Tag Archives: Jonathan B. Chan

sojourner

‘Craftsman, after adorning the heart of the earth one day you will lie in eternal sleep’ – Shromik Monir ‘To love another person is to see the face of God’ – Victor Hugo Christ plays in ten thousand faces: in … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

discourse/analysis

‘establish the work of your hands’.             it finds a steady hum, the beat of an                         ocular dance stretched letter by letter. they are their own chisel, chipping at             moral tessellations: an unfettered trust                         in some kind of labour, digital ink. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

bright abyss

when i meet my maker, i think about the yawning gap between prayer and consciousness, the straining ache of the eyelids and the single, shuddering convalescence. at one breath i dwell at the edge of pink sundown, swept in a … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

process

the text will never be a mirror, just the pale imitation of a sunbeam’s fringes, an incidental breeze, the grainy pink of an evening glaze. and when it is pulled from a shadowy place, it glows as a lantern, radiant, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

composure

and the rustling fell still: face flowed into eyebags, creases deepening affably, unflappably, the presumed moorings of conscience. their silhouettes at the ledge, restless, hungry, peering past our door, that same fear at the peak of dusk: where were you … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

sheol

‘the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me’ – Psalm 18:5 (ESV) back then, i feared each night my eyes would close for the last time, numb to the pinprick of consciousness. there would be no … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

resurrection

at dusk the tremors begin, too stubborn to yield to that pained ekphrasis: jagged headpiece, mottled palms, limp torso, crimson stain. perfection is unbroken bones; they roll the stone from the mind. light crackles in an empty cavern. no tears … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

lament

why do groans not form in sentences? the wetness, red, curves by drooping eyelids, at the edge of tiny windows. prayers catch in the throat, droplets keep to themselves, faces, lined by tubes and tightened paper, are seen only in … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

temptation

this world is not conclusion she writes – breathless cages for teeth to rattle, suspending the shudder of mourning flesh, the lacunae of unread distance. and he is still as it begins to nibble at the soul, the ache that … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

ritual

always the same: sleep burrowed in the corners of the eyes, thin pages flipped in sacralised bed song, stillness cradled and rocked, mourned in the slow descent past auburn fur, the bitter of morning sips, teeth enfolding, and the sun, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

denial

eyes pried, thick before daylight, washed of residue, cautious of the shrouded silhouette in the bathroom mirror: steps for today. swallow the embers and smoothen the tongue. play as the players as audience is one. loosen the tendrils that creep … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

inheritance

after an hour’s drive and cautious trek, halmoni stood before haraboji and said, “your grandson will study what you loved best.” between her pensive silence and my high-waisted pants, i felt i was recollection made flesh. Jonathan B. Chan is … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

할아버지* (haraboji)

사랑하는 할아버지1 you’re in the gait of my walk and the length of my strides, my high- waisted pants and the glide of my pen – mom always mused of this cross-lingual literary inheritance. your wizened last days were my … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

how to make kimchi

rinse the cabbage, it’s raw and needs a trim. with your halmoni’s tender touch, massage salt gently into its pores, passively but not until it smarts; now, under some strain, let the water run over. ignore the corners that escape … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

406 east 50th street

i am as tall as the garage door now. i lie across the steps that lifted boots damp from crunched snow. i peer in the kitchen, i knew it by the finish of wooden counters and peanut butter breakfasts. i … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

central park/columbia university

we sing a chorus without context, incomplete yet resonant, soundtrack to tireless walkabouts, facsimile of wide-eyed panic and words sputtered and fingers twitched and fingernails gnawed, spiralling, deceptive. we thread loose strands of emotion through an uphill climb, a campus … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

content

to subsist on teaspoons of measured silence is to nourish what’s dry after a day’s mouthful. a dash of otis and a little joy to season the peeled leather off a blank sole; intimations of tenderness lace each tile of … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment