Thursday, June 30, 2005
Axe murder Incident. happened in 1976. There is a man at the top of the page with an axe. There is a man with a white helmet on the wall. The man with the white helmet was killed.
Today Matt and I went up north to the DMZ. We took a tour bus loaded with westerners and a Korean tour guide. It only took us about an hour to get up there. We traveled about 40 miles from Seoul. In order to get into the JSA we had our passports checked on two different occasions by two different ROK (Republic of Korea) soldiers. Having my passport checked is nothing new, it happens all the time, the soldiers were friendly and obviously used to the hordes of tourists (western and Asian) that come through.
I know that the Korean war is still on. Nothing has been settled, and every few years there is a little something that starts up, and unfortunately, a few people get killed. But all this seems so far away. Seoul feels like another world. But in that short drive, driving between tank barricades, having mine fields pointed out to you, seeing the bunkers and barbed wire, you realize how real this is. We saw a few things, but those things were unimportant. We saw a building where the north and south leaders had met. We stood in a tower and looked at the northern side of the boarder. But all of this, all this seeing, that wasn’t what was important. What was important, least for me, was the tension I felt. I mean I really felt it. My stomach is still not right. When we got out of the bus, we were told not to make hand gestures, to walk in straight lines, not to ask any questions. The US military and ROK military was always by our sides. We went into a building. We took some goofy pictures, we came out of the building. (At one point I touched the furniture. put matt’s camera on the table in order to take a picture with mine. They, for the first time, told us we were not allowed to touch the furniture.). Maybe that was part of it, we were not allowed to do much of anything. We had to wear a certain type of clothing, we could only take pictures at certain points, no gestures, no questions, walk straight. It just gave me a feeling of foreboding. We were told over and over again that the North was watching. Just so much propaganda. Such high tensions.
The Koreans are one people who faught a civil war which is still not over and was, in reality, something both sides were helped into. Millions died, and now they just stare at each other across this line. Both sides watch. The Soldiers from the N and S are not allowed to talk. Today I saw only one North Korean soldier, and he was far off. (I got him in a picture.) This line, in more than just a physical place, can’t be crossed. It stands between two worlds which couldn’t be more different.
Sure there will be more to say tomorrow, but I wanted to put this up tonight.
Feel like this is a place to be seen on the night before you are leaving Korea.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
And what about the guys in the tunnel?
“In 1974, a North Korean defected to the South and told of a plot by the North Koreans to invade South Korea. The way that they would accomplish this would be to drill a tunnel from the DMZ, under the DMZ and then straight to Seoul where they would pop out and invade. Sound ridiculous? It was true. The South Koreans discovered three tunnels. The North Koreans had drilled and blasted through limestone, one of the hardest substances on earth under the DMZ and had made it 400 meters into South Korea. In the capitalist spirit, the South Koreans stopped the tunnel construction, kicked out the North Koreans, blocked the tunnel and turned it into a tourist attraction. “
Tomorrow matt and I are going to head up north and into these tunnels. The North’s army was instructed to dig these things into the South, besides that, I don’t know anything. That is why I am going on the tour. I am curious what happened in the tunnels. What happened to the Northern diggers when they were found? Where and how are they sealed? How long would it have taken the North to dig all the way into seoul, to Yonsei Universtiy, and up into my room? So these are my questions, do you have any? Will check my blog before I head up.
here is a bit more information:
“When the South Korean government built a 100 metre tall flagpole in Taesong-dong in the 1980's, the North Korean government responded by building a taller one. This flagpole is the tallest in the world, 160 metres tall, with the North Korean flag at the top itself weighing in at about 270 kg when dry. The flag must immediately be taken down when it starts to rain, as it cannot support its own weight when wet.
A few tunnels have been discovered connecting North Korea to South Korea under the DMZ, which authorities in the south have alleged to be conduits for covert invasion. The first tunnel was discovered on 15 November 1974. It is believed to be about 45 metres below surface, with a total length of about 3.5 kilometres, penetrating over 1000 metres into the DMZ. When the first tunnel was discovered, it featured electric lines and lamps, as well as railways and paths for vehicles. The second was discovered on 19 March 1975, and is of similar length and between 50 and 160 metres below surface. The third tunnel was discovered on 17 October 1978. As the previous two, the third tunnel was discovered following a tip off from a North Korean defector. This time the South Koreans failed to find the tunnel directly, but dug a counter-tunnel to meet the North Korean tunnel. This tunnel is about 2 kilometres long and about 150 metres below surface. The fourth tunnel was discovered on 3 March 1990. It is almost identical in structure to the second and the third tunnel.
The tunnels are each large enough to allow the passing of a division in a single hour. Today, it is possible to visit some of the tunnels as part of guided tourist tours from the south.
Tourists visiting the southern side of the DMZ are told (by US soldiers acting as tour guides) that the North Korean building facing South Korea on the DMZ is not a real building, but "a facade designed to look large and impressive, in reality only a frame a few feet (1m) thick." Tourists who have visited the northern side of the DMZ have refuted this. Propaganda in the North has stated that the US and South Korea have built a massive unclimbable wall across the entire length of the DMZ. While the wall in question in fact exists, it is little more than a tank barrier. Upon the collapse of the Berlin Wall, propagandists in the North seized upon its value and proclaimed this tank barrier to be a wall equivalent to the one in Berlin.”
information from this site
Monday, June 27, 2005
The tilt that won’t quit
the other sock
Rainy day here in Seoul. I’m on vacation from school, feel I am on vacation from most everything, including blogging. Went out last night with Langley. Kept him out later than I should have.
I bought Stacy’s painting today. Can’t wait to see it on my wall.
The writing is difficult today. Feel like there is something below the surface, just kind of lurking around, not really even sure what I am thinking. Very scattered. Very high school without the angst.
Maybe it is the rain.
I lost a sock two days ago. Today it was returned to the laundry room.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
fantasy baseball update
1 Pickled Mango 231 +6 7 22
2 Portland Potshots 224 +1 12 10
3 The Singing Knives 212 +3.5 16 40
4 Bad Horse 211.5 +3.5 15 51
5 Slaughterhouse Nine 207 +1.5 13 20
6 The Nolens Volens 196.5 -5 19 69
7 Hott Dixx 192.5 -3 4 9
8 The Scaffold 190 -1 17 30
9 Good-Wood-Pork-Cork 189 -2 18 63
10 shut the flap 188.5 -0.5 3 10
11 The Ironic Names 185 +1 2 5
12 Word Dogs 175 +4 5 3
13 Ann Arbor Martyrs 171 +1 6 71
14 Dick Nixon 158.5 -6.5 14 2
15 Phillies 146.5 -1 1 1
16 Fatty Fatty 2x4 142.5 -2 11 61
17 Good Night Nurse 137 +4 8 52
18 Harlequins 135.5 -1.5 9 16
19 Quahogs 127 -3 10 23
Carl of Baltimore's post of june 23
CarlofBaltimore talks about Melissa Benham’s book Code Switching.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Interview with Pirooz on June 25th
Pirooz interviews me. I interview Pirooz. There are drawings. There is talk. Go and see what all the fuss is about.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Pirooz has paintings on sale
Pirooz is selling some paintings at e-bay. Check out his blog for more information.
The new Typo is up. Don’t let me catch you shaking your finger at it, but if you want to shake yr rump…
Richard Froude is editing a new magazine called Ellipsis. They are looking to bring the serial back to our lives. This is what they say:
Ellipsis... is currently seeking the following:
• One-shot short stories between 5-10 pages
• Three-month serials, divided into 10-15 page installments
• Serial poetry of any length
• Black-and-white illustrations or other relevant artwork
There are no genre restrictions in Ellipsis...
Detective stories, science-fiction, realism, magic realism, juvenile literature, westerns, romance, horror – our only restriction is quality.
Check out the company You’d be with:
Laird Hunt, author of The Impossibly and Indiana, Indiana
J. Mark Powell, author of Prodigals
Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish and The Watermelon King
Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy
Metal and The Evil B.B.Chow
Dennis Hopper, cinematic icon
Anne Waldman, renowned poet and activist
Tim Blake Nelson, actor/director
Joe Pernice, of The Pernice Brothers
Steve Schilz, of Longwave
Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, aka The Rosebuds
Jim James of My Morning Jacket
Tim Kasher of Cursive and The Good Life
Ben Barnett of Kind Of Like Spitting
Will Scheff, of Okkervil River
Charles Bissell, of The Wrens
I sent off some work today. great that they caught Dennis Hopper of Fishing with John fame.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
My favorite post of the day comes from Anne Boyer
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Korean times survey
And since we are on the Korean times web page. Here is a survey of foreign college kids studying in Korea. they talk about their experience in Korea. And this is a a response. Is what is being claimed in the response really what was said? By my read, no. Language is difficult. It is a difficulty. This is true. And notice it was said by someone who was not (most likely) a native English speaker. Oh well, seems these surveys are only there to start a fight.
Immigration is so yesterday. Now I don’t have to worry about it for a year. got all my paperwork done, paid my $90 and got out of there in about 2 hours. Was reading my book, Bucky, by Hugh Kenner, minding my own, when the guy next to me gave me a ticket. Bumped me up about 20 numbers. He spoke a bit of English. I thanked him. We went our separate ways. International relations. Another nice Japanese guy goes on the list. Speaking of nice Japanese. Check out this link. Seems there is getting to be more and more revisionist history in Japan. Guess those war criminals, those guys who did their fair share of killing and raping in China, Korea, and Taiwan, guess that stuff was all blown out of proportion. They were really just good patriots. Wish my early morning class was still going on, there would be some fun discussions. Don’t know why Japan keeps doing this. Just ask any older Korean if they appreciated Japan’s decades long occupation, and you will find that Japan was not very nice. On a related front, a Korean soldier who had been getting beaten tossed a grenade into his barracks. Met up with some of my students last night and most did not believe that it happened. Most thought the camp was infiltrated. By the North? They were not sure.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
In the earlier post I said "great" in consecutive sentences. "the game was great" "dunking was great". That could not stand, so I changed the second "great" to "splendid". How about that for being articulate? And the first two sentences beginning with, "been"... Things go in the can that would not be allowed in any other forum.
immigration or the courts
Been planning it for days, but tomorrow is it, I am going to immigration. Been here for a year and everything seems in proportion, except that trip to immigration feels like it happened a few weeks ago. go in. wait in line. always angry strangers. always packed tight. not much in the way of ac. impossible forms. And the always. Did I forget something? Are they going to deport me? Am I due for a fine? so I keep putting it off and getting closer to that fine.
Did anyone see the game the other day? I was not, am not, a fan of either team. But that was some great basketball. Horry dunking on the Pistons was splendid. Made me start shouting like one of those guys in a beer commercial. Ohs and ahs and even a shit! (vocal) came out. And then when he hit that 3 pointer at the end. Well, that was one of the best games I have seen a guy have. Of course there are bigger names and more points scored. But coming from Horry, who seems to always do it, but remains a roll player, spectacular. Remember when he was at the University of Alabama and they knocked the University of Arizona out of the tournament. Didn’t like him much then. Hope this series goes 7.
So, if you will notice, I have a new excuse for not going to immigration tomorrow. The game takes place in the middle of the day. And after the game I will either be 1. too excited and in the end too tired. or 2. I will need to get down to the court and practice my moves on some unsuspecting undergrad.
If only I could jump.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Fantasy Baseball Update
1 Pickled Mango 224.5 +3 7 22
2 Portland Potshots 221 -1 12 10
3 Bad Horse 214 -2 15 48
4 The Nolens Volens 201.5 +2 16 58
5 The Singing Knives 194 -5.5 17 38
6 shut the flap 192.5 +2.5 3 9
7 Slaughterhouse Nine 191.5 -5.5 13 20
8 The Scaffold 186 +5.5 18 27
9 Hott Dixx 179.5 +1.5 4 8
9 Good-Wood-Pork-Cork 179.5 -2 19 62
11 Ann Arbor Martyrs 179 +3.5 6 69
12 Dick Nixon 178.5 -4 14 2
13 The Ironic Names 174.5 -8 2 5
14 Word Dogs 165.5 +1 5 3
15 Harlequins 160 -4.5 9 16
16 Phillies 159 -4.5 1 1
17 Fatty Fatty 2x4 148.5 +8.5 11 56
18 Quahogs 140.5 +12 10 20
19 Good Night Nurse 130.5 -2.5 8 47
Who is the Blogger Terrorist?
Why do I have a crush on the Blogger Terrorist?
Last night out with Langley. Hit all the regular spots. Sam Gyup Sal. Then Judas and Sabbath. J&S was full of death Metal and drunks singing along. I, of course, sang along. Tried to convince Matt to 1. move to Korea. 2. Start a blog. I think there is a better chance of him starting a blog. Then we went dancing. Or, I went dancing. My moves must be getting old bc I am not getting the reaction anymore. I must be going out during the bad songs bc the floor is often times empty by the time I get off. and when I get off, sit down, the dance floor fills back up. go figure. Tried to make friends last night. “Did you just graduate school?” “What?!” “Did you just graduate from…” “Do I look Korean?” “No.” “Leave me alone!” “Ok” and that was the last attempt I made at being friends with her. Then around 3a we went back to the restaurant. Ate some steak and drank a few more beers. Got a cab back to the dorm. Had to wake up the guard. Nothing quite like an angry middle aged man in tighty whities and a wife beater scolding you in a language you don’t even pretend to understand. And that was pretty much the night. Good loud fun. oh, earlier in the day I brought an extra bed up from storage (for Matt). I now have no floor space in my room, but I have lots of bed space. might keep it like this. just plenty of room to lounge. And we (I) like to lounge. preferably in my blue camouflage boxers from Jcrew (are people still interested?).
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Call off the Amber Alert, the backpack is found. It will be arriving at my door in a few minutes.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Rejection from Fence.
International coupons etc are beyond me. don’t have any idea how to go about lining those things up. so all my rejections, which come in the mail, go to my folk’s place. Then my mother, in her lovely daily e-mail, tells me I got rejected from this or that publication. And this, the rejection, does not hurt me. I am so used to it. But I think it bothers my mom. Not that she is disappointed in me, just that she thinks I am disappointed, and no matter how many times I tell her it is no big deal, she always write stuff like, “Those jerks” or “those idiots” don’t want your work. Good to know someone is definitely on my side.
So all you editors out there, stop hurting my mother. Accept the damn piece. You'll be making the world a better place.
blogging, crime fighting, and a warning to Matt
now, last night, far as I can tell, I didn’t do any blogging. out dancing, separating drunken white guys who want to fight, just doing my normal drinking and crime fighting Friday night. At some point during that night I lost my backpack. Just so many responsibilities. tough to keep everything in order. (blogging topic soon). but strange thing about the backpack. yesterday was our last day of the semester. I am now on break. I had my passport and the re-up with the school information in it. was walking down the road to the Korean Language Institute, when I decided to turn around and take all this paper work home. So I went out of my way, walked about a quarter of a mile, to put my passport and other info onto my bookshelf. Then I go out that night and lose my backpack (I think this loss will be temporary. There are only two places it could be.). Must be something to it. Did I want to lose my backpack? Was I planning this? I am really going to be a good case for a shrink someday.
Blogging. I have this urge to blog when I come home from drinking. I want to go onto all yr blogs and say hello and tell bad jokes. I want to post on my blog and give you an up to date, blow by blow, memo of my night, full of misspellings and incoherent sentences (not that I want the incoherent and misspellings, but they result), but mainly, I want to harass you. Think last night I avoided it, but if you sometime run into a strange looking blog posted at a normal hour for you and a strange hour for me, let me know and I can dispose of it. Love all you guys. Have a nice day.
Langley, watch out, tonight is the night. Best have your party shoes on, sucka.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Something more interesting than politics, or just politics of a different sort. Check out Jonathan Mayhew’s blog.
occurring right now, but bc I am in Korea, I am a day late. Bout time I read that book.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Is it possible to be a republican and a poet?
Is it possible to be a republican and a poet?
I went to Naropa, a place of inclusion, yet on every panel we had people as left as left goes, but never, not once when I was there, did we have a speaker who said anything in support of the administration. I find this amazing. We are all aware that the Bush team, in 2004, proposed the largest increase in funding for the National endowment for the arts since 1984. Now, who knows what will happen, and from what I hear congress is giving/gave it some problems, but none the less, that (the increase in funding) is a good thing. Right?
I am in no way supporting the administration, just that, well, it is possible for them to do the right (correct. good. etc) thing. Today I received an e-mail from a friend. It was from some very left media. It dealt with the Downing Memo. I read. I enjoyed. I learned. I sent him an e-mail from an equally right wing publication. The response. “yeah yeah yeah, I know all that.” Not sure exactly what this means, but it does not sound positive.
I always want to hear both sides. Not that I learn much from either. often times feel that both are just pushing their agenda. But when I hear people that believe so strongly in one political group or another it makes me wonder. In all seriousness, are there any Republicans out there? Have you ever voted Republican on the state or national level? In general, my ballots are usually filled with independents. However, if McCain ran, I’d vote for him.
And about the media. Do you really believe it is skewed right? If so, do you have any evidence, or is it just your feeling? And if it is just yr feeling, should the claim still be made?
And one more question. I keep hearing how the USA should pull its troops out of Iraq. End the war. Now, I have no problem with the argument that the war should not have been fought. It seems a very valid and just argument. But the war was/is fought. So what now? what happens if the troops are removed? Does Iraq benefit? Is that what the country needs to settle down? My thought is, if the US troops are gone, Iraq has no chance. However, with the US presence, there is still the possibility of an outcome from which the average Iraqi might benefit (and that is who i am most concerned about. Though i am not sure exactly what average means). What do you guys think? Should the troops be withdrawn?
The new Gutcult is up.
Pirooz Kalayeh interviews Stacy Elaine Decheux
blogging and interviews seem a good fit. Yet I don’t see it happening much. One place where it is happening is at Pirooz’s blog. And there, under the blood red skies, it is happening well.
I was offered a job by Corinthian Colleges yesterday. I accepted. I cant wait to get started. Online teaching, I believe, will be the thing of the future. And, as I’ve mentioned before, it allows us the opportunity to live where we like. We are just starting the training right now. They told me it (the training) is not paid. Not a problem. I am happy that I don’t have to pay. This experience will be very valuable. Now, in a few years, after my work gets better/recognized, I can approach a university with this teaching already under my belt. Naropa, you out there?
Sunday, June 12, 2005
nor fat bones
are waiting the dark
minced dry as the wish
broken tables like flowers
remember the one who
is not more food for ghosts
will starve without the living to serve
Published in KNOCK 2/1
Saturday, June 11, 2005
I am a man of habit. This urge grows stronger as I grow older. This past week we had to come into school on wed and on sat. It happens every semester. We need to place the new students. Shouldn’t be a problem. But for me it is. I feel myself getting nervous a few days before. And the Wed isn’t so bad; I feel like I am cheating bc I get wed off. So coming in once every 12 weeks or so really isn’t that big of a deal. but that 9a on Saturday really hurts. And it is not the actual time there that hurts. then it is rather fun. Chat. See how they respond. Can they use the forms (etc). but that Friday, my big night out each week, is curtailed. Had to come in at 11:30p with only a few beers under my belt. So I decided that I would go out on Saturday. But come Saturday evening I just felt tired. Watched Saturday Night Live. went to bed. today I am all antsy. Didn’t get the chance to shake my tail, meet new friends, drink too many beers. This will all pass soon.
Matt Langley is in town. We are meeting up next Saturday. Will show him the little area of Seoul that I know. Been here for a year now. Only know a small area. But it is a great area and I know it well. Bet Matt will have seen more sites in one week than I have in one year.
Off for a walk. At the end of the walk is a grocery store. Will try and find something I need. Maybe that something is a candy bar.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Tom Beckett in Conversation with Richard Lopez
Came across this over at Jacket. Enjoyed it, you might too. Tom Beckett in Conversation with Richard Lopez
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Good evening everyone. Things seem to be working again. While I was in class the technician must have come by and sorted this connection out. The new stuff. Snow Monkey accepted a few pieces. Of course, this makes me happy. Strange feeling though, and it happens with every acceptance, I wonder if this piece shouldn’t be in another magazine. Acceptance seems so permanent. There will be no more dating. no more looking around for that perfect mate. The decision has been made. It has a home. And this home is good. Just no more slutting around.
I bought the Star Wars DVD. Think everyone has seen it by now, but how many of you have seen the beginning “long time ago…” in Russian? Well, I did. Anyone want to help me out? Did I miss anything? How bad was the dialogue? Don’t know how Skywalker ever got laid talking like that. His force must be strong.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
I am going to wear a hat that does not fit bc I am curious
Ah! criticism. So long as it helps. Been reading about WCW & Wallace Stevens. I am trying to decide if what I am learning (and if I am hearing this right) is 1. true 2. useful.
WCW uses common dialect in uncommon ways. Read: “so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.” W/O the line breaks. This is not the every man speak. Who talks like this? But he makes his words into a machine, and this machine works on the imagination. He says leave the real world alone, it will function without us.
Steven’s believes it is the act of creating the concepts of that creation that the world is waiting for. He belives the poem can be paraphrased. That a reader first reads for content and then for style. What is said before how it is said. His work is neither symbolic nor does it reference the natural world.
WCW makes objects for the imagination. If you hold a pyramid up, and ask the class to paraphrase it, the class can’t. They can describe it, but one can’t paraphrase an object. Something needs to be said before it can be paraphrased. WCW says nothing, he makes (or so the line goes).
Steven’s believes that his work can be paraphrased. Then, it must be about something else. Where is this reference? If not symbolic, where? With nothing else (religion has fallen by the side. poetry can interpret life for us.) man depends on this “noble imagery”. Poetry immitates a world it does not, and does not hope to, replicate. “the word must be the thing it represents, otherwise it is a symbol.”
So, a word is only that word? A group of words are only that group of words? Of course, I cant drink water out of C U P. So then what is he asking of us? It seems that he does not want us to go beyond the page, to see a word chair for a chair. Or else to be so there with the poem that we draw in nothing from outside the poem. He gives us the idea of a “supreme fiction” That anything writen is a fiction. The fanciful and the serious are both equally ficticious.
I get this, but most of the rest is troublesome to this (my) little brain
This is what I am seeing:
Can the poem be paraphrased?
wcw: no ws: yes
WCW seems to believe that his poems are tied to a diction (is the Red Wheelborro?) and say nothing, they make.
both WCW and WS create in the imagination. But somehow their relationship to the “real world” is different. WCW might say that the world will go on just as we see it even if we don’t see it. Steven’s might say that once we have interpreted anything we no longer are seeing besdies what we are seeing. That is as close as we can get. bc of this, what we see is only this great fiction, and this fiction exists soley inside of us. Sounds like George Berkeley.
So, are both making, and neither representing?
Yet, at the end of the day, we can talk about the meaning of Seven’s great fiction, but we can’t talk about (paraphrase) WCW’s work. Is that the big (theoretical )difference?
I’d really appreciate any thoughts you folks have. Name calling is fine, so long as you get me closer to an understanding. Really just want to see what is happening, or what you think the authors think is happening. This final convoluded sentence seems appropriate.