Contributors * more photos to appear soon

Contributors * more photos to appear soon
Christy Namee Eriksen, kim thompson, Jon Schill

Friday, June 4, 2010

Champion

Who loves Mexico?
He does! says so right
on his double X L teeshirt verde
and I can only see a couple inches of
copper skin wrists
and soft knuckled fists
as he huffs and puffs and
blows his silver medal breath down.

Asphalt black lipstick streaks
every other time his floppy kicks kiss the pavement,
and later some stove sweat mama’s gonna
warn him that’s his only pair.

I’m gonna win! he yells,
a shag of a missing haircut bouncing in
and out of his endless knot eyes,
and he grins like a champion
as every skinny stick of him runs down Julep
alone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

sucking it up

* for all the ones i know who "suckit-up" each day*
* i know i already posted my thursday poem but i decided to do one more to make up for my writers block from last week*


suckit-up
thats what i was taught to do
suck it up
thats what my father did
31 years in a job he never even liked
and when i asked him why he stayed
he said
"thats just what you do kim
suck it up"

suckit-up
thats what my parents did
for 30 something years
in a marriage that ceased being happy
15 years before
and when i asked them why
they said
"thats just what you do kim
suck it up"

suckit up is what my coaches said
when my shins were splinting
"no pain no gain"
they chant
"you gotta suckit up and jump those stairs"

suckit up is what my boss said
when he'd mis bid that job so badly
and he sat in his van waving crystals
whilst our bodies broke
and when he'd come in giggling about planets in retrograde
as my tendons ripped
he'd chirp
"sometimes you just gotta suckit up"

suck it up
suck it up
kim you gotta suck it up
cuz anyone who gets to do a job they love
is rare and lucky
and thats just not life

suck it up
suck it up kim
cuz anyone who gets to be with one they love
and like
is rare and lucky
and thats just not life

suck it up
suck it up kim
cuz youre young and your body will heal
and dont complain
no pain no gain
go pop another pill
and stick some needles in your arms
one day the planets will re-align

suck it up
suck it up
"i always wanted to travel
but kim you know
thats just not how it goes
i have a car a house
i'll travel when im old
sometimes kim
you just
gotta suck it up"

suck it up
suck it up

suckit up i say

you dont know what suckit up means! is what i wanna say

suckit up is
im so scared to do this
but im gonna try

suckit up is
id rather be broke and stressed about all the digits missing in my bank account
because the only reason that
doing what you love
happens to the rare and few
is
cuz
so
few
and rare
ever even
suckit up to try...

suckit up is what she tells me
when we're in rehearsal
and moving my body on a stage
is the most self conscious uncomfortable please god let there be another way do you know how much dancing scares me and now you want me to do this in front of people all by myself in a spotlight?
suckit up she tells me
suckitup is what i do
and when the light is shining
and everyone out there sitting
thinks im so comfortable moving exposing myself like this
"suckit up kim" is what im moving to

suckit up is
apply apply apply and re-apply
until the rejection turns to
"dear miss thompson,
we are pleased to inform you
that you have been selected to
receive the xxxx travel grant for literature"

suckit up is
never accepting the repeated emails of
"dear kim
dear miss kim jong ye
we have your mother's name and address
but we won't tell you"
until one day they say
"her name is
her address is..."

suckit up is
knocking on that door
and not running
knocking on that door
and waiting for the answer
knocking on that door
and knowing just how much you have to lose
knocking on that door
and being more scared and alone than youve ever been in your entire life

suckit up is
freshly minted out of highschool
turning down the scholarships and marketable double majors with a minor
to cross an ocean alone
to see what that whole world is that youve been reading about your whole life
in that school
and church
and family
thats been telling you to "suck it up" and be safe...
go to school
get the job
get the house
get the car
get the mediocre marriage
because happiness and doing what you love
thats just a fairy tale
so suckit up and settle for a life you never wanted

... suckit up and when youre 60 look back and say
"i never liked this job
i never liked this marriage"

suckit up
suckit up

you know who sucks it up each day?
the poet-ress who was told from day one
"you will never be an mc"
and now she makes her full time living offa words
and changing lives of others
through her words

you know who sucks it up each day?
the single mother who despite her past
puts herself through nursing school
gets straight A's
takes care of her son
and everyday wonders if she shoulda given him up
because she feels like shes failing
but no
she
she
she sucks it up
gets herself through school
graduates with full honors
and gives her son the kind of life she's worked so hard for

you know who sucks it up each day?
the woman who raised her daughter in the back of a grocery store
who never traded in her words for the money that fame can bring
who won the awards and accolades
who to this day at no longer young and spry
still writes
still creates
still directs
still invests in pups like us
teaching us what it means to
suck it up

suckit up is
this

suckit up is
never trading this one time
this one chance
to live
to suckit up and even though it scares you
quit your comfortable job
leave your beloved dog and friends behind
and move across the world
for a people and a language thatve turned their backs on you
to find
that thing
that even though sometimes you say youre not looking for
you sucked it up
to find it

suckit up is
never giving up on the possibility of
being
fully

you

and

happy

so that you will never hit 80 looking back
too broken down to travel
too scared to explore
wondering
"so this is what i get
for having sucked it up?"

instead
that when you hit the day of
a body aged

your life is full of a past so rich
from having

sucked it up.

- kim thompson. 4 june friday. seoul, s. korea

video

banana

white on the inside, yellow on the out
that's not what I'm all about
though I did sprout from roots stout
I ended up growing a different route
but your mind is clearly without
the necessary faculties for the nonsense you spout
I won't let myself pout
I won't let myself shout
I won't let myself doubt
I'm not a banana

need I remind you to stop being racially blind
be kind + rewind that thought
I'm disinclined to believe that your mind
only thinks of me for my rind
and not what you find
inside what the universe designed
I won't let myself be confined
I won't let myself be defined
I won't let myself be maligned
as a banana

check yourself + right this slight
your impolite, outright fright
your delight is now contright
I'll rewrite you til you're upright
I'll relight you til you're tight white might
is insignificant in height to the blight I will incite
I will let myself ignite
I will not let myself invite
I will let myself fight
that I'm a banana

stop + smell MY flowers
so you will be cleansed as I scour
my yellow tower of power won't cower
myself is empower + in power
for it is YOU I will devour
keep your eyes on the final hour
this shit is bananas

One Moment in Summer



Half way
between my arms and your tan lines
Four feet from the door--
moonlit neon signs illuminate every word
whispered into shoulderblades--
sweet nothing substantive
mixes with the summer air
and beer breath
and bated breaths
and you.

Stars

It was as any other night, looking above and wishing with every shooting star. It was like any other day, searching for four-leaved clovers in the fields, hoping for a a bit of luck. It was as any other life.

But she struggled, always, to be the honest person she wanted to be; searching ever for that moment in time that would spell change. She wanted so much, do so much, but couldn't walk on cold feet, couldn't do what she thought she need.

Days turn in to nights, years and decades pass her by.

Tears dried into patches of salt, rubbed the blood out of her skin. Smiles were memories, she thought she once had, but they seemed like dreams only and faded, disappeared with nightfall's end.

She hoped for more, didn't try enough. Fell out with the stars, and died for love...

for grace darling

(lea) i remember when you wrote this song
how your outside did not match
your inside

how everytime you played a new song youd been working on
i knew your heart

how we'd break down your word choice

"put a copper penny on the tracks now
see what it will do
take all of that curiosity and put it
to some use"

... today
riding the bus
like im half now
half then
half here
half there

its like your words
are caught between worlds

... its not the banjo and the viola
its crystal brinkman and barb...
its not a harmonica and lusty voice
its lea...

its lee's liquor lounge
its minneapolis and seoul
all trapped between my ears
and my seat on the bus
is a booth in lee's

and some voiceover in my head
is your voice
talking about the words you chose
and how you like flattened copper pennies
and how youre wondering if youre ever gonna find

and its the backyard of the barn
and someone's shouting
"play freebird"
and im chanting whining
"blue... play... blueeeeeee"

buildings and construction rise
blue nets to catch the accidental
seoul is rising up around me
and i can smell kimchi
mixed with the smell of city fumes

but my feet feel humid midwest grass

walking to the doctor for my aching body
i'm half planted on the stoop
drinking beer with you

and at the crosswalk

before the light turns green
1,001 faces that ive never seen before
my smoke in their faces

tap my feet and
hit
"repeat"



- kim thompson. thursday 3 june 2010 seoul, s. korea