Monday, September 23, 2002

When Eating Kim Chee

When eating kim chee,
Make sure you know what you're getting into.
If not, you might be surprised
By unwanted trips to mundane places
And you can't control yourself
Because it controls you.
Red flecks are exciting for a moment
The way they swirl and swirl
In your mouth and through your chest
But you do end up paying.
So, when eating kim chee,
Make sure you know what you're getting into.

Posted by ruth at September 23, 2002 06:51 PM

Ruth, this is a wonderfully fun poem. Perhaps this should be written on each jar of Kim Chee like a surgeon general warning.
Posted by: kane on September 24, 2002 1:52 AM
I'm glad you got humor out of this poem. Interestingly enough, I wrote it when I was really pissed off. If you read it again with that in mind, you might sense my deep resentment.
But, as is always the case with life, even the things that upset you can draw up the greatest laughs. Anyone who reads this poem will react as you did, with laughter, and this is a nice, sobering thought.
Thanks for laughing with me.
Posted by: Ruth on September 24, 2002 12:58 PM
I was just browsing your site when I saw the comment section. I remember the first time I ate Kim Chee!! It was 1966 in a tower in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, guarding our runway when it hit me. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what I mean by that. I did have to warn that poor soldier who had to climb that latter and relieve me of my post later that night though. I was stationed with the Korean Tiger Division. They use to get Kim Chee in 50 gallon plastic bags. We always knew (smell) when they would get a fresh batch in. I make the best Kim Chee in the world because I was taught how to make it by the Korean Soldiers themselves!! I've been making it and perfecting it for almost 40 years now. I wished you could taste some. It's absolutely breathtaking.
Posted by: W.K. Sullivan on November 6, 2003 5:35 AM
Sorry, I've spelled Ladder wrong in my comments.
Posted by: W.K. Sullivan on November 6, 2003 5:39 AM

Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Man Upstairs

The man upstairs is dying.

Just several weeks ago, his doctor told him he has between two and six months to live. It wasn't very long ago when I'd see him watering the yard.

Mr. M is a retired hapa haole man who looks straight out of a Reyn's commercial. He's managed to raise a beautiful family and be with his wife all these years.

But the weeds in the yard are growing. And this morning, instead of seeing him standing in the yard with his khaki walk shorts and aloha shirt, I see another man who rode to our house in a Toyota truck with oversized wheels. He's got a cap on and a dirty T-shirt, workboots and a towel around his face. A professional.

Sometimes at night, Mr. M's coughs are so loud and strong, the sound seeps below to our apartment. Mrs. M has taken leave to be with Mr. M, and I can only imagine her getting up to give him water or get him a towel or feed him or bathe him or change his clothes.

And still, everyone else's life goes on as usual. I still put my makeup on in the morning the same way. I listen my new Rich Crandall Jazz Trio CD. I still worry about the documents I need to write at work. I choose which dress shoes to wear from a white plastic shoe rack.

All this, while the man upstairs is dying.

Posted by ruth at September 19, 2002 08:01

It's too bad that you can't get a piano upstairs so that the man could listen to you play. Your music has a way of reaching the soul. If you have a recording of your music, a gift of your songs would surely soothe and calm him.
Posted by: kane on September 20, 2002 05:42 PM
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and kind words. Sometimes I refrain from playing since music can open up deep, deep wounds. I think I'll begin to sense when the time is right to share or simply keep my distance.
I'll keep you posted.
Posted by: Ruth on September 20, 2002 06:19 PM

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Sound of Timelessness

My eyelids fall
Fluorescent lights expose dormant workstations
The air conditioner makes music with my keyboard
A lonely duet

When you're alone, you suddenly know the sound of timelessness. That sound has a way of wiping clean any emotion. You feel neither apprehension nor anticipation. You simply exist, and you imagine your lungs expanding and collapsing. And the air through your nostrils become like waves on the sand, entering, retreating.

There is too much to think about now. And I don't know what to make of it. So, I'll make nothing of it. And just breathe.

Posted by ruth at September 04, 2002 08:14 PM

I love this entry; so very poetic with such a calming effect. "The sound of timelessness"...I adore this line.
Posted by: kane on September 7, 2002 08:08 AM

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

To Cause a Friend's Tears

I called her on Saturday afternoon. And by the time the conversation started to wind down, she was in tears.

I felt her pain travel the phone line from Dallas to here, but I couldn't do a thing about it. I disappointed her immensely, and the first love I once knew, which she loved with an overwhelming heartfelt passion, was drained from me. I finally had to tell her that her passions weren't mine anymore.

Her life is dedicated to saving the lost. Her husband is studying at a seminary. And I, I departed from wanting the same. I could've glossed over many things, but chose to be open about where I am.

God, it sure is lonely to be here sometimes. But I can't be anywhere else right now.

Walking Discoveries

Again, I took the challenge of walking to work, this time from Puck's Alley to Ala Moana. Lots of new observations:

  • The elegantly titled "Makiki Ditch" appears etched in concrete on the bridge column
  • Waving American flag waves brighter after someone took the fine time to cut between each stripe
  • Flatter shoes makes a woman feel like she can kick yer butt

Posted by ruth at September 03, 2002 03:44 PM