Tag Archives: poetry

“I Can Love You Better” by Joi Miner

This is by one of my favorite poets, Joi Miner. Приятного аппетита!

I love you hard and deep
Like pains kneaded from shoulders after manual labor
Like chops through wood in preparation for Winter’s chill
That penetrating kind of love
That blisters hands and leaves hearts pusting just beneath skin’s surface.

I love you with no expectation
Openly like a flower welcoming the Summer sun though it may soon be beaten by the same beams that warmed it.
Innocently as an infant loves the mother nursing it, though the toxins from chain smoking will certainly poison her
That trusting kind of love
That asks not what should be given, only tries to meet the invisible quota set at its creation.

I love you tirelessly
Like the quarks in a watch strive to accurately record each moment in time
Like the cycle of hydration, evaporation, and precipitation course from earth to heaven to earth once again
That repetitive kind of love
That can come to be expected causing chaos in its change.

I love you passionately
Like a succubus draining the life through kisses
Like a lizard wrapping tongue around meal that squirms hopelessly rather than accept its demise
That smothering kind of love
That smolders a flame in its youth, killing its warmth and promise with my ambition.

I loved you angrily last night
Suffering from the exhaustion that weighs on a body following overexertion
Swallowing saliva to silence stomach pangs from a hunger not satisfied
That single-sided love that forces one’s hand in Poker play
Your Poker Face had me taking faith in your bluff because you loved me with a love that was never enough.

I loved you stubbornly today
Continually giving you everything you never asked for
Wishing to meet needs before knowledge of them arose
Deafly thinking my knowledge of your desires far surpassed your own.
That dehydrating kind of love
That offers sand in place of fluid, and then gets frustrated with suffocation.

I have loved you ignorantly.
Like dying roses in a vase littering the floor with withered petals
Like sparkling diamonds sitting upon satin bust in museum chambers
That useless love
That disguises its lack of attention with moments of grandeur.

My love a feast spread here to yonder
Like plastic décor fruit dusting on grandmother’s table
Like Christmas dinner lain out before homeless orphan just beyond window pane
That taunting kind of love
That could be enough with a bit more effort.

-Joi Miner, “I Can Love You Better”

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The Brave Stare Fear in the Eyes

Flowers nap above the body
As the spirit sets free to soar.
The voiceless sing through cries.
Love shells pain through the door.

We men gently settle the casket.
My thoughts draw around the widow
To the loneliness of love
And the wails for the parting that grow.

“Old men in gray suits lead them.
That’s a web of a mess we coiled
In the wasteland of deserts
For pipelines of oil!”,

The cynic free in shackled minds muse,
Never knowing the costs of the words they use.

-Casey Robbins

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The Country Not So Far From the City

Missing the comfort of the sounds of the city
I step outside hastily, full of self-pity.
The shudder of the slamming of the door gives way
To the simple, broken symphony after day.
Crickets, chirps, croaks and other foreign sounds
From four- and six-legged strange noise-hounds
Blare louder than horns in rush hour streets.
All I do is nod my head, tap my feet
Like a proud parent does with their child
During their first of many recitals.

-Casey Robbins

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Korean Poetry

The following is a random collection of poems from poets both now and centuries ago. All are Korean in origin.

This first one is beautiful in its cynicism and truth:

“The One Inside Was Already Outside”

The rumor that firelight burns for someone is a joke by childish troubadors.
Firelight simply burns for itself.
Has firelight ever belonged to me?
Have I ever been firelight?
The fact that someone else is not going to die in place of me,
is not going to take the underpass in place of me
not going to linger in the corridors of a university hospital
not going to ruffle through the pages of magazines,
there are times when that fact is cooler than an early morning in winter.
The so-called solitude bestowed on me after fighting with gravity once I am upright,
there are times when that is really fortunate.
There is no lie more stupid than to say that you have combined flesh.
That stuff does not combine.
The one inside was already the one outside
and is the one who will go outside again.
Did I ever see a strong ray of light make a detour round anything?
Did I ever see anything left behind?
Has rain ever once addressed a single word to me?
Ever forgiven me?
It’s because there is always only me in this breathtakingly beautiful world
that I feel dizzy like this.

-Heo Yeon

This probably best captures how every writer in tune with nature feels:

“Using Five-Old Man Peak as a Brush”
Using Mount Orobong as my brush,
Three rivers for ink
And blue sky for paper,
May my poem express what’s held in my heart.

-An Jung-geun

This one is short, simple and to the point:

Tranquility is like a mountain,
Happiness like water.

-Jung Do-jun

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“I See Your Revolution and Raise You the Future” by Joi Miner

This poem was written by a dear friend of mine. She’s an amazing poet. She’s from Montgomery, Alabama. And yes, Forrest Gump is the first thing that comes to my mind, too… don’t feel bad (the “I think you should go back to Greenbow, ALABAMA!” scene is more specifically what comes to mind.

I won’t say too much about her and violate my “let the poem/art speak for itself” rule, but you can learn more about her on her blog: www.joiminer.wordpress.com

So without further ado, here’s one of her pieces she was kind and generous enough to allow me to share here on Soul Gourmet. Enjoy:

I am not a revolutionary…
not a veganterian declaring my disdain for pork
I do not take a stand against the MAN for sport and this nappy head is not an outward defiance of conformity.

In the 50’s I probably would’ve taken my seat at the back of the bus as not to cause a fuss and just studied on a way to paper trail lead us into freedom because you can’t serve nobody if you serving time and bringing the limelight to your cause also brings a scrutinizing eye.

Ritmatic, Writing, and Reading, proven formulas to succeeding.
I teach the inner workings of manifest destiny alongside multiplication tables in elementary school classrooms.
Degradation times emasculation= the current state of the nation
Say it with me, children.
Degradation times emasculation= the current state of the nation

Big Brother don’t tap into schoolbooks, long as my lesson plan fits the formula, cause he suspect that niggers don’t read. We’d rather grace the stage, spitting our latest dope shit from memory. Claim Griot decendancy, securing prophesies within mental lockbox for safekeeping.

I prefer back of the house work, serving rich white folk in their country clubs while listening in on their trade secrets.
Prepare a meal from the ingredients and serve them in inner city school cafeterias.
Keep the recipes, a family heirloom, in a box on kitchen counter. Hide my militancy in batter for fried chicken in Southern Style Cookbooks.

Ain’t no glory for the dead. That shit you got up in your head leaves room for missed meanings. No opportunities to study for self, ingest, digest, regurgitate, and digest again. Share with a friend and get a fresh perspective. Words heard result in stomach churn and heartburn; morsels passed whole pieces in stool feces. While words read allow retention.

What are you gonna do when your cds stop spinnin? When word of mouth is silenced and all you have are four walls and a pen. Cause revolutionaries meet one of two ends: Death or Dishonor. And only those taught to read and write will have the proper advantage.

Griots spat because they could not write. Revolutionaries clicked up cause they could not stand alone. Can’t go nowhere if you don’t know where you’ve been, won’t get there if you don’t know where you’re going. Maps can be multiplied and followed to a like destination. Directions given word-of-mouth oft lead to wrong turns and stagnation.

Freedom is a choice, not a soliloquy. I’d rather leave the instruction manual on how to light a flame, than ashes as my legacy.

-Joi Miner

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“Scars” by Rudy Francisco

This poem was written by Rudy Francisco. In case you don’t know who he is, google him. He’s a spoken word poet and this piece was written to be performed as such. He takes the poetry to a-whole-‘nother level when he performs it.

That’s why I’ve included a video of him performing it here. Enjoy:

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I wrote this a while ago. I’m posting it today in honor of his birthday coming up. This day, this moment, will forever be etched into the ledger of my memory bank. It’s my most cherished one. Happy birthday! I love you more than you may ever know.

You remind me of the first time
Our eyes met and how you looked
At me through big, brown, helpless
Windows as if you somehow knew.
You looked at me and only me
With that certain curiosity and innocence
That defines you. From that point on
There would never be another who
Could define me and inspire me
The way that you do. On that day
My world changed…

On that day I was no longer me
But you. As your delicate hand
Wrapped around my finger, the commotion
Subsided, leaving only the two of us
In a room full of faceless people.
On that day and every day after, your
Face was the only one that mattered,
Just the way it was meant to be.

-Casey Robbins

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