Pusan Poetry Night #3 - February 3, 2001

6:35 minutes (3.01 MB)

Poetry Night III
February 3, 2001

The old Monk
(the early days of Poetry+)

Wordz Only #20 Videos

WordZ Only is the offspring of the fabled Poetry Plus+ series in Busan, South Korea. It is a reading/speaking series with a workshop element for all poets, fiction writers, and other spoken wordz artists. Wordz Only takes place about once a month at Cafe Radio near Kyungsung University (map)    Facebook Group     More videos

On Becoming a Writer in Korea.

Part 1

I am a writer. I write a lot. From as early as primary school I can recall being praised for being a good writer, but I was never the kind that curled up and wrote desperate prose or poetry about the dismal, misspent youth I had. No, none of that. I think I was too clouded for that. Much of my literary success was heralded by me being invited to stand up in front of the class and to read my story out loud, usually with a heckle or two from people who never read their story out loud. I think this happened about twice in secondary school. But, aside from this, there really was never any encouragement that I can recall.


The Poetry Bus Magazine on Fundit.ie

The newest addition to the Irish poetry scene, The Poetry Bus – run by the wonderful talents of Peadar over at totalfeckineejit.blogspot.com – is scheduled for another release this summer. Of course ‘the recession’, or whatever stupid name you want to give it, means that projects big and small, good and bad, don’t get any support from the powers that be.

Korean Poetry: Ko Un (고은)

Ko Un (고은) is probably one of Korea's most famous poets. His name is often cited as a potential Nobel laureate. He grew up during the Japanese colonial period and was forced to learn Japanese as a first language, but managed to learn Korean from a neighbor. After the Korean War, he became a Buddhist priest for 10 years.

Detroit Diary September 19

 Upon ending The Diaries back in 2005. I embarked on an elementary student-teaching experience at an American military base in Okinawa, Japan. Here I was teamed up with an angry and obese Catholic woman who immediately informed me that men should not be allowed to teach in elementary schools, and so I should remain three feet away from the children at all times. Then she introduced me to her teacher’s assistant, a young army brat, assigned by my mentor to the name Chocolate Swirl. Needless to say this young lady was, like my own children, an incredibly beautiful and highly intelligent, mutt.

Mother-in-law Diaries March 2003

This month: The Dirty Diaries.


Sitting on a cold seat, in my cramped outhouse, staring at a wastebasket stuffed with stinky folded tissues reminds me of my first year in Korea. My housemates were an old single man rarely up before dinner and three college kids sharing a room. The bag of tissues next to the toilet never filled up. I‘d assumed my roomies changed it. I flushed mine.

One day the landlady came stomping at my door. On the floor of the bathroom, a massive pile of dirty wet tissues and a torn plastic bag. Someone had been dumping water in the waste bin to flatten out the tissues. She‘d assumed it was the foreigner that‘d never seen a bag of dirty tissues three months earlier.

Mother-in-law Diaries Jan 2003

The Beat January 2003


This Saturday I follow Alex as he makes the rounds through our neighborhood. All up and down our street, ajummas sit gossiping, shucking garlic or picking persimmons off trees. Alex greets each group but is intent on a specific place. We reach a courtyard entrance and he clicks the ringer. The gate swings open and an old man pops his head out of the front door to greet us. Alex bows, takes off his flip-flops before leading me into a bedroom where a high school girl sleeps off last night‘s study session. Alex proceeds to shake the poor girl, and when that doesn‘t work he pulls her blanket off and grabs her hair, saying, “get up” in Korean.

Sometimes when I walk down in our local market strange men and women yell to me, “Alex Papa!”


Captain Q

Their first date was at a local bar. Beers, soju, gas grilled squid, silkworm larvae, and what seemed spicy barnacle soup to Brian. Her teeth speckled with seaweed paper, she fed Brian stinky strings of squid jerky. Later she suggested a video bang, a small room with vinyl couches, VCR and TV, typically frequented by young Korean college couples needing intimacy. She immediately pulled a random video from the video library’s shelf and took him to the softly glowing room.

Before previews ended she was naked. Her yellow skin flickered blue with TV images. She looked just as he’d hoped, an absolutely flat Asian abdomen curving into to a thin strip of hair, standing straight up, like a mohawk. And brown beer bottle nipples, big enough to hang a coat on. “Sex okay?” she whispered in his ear with a flick of her tongue, pulling him closer still. “No condom – no problem!” She said.

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