6.02.2011

Nighttime Thinking

do you know what it’s like
to be me?
especially on sleepless summer nights
when i lie first on my stomach,
then my side
then my other side
then my back,
when everything is slightly warmer than i would like
and my mind won’t stop working
so i’m forced to think
about life and time and words and stories and languages
all at once--
isn’t it strange how we grow up?
i think i can’t wait for it,
but i’m terrified nonetheless.
how come days were so much longer
when i was little?
what happened to happy early mornings,
apple-picking, playing in the long green grass,
drawing circles in the carpet, climbing the rugged trees,
when every day was magical,
and i went to my dreams every night
with anticipation for the next day lingering
like some beautiful breeze?
now sometimes i feel like i’m slipping
from some grasp
or something is slipping from mine
and i find myself counting the hours
until the day is over.
(because then i can rest,
but then i start thinking like this,
and that doesn’t really work, does it?)
is steadfastness the same
as perseverance?
does allure mean the same
as charm?
bear is a bear,
but i can bear burdens too.
perhaps a bear will bear the winter
by sleeping,
and only vines bear grapes.
why is it that when i make a new line
in a poem or a story
it makes a sort of point?
is it the silence implied,
a pause--
that gives new emphasis, fragmented like broken glass?
because those shards make the light dance in new patterns,
in a way it could never have done before.
how is it that words work,
somehow accepting meaning
and preserving it,
so it transfers from my head to yours sometime?
i’m able to tell you what i think.
isn’t that miraculous?
i don’t even understand how thoughts work in the first place.
translation plagues me.
i wonder how you can move a phrase from one language
all the way into another
and it means the same thing.
what are these concepts below the words,
that everyone can understand?
and does it really mean the same?
it’s too hard--
what shall I assign to hyanggi:
smell, aroma, odor, fragrance, perfume?
because
they’re not all the same.
who decided that e, ie, ae, ee, eo, ei, ea, y, oe, ey, and i
can all represent the same sound?
if you ask me,
i think that’s rather mean.
writing is a lovely thing, but sometimes
it scares me.
what if my words are stupid,
and have been all along?
i can’t tell, because i put them together,
and i never like to think i’m stupid.
what if the characters i create
don’t like me?
small wonder i can’t sleep at night.

can you imagine what it’s like
to be me?
i’ve never known anything else,
but i’m starting to have a feeling
it might be kind of
...weird.
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