting

wading in its tricky comforts. wait and breath. another reminder. i am indeed attached.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A BOOK CLUB and Jeanette Winterson

Consisting of just me.

I am currently reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jeanette Winterson. Her new book, The Stone Gods is a cross into dystopian Sci-Fi, in 4 parts. Or maybe 4 parts. You see everything is connected to the next, past and future. A strong theme in all her novels is love and this novel does not lack the theme, but brings new light into the way we love, who or what we love, how we teach love and how love is learned. Most importantly the survival of "us" in connection to said theme and the planet/planets we inhabit. It is a very obvious social commentary and an interplanetary love story. Maybe too obvious. I am one for subtlety and perhaps that is why I am so torn reading this book. Does it measure up or does she fall short? I really do not know. I can not say its unlike anything I have read before, but the concept is eternally interesting of course; especially historical and present. My assessments are incomplete, but if I did have a book club I would suggest picking it up. It is worth it. That I do know. Oh and did i mention it is very queer? PLUS.

Below is an excerpt of, The Stone Gods.

The Stone Gods - extract

This new world weighs a yatto-gram.
But everything is trial-size; tread-on-me tiny or blurred-out-of-focus huge. There are leaves that have grown as big as cities, and there are birds that nest in cockleshells. On the white sand there are long-toed clawprints deep as nightmares, and there are rock pools in hand-hollows finned by invisible fish.
Trees like skyscrapers, and housing as many. Grass the height of hedges, nuts the swell of pumpkins. Sardines that would take two men to land them. Eggs, pale-blue-shelled, each the weight of a breaking universe.
And, underneath, mushrooms soft and small as a mouse ear. A crack like a cut, and inside a million million microbes wondering what to do next. Spores that wait for the wind and never look back.
Moss that is concentrating on being green.

A man pushes forward with a microphone – 'And is there oxygen?' Yes, there is. 'And fresh water?' Abundant. 'And no pollution?' None. Are there minerals? Is there gold? What's the weather like? Does it rain a lot? Has anyone tried the fish? Are there any humans? No, there are not any humans. Any intelligent life at all?
Depends what you mean by intelligent. There is something there, yes, and it's very big and very good at its job.
A picture of a scaly-coated monster with metal-plated jaws appears on the overhead screen. The crowd shrieks and swoons. No! Yes! No! Yes!
The most efficient killing machine ever invented before gunpowder. Not bad for a thing with a body the size of a stadium and a brain the size of a jam-jar.

I am here today to answer questions: 'The lady in pink –'
'Are these monsters we can see vegetarian?'
'Ma'am, would you be vegetarian with teeth like that?'
It's the wrong answer. I am here to reassure. A scientist steps forward. That's better. Scientists are automatically reassuring.
This is a very exciting, and very reassuring, day.

We are here today to witness the chance of a lifetime. The chance of many lifetimes. The best chance we have had since life began. We are running out of planet and we have found a new one. Through all the bright-formed rocks that jewel the sky, we searched until we found the one we will call home. We're moving on, that's all. Everyone has to do that some time or other, sooner or later, it's only natural.

My name is Billie Crusoe.
'Excuse me, is your name Billie Crusoe?'
'That's me.'
'From Enhancement Services?'
'Yes, Every Day a New Day.' (As we say in Enhancement.)
'Can you tell viewers how the new planet will affect their lives?'
'Yes, I can. The new planet offers us the opportunity to do things differently. We've had a lot of brilliant successes here on Orbus – well, we are the success story of the universe, aren't we? I mean to say, no other planet hosts human life.'
The interviewer nods and smiles vigorously.
'But we have taken a few wrong turnings. Made a few mistakes. We have limited natural resources at our disposal, and a rising population that is by no means in agreement as to how our world as a whole should share out these remaining resources. Conflict is likely. A new planet means that we can begin to redistribute ourselves. It will mean a better quality of life for everyone – the ones who leave, and the ones who stay.'
'So a win-win situation?'
'That's right, winning numbers all the way.'

Through the golden arches that are the city gates, the President of the Central Power is arriving. The arches stand like angels, their wings folded back against the lesser lights of the skyline.
The laser-gates, which look so solid, appear and disappear, like the wall that rings the city, a visible and invisible sign of progress and power.
Look in the light – the slight shimmer is their long energy. They are the aura of the city: emblem and warning, its halo and shield.
The President's cavalcade has reached the Circle. Flags, carpets, flowers, flunkeys, hitmen, pressmen, frontmen, back-up, support, medics, techies, crew, rig, lights, sound, real-time, archive, relay, vox-pop, popcorn, polish, makeup, dust-down, ready, green – go.

The President is making a speech. The Central Power has funded the space mission for hundreds of years, and it is understood that any discoveries belong to us. He compares us to the men who found the Indies, the Americas, the Arctic Circle; he becomes emotional, he reaches for a line of poetry. For a moment, there it is, in handwriting that nobody can read, slanting under the images of Planet Blue – She is all States, all Princes I...

The President is making a speech.
Unique moment for mankind ... unrivalled opportunity ... war averted ... summit planned between the Central Power, Eastern Caliphate, and our friends in the SinoMosco Pact. Peaceful compromise promised. New planets for old. Full pictures and information across the twenty-two geo-cities of the Central Power by tomorrow morning. New colonizing mission being made ready. Monsters will be humanely destroyed, with the possible exception of scientific capture of one or two types for the Zooeum.
Into the Circle come the spacemen themselves, in shiny titanium pressure suits, oversize helmets under their arms. These are men glamorous as comets, trailing fame in fire-tails.
There's a robot with them – well, a Robo sapiens, incredibly sexy, with that look of regret they all have before they are dismantled. It's policy; all information-sensitive robots are dismantled after mission, so that their data cannot be accessed by hostile forces. She's been across the universe, and now she's going to the recycling unit. The great thing about robots, even these Robo sapiens, is that nobody feels sorry for them. They are only machines.
She stands there, while the silver-suited saviours shake the President's hand. She's going to tell us all about the chemical and mineral composition of the new planet, its atmospheric readings, its possible history and potential evolution. Then, when the public part is done, she'll go backstage, transfer all her data, and open her power cells until her last robot flicker.
The End.
It's a kind of suicide, a kind of bleeding to death, but they show no emotion because emotions are not part of their programming.
Amazing to look so convincing and be nothing but silicon and a circuit-board.
She glances over to the Support Stand and catches my eye. I can't help blushing. I think she has read my mind. They can do that.

This is a great day for science. The last hundred years have been hell. The doomsters and the environmentalists kept telling us we were as good as dead and, hey presto, not only do we find a new planet, but it is perfect for new life. This time, we'll be more careful. This time we will learn from our mistakes. The new planet will be home to the universe's first advanced civilization. It will be a democracy – because whatever we say in public, the Eastern Caliphate isn't going to be allowed within a yatto-mile of the place. We'll shoot 'em down before they land. No, we won't shoot them down, because the President of the Central Power has just announced a new world programme of No War. We will not shoot down the Eastern Caliphate, we will robustly repel them.
The way the thinking is going in private, we'll leave this run-down rotting planet to the Caliphate and the SinoMosco Pact, and they can bomb each other to paste while the peace-loving folks of the Central Power ship civilization to the new world.

The new world – El Dorado, Atlantis, the Gold Coast, Newfoundland, Plymouth Rock, Rapanaui, Utopia, Planet Blue. Chanc'd upon, spied through a glass darkly, drunken stories strapped to a barrel of rum, shipwreck, a Bible Compass, a giant fish led us there, a storm whirled us to this isle. In the wilderness of space, we found...

Taken from
To read the full excerpt provided by Jeanette Winterson, please go to

Above: Jeanette Winterson
Photo taken from:

In 1987 Jeanette Winterson wrote The Passion, which is a must read. I say this because I truly believe with each little dark and dusty crevice of my heart, that everyone MUST read this book. It definitely had a very lasting affect on parts of my being I neglected and had forgotten. Its beauty is absolute.

The story is cut into four sections. Another theme. These sections seemingly distinct in the first two parts then intertwine together to create a marveling story about survival, war, love, risk and loss. The first section is the story of Henri, a young Frenchman sent to fight in the Napoleonic wars. The Second section is the story of Villanelle, a cross-dressing, queer Venetian woman, born with webbed feet and with a love for a woman who keeps Villanelle's heart in a jar. Henri and Villanelle meet in Russia and from there the story twists around the pair, switches narrative, connects and disconnects.

An Excerpt from The Passion, By Jeanette Winterson:

Our companion loosed her laces but kept her boots on, and seeing my surprise at forgoing this unexpected luxury said, 'My father was a boatman. Boatmen do not take off their boots.' We were silent, either out of respect for her customs or sheer exhaustion, but it was she who offered to tell us her story if we chose to listen.

'A fire and a tale,' said Patrick. 'Now all we need is a drop of something hot,' and he fathomed from the bottom of his unfathomable pockets another stoppered jar of evil spirit.

This was her story.

I have always been a gambler. It's a skill that comes naturally to me like thieving and loving. What I didn't know by instinct I picked up from working the Casino, from watching others play and learning what it is that people value and therefore what it is they will risk. I learned how to put a challenge in such a way as to make it irresistible. We gamble with the hope of winning. But it's the thought of what we might lose that excites us.

How you play is a temperamental thing; cards, dice, dominoes, jacks, such preferences are frills merely. All gamblers sweat. I come from the city of chances, where everything is possible but where everything has a price. In this city great fortunes are won and lost overnight. It has always been so. Ships that carry silk and spices sink, the servant betrays the master, the secret is out and the bell tolls another accidental death. But penniless adventurers have always been welcome here too, they are good luck and very often their good luck rubs off on themselves. Some who come on foot leave on horseback and others who trumpeted their estate beg on the Rialto. It has always been so.

The astute gambler always keeps something back, something to play with another time; a pocket watch, a hunting dog. But the Devil's gambler keeps back something precious, something to gamble with only once in a lifetime. Behind the secret panel he keeps it, the valuable, fabulous thing that no one suspects he has.

I knew a man like that; not a drunkard sniffing after every wager nor an addict stripping the clothes off his back rather than go home. A thoughtful man who they say had trade with gold and death. He lost heavily, as gamblers do; he won surprisingly, as gamblers do, but he never showed much emotion, never led me to suspect that much important was at stake. A hobbyist, I thought, dismissing him. You see, I like passion, I like to be among the desperate.

I was wrong to dismiss him. He was waiting for the wager that would seduce him into risking what he valued. He was a true gambler, he was prepared to risk the valuable, fabulous thing but not for a dog or a cock or the casual dice.

On a quiet evening, when the tables were half empty and the domino sets lay in their boxes, he was there, wandering, fluttering, drinking and flirting.

I was bored.

Then a man came into the room, not one of our regulars, not one any of us knew, and after a few half-hearted games of chance he spied this figure and engaged him in conversation. They talked for upwards of half an hour and so intently that we thought they must be old friends and lost our curiosity in the assumption of habit. But the rich man with his strangely bowed companion by his side asked leave to make an announcement, a most remarkable wager, and we cleared the central floor and let him speak.

It seemed that his companion, this stranger, had come from the wastes of the Levant, where exotic lizards breed and all is unusual. In his country, no man bothered with paltry fortunes at the gaming table, they played for higher stakes.

A life.

The wager was a life. The winner should take the life of the loser in whatsoever way he chose. However slowly he chose, with whatever instruments he chose. What was certain was that only one life would be spared.

Taken from:
For a full excerpt, please visit :

Thursday, May 8, 2008

For Rebecca Marie Susan Ohlson

dances are rituals

shoulders are hunched forward
bodies slumped. its a desperate move with desperate ties to something dark and unseen
just a feeling
the dragging of calloused filthy feet. it sounds like death but it feels much deeper
with two tiny gold strings attached to brittle pelvises bumping into one another while
tiny stones scurry to make up a furious, vengeful sky
it screams silence and dust pushes out of various cavities
its what we call a body
temporary, chilled and crying for something more than the tangible
the spaces between the stars, or cells
try within and between the dirt trapped between finger and nail
a convulsive laugh breaks up the circles
shakes the mind

i miss her. its desperate.

-Sujey Lee

Rebecca Ohlson and Sujey Lee.
photo taken by the photobooth at POPS. San Francisco, CA. 2004.

Airships by Metallic Falcons

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Anne Sexton

The Starry Night by Anne Sexton

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of -- shall I say the word -- religion. Then
I go out at night to paint the stars.

--Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry

November 9, 1928—October 4, 1974

Anne Sexton committed suicide at the age of 46.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

seins means senos

meet mon amie.

i am feeling very romantic today

Photo taken from:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Work in progress.

An excerpt from a piece I am working on. A dedication to Stefan, Amy, Adele and Brooklyn, NY:

Sometimes sleep does not come easy. My eyes jolted open, to an immense darkness wrapped in cold. The tiny window above my head opened onto a brick wall, which stood firmly a foot away, allowing very little room for the air around me to move. It was winter, the air was chilled but it still felt stuck in my throat. Welcome to Brooklyn.

I threw the covers off me and walked into my roommate’s room. Our apartment was what they call “railroad style”. My room led into her room, and her room led into my room, which led into a skinny hallway leading to other rooms. By rooms I mean small, linear holding cells. One of the other rooms had a tarp separating it from the hallway and my space was no bigger then 150 sq ft. It was our voluntary prison that seemed to swallow everything around it, including conversations and socks. She was awake and facing an old 13” TV she stole from her mothers house. The blue light from the TV devoured her face as she ripped away and looked over. We were past the point of knocking; the walls could have been a thin clear plastic.

“Let’s get out of here.” As the TV softly chattered.

Those words were like a secret code opening heavy steel doors in us; leading to bare, damp, open streets. We dressed for the winter outside and leapt into the city.

-Sujey Lee

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

somewhere i have never travelled

The poem below is one of my favorite poems, written by my favorite poet. The only poem I know by heart. This poem taught me many things, one among those, that I do not need capitol letters to be happy. REJOICE young lambs. may your tiny hearts be filled with knowledge and hope! Please read and enjoy.

[somewhere i have never travelled]
by e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands

Self-Portrait, Oil painting. Painted by e.e. cummings in the 1950's.

Friday, April 25, 2008

WE are 1984

Washington, You're Fired! is a film by William Lewis. The film takes a look into the Bush Administrations "terrorist" laws, which are vast, mysterious to most, but most importantly laws that have made a mockery of our Constitution. Here is an excerpt from the film examining the "Thought Crime Bill", H.R. 1955

With that powerful message in mind, let us FREAK OUT! While doing my own research I came across a lot of comments comparing our current government to that one of 1984.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949 by George Orwell. I am going to assume we all know the story. Big Brother is watching. right? If not here are some links for some history:

My thoughts drift to a lesser known book by Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin titled We.

This book was actually written in 1920 in response to Zamyatins experiences with the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917. We, is the first major dystopian novel to be written. Zamayatin joined the Bolsheviks in 1908, which then led to his arrest and exile from Russia. Returning and eventually gaining amnesty, he began writing fictions, and contributing to a variety of socialist newspapers. The publication of We led to the banning of all his works, including banning any further of his publications in Russia.

We was not published in Russia until 1988, while in America it took until 1924 to be published and released.

We influenced George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Here is an excerpt from We by Yevgeny Zamyatin:

I, D-503, builder of the INTEGRAL, I am only one of the mathematicians of OneState. My pen, accustomed to figures, is powerless to create the music of assonance and rhyme. I shall attempt nothing more than to note down what I see, what I think-or, to be more exact, what we think (that's right: we; and let this WE be the title of these records). But this, surely, will be a derivative of our life, of the mathematically perfect life of OneState, and if that is so, then won't this be, of its own accord, whatever I may wish, an epic? It will; I believe and I know it will.

I feel my cheeks burning as I write this. This is probably like what a woman feels when she first senses in her the pulse of a new little person, still tiny and blind. It's me, and at the same time it's not me. And for long months to come she will have to nourish it with her own juice, her own blood, and then-tear it painfully out of herself and lay it at the feet of OneState.

But I am ready. Like all of us, or nearly all of us. I am ready.

Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (February 1, 1884 – March 10, 1937)

My Tribute to Richard Brautigan

Coming soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

random poems from 1999-2002

all written by Sujey Lee during High School Years.

i awoke to your

drowsy touch

so close i felt like sinking into you

to sleep in the crease of your eyelid

melting in so smooth

like the words you tickle my ear with

cotton candy

i wanted to taste the stars on your lips

your breath soaked with rum

i held every moving taste so close to the jar filled with my memories

slowly fading into the rusted tangled dent

where we began

crumbling our sweaty hands let loose

so far our beating hearts heard felt no more of each other

dying were the stars falling around your

silhouette walking away under my bed

false silken demeanor so far

so close in my glass mind

pieces of broken

happiness cut my eyes

bleeding over a white picket fence

i breathe no

more of



to say i am sorry for the winter i spent dying

i could taste you much better under this sun
feeling the blue spill over you
counting the smiles on your flower to say i am sorry
you took it with a grin
holding this between us
embarrassed but oddly comfortable
in this situation
pull me away
because right now i am coming closer with each hot pink petal
dropped our flower
your black nails rip
through this ugly memory
but you dont know this

my sweet confession


Poem inspired by "The Vanishing" by Stephen Dunn


is it the moon that makes me whirl with ambition
for nothing at all. a sudden stop and a continual buzz.
(only that my breath reeks of your memory)
confusion is simple
pure dripping from my nose

looking up to see the moon
rotund, glowing clam and orange
singing bright and lovely on the wide streets before me

sopping wet with anamnesis
(because in a couple of hours she will see the same moon, she will think the same thoughts, breath the same certain beauty)

a sigh thrown deep into the sky.

im just sleeping with these thoughts tonight. kissing and warm.
looking back on how you smile when you are happy and how you smile when you are content

this should have come with a warning: INTENSITY MAY FADE


TAPPEN HIGH BOYS (and getting away from the east wrapping herself in this)

I hide under this memory with butter on my toes
trying so lovely to keep the dry away
but my heels hurt and I am kept reminded of that gray carpet
I knocked over the alarm clock with a sigh that woke up the world

wrapped up in shooting stars as you picked the feathers from my hair
let me watch you take off your eyes
and please sing to me forever

but im listening to the songs that define my days spent laughing
a beer between our silence
a smirk behind their backs
we drive off in her rusty white and I fall in love with that burgundy station wagon

singing lucky if we speak on holidays but never believing it could be us
sinning under the sun
and crying curses into the sky with the sight of our breath
the winter cold hit hard that year
knocking the smiles and comfort out of us all
walking away from the music and night colored debaucheries which tied us together
we let go of hands
and drive our cars into the river which divides

im just thinking back on relationships too intense

High Lonesome

When I was old enough to take the train I did and most days I would not know where I was going, but at 14 I always somehow found myself at Astor Pl. Walk past the cube and take a left on 3rd. Walk to the corner and there at St. Mark's bookstore I would spend my time. The tiny rows of books and looking up at the cashier to pay my crumpled dollars. During one of those trips I found this book. I still have not read every story and maybe I won't, but what I have read has stuck with me. Every couple years or so I read a few more pages or end up finishing something I started. I really can not put my finger on wht exactly it is, but I like it. I liked it at 14 and I like it now. I drink it like wine.

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite stories:

High Lonesome by Barry Hannah

Through Sunset into the Raccoon Night

I have, like every man, seen all through my life lovely women waiting for someone somewhere. I always get involved, I mean in my head. These women, each wonderful, have elicited fine raptures and dreams. Waiting women, each postured in a special way, each in her separate nook of perfect waiting, a gallery that does not belong to me. They are prepared, sharpened, in their dresses and heels-or in their jeans and sandals, their brave halter tops-all open to the great psychological moment of some man's arrival. Negligence really is out of the question, with the right ones. and I have been that man over and over, besuiting myself for the expectant tastes of these lingering, watchful women. I imagined pleasing each one according to her most curious and valiant wants. The world for a few moments becomes wide and happy, not low and cramped. Even voluptuous. I bring extraordinary gifts to these patient women, thinking all day about them. So it is that I have made love to these women of my heady tableaux and been briefly a happier man for it. I hear the women speak softly, delighted by my presence. This is very good, since nobody else on the earth truly needs me, not even the surgeons's wife Jane in the Audi out there as my business closes, soon. For the world I am impertinent and a malingerer.

I've never found anything I was good at worthy to do here. I surely don't blame the world for that. Through me runs an inveterate refractoriness, almost a will to lose. Really, a choice for the whining and pining, at ease in the infantry of unremarkable losers on the lower end of mobility. What I admire is anguish, casual faith, clothes, poise, and minor disaster, or the promise of it. I like the nose lifted a little. The pride of exemption, yet terror in solitude. This is a busy concept. Perhaps too busy.

Mina Loy

Lunar Baedeker

A silver Lucifer
cocaine in cornucopia

To some somnambulists
of adolescent thighs
in satirical draperies

Peris is livery
for posthumous parvenues

Delirious Avenues
with the chandelier souls
of infusoria
from Pharoah's tombstones

to mercurial doomsdays
Odious oasis
in furrowed phosphorous

the eye-white sky-light
white-light district
of lunar lusts

Stellectric signs


of ecstatic dust
and ashes whirl
from hallucinatory citadels
of shattered glass
into evacuate craters

A flock of dreams
browse on Necropolis

From the shores
of oval oceans
in the oxidized Orient

Onyx-eyed Odalisques
and ornithologists
observe the flight
of Eros obsolete

And "Immortality"
in the museums of the moon


Pocked with personification
the fossil virgin of the skies
waxes and wanes

Self-Portrait 1905

December 27,1882 - September 29,1966

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Richard Silken

you and your lover are making out in the corner booth of a seedy bar. the booths are plush and the drinks are cheap and in this dim and smoky light you can barely tell whose hands are whose. someone raises their glass for a toast. is that the hand of judgment or the hand of mercy? the bartender smiles, running a rag across the burnished wood of the bar. the drink in front of you has already been paid for. drink it, the bartender says. its yours, you deserve it. it's already been paid for. somebodys paid for it already. theres no mistake, he says. its your drink the one you asked for, just the way you like it. how can you refuse? hands of fire, hands of air, hands of water, hands of dirt. someones doing all the talking but no ones lips move. consider the hairpin turn.

Excerpt from poem You are Jeff

Written by Richard Siken

Monday, March 31, 2008

in the beginning.....

This body is no longer mine. Some thing foreign has taken over and I have to sit here and comply with its obscene wishes. Sometimes, most often it is hard to wake up. This year I have become afraid of the dark. I tend to get cold easily and the cold makes me highly uncomfortable and very irritable. Stillness. ‘Just be still’ I continually whisper under my breath.

It comes in the morning when I have the day as my own. Sometimes.

The sun shone right through the piece of cheap fabric I covered my window with. The warm breeze hit the fabric softly. The torn edges danced before me as I tried to inhale the morning. All of a sudden a crisp sound from a sharp blue sky. A bird. The first chirps of the morning slid into me like a hot razor. Those chirps could have been the first chirps to have been ever “chirped.”

This day was brand new. Still in plastic in a box surround by styrofoam peanuts.

Written by Sujey Lee

© Sujey Lee