A Few Things I am Working On

In the tradition of City Lights Books and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “I Am Waiting,”

I am working very slowly on a process

and I am working on re-acquiring the previously acquired

and I am working on the counter-offense, the protracted war, and the Kishi-inspired-insurgency that never ended

and I am working on my fingernails badged by reprints of Hamburg Fremdblatt and news of bombs over the Pacfic and the Manchukuo Wirtschaft

and I am working on my gumption such that a single text by a North Korean defector to Austria might bear attention, wielding as it does a hammer against eggs

and I am working on a trip to Lhasa by an old man in Beijing with visions of a wandering Panchen Lama in Nanjing long ago before those crimson robes became marked as possibly seditious

and I am working on tertiary traumas of Nanking as they spangle through pixels in cinemas once occupied by distant relatives of Iris Chang

and I am working on an incident tangled up in American MP bureaucratic speech and a military trial of nationaless men from Taiwan in Tokyo in 1946

and I am working on the possibly PTSD-inflected Japan-generated prose of a Dagongbao reporter in Shanghai in 1947 whose files in the Beijing archives of 1950 I have felt the span of white-out tape across, and felt across the back for signs like Braille and came to understand more tactically his thrashing received in 1957

and I am working on dead Koreans making other Koreans dead

and I am working on the fugitive Kanto army solider on the northern lip of a river called Yalu

and I am working on those books plundered from Yanbian

and I am working on keeping you interested

and I am working on interesting myself

and I am working on a sustainable identity involving the clef of bass and the style of Chicago

and I am working on working, the slabs of paper falling in great sheathes like the sound of a duel beginning in the tall grasses

and I am waiting for the ultimate translator to arrive as myself

and I am waiting to get the ultimate typewriter

and I am waiting for my edits to come in

and I am waiting for the semester to erupt

and I am waiting for my wrists to ache and for the open strings to thrum

and I am waiting for the sun to set

and I am waiting for the I-5 to vomit concrete

and I am waiting for the border to open

and I am waiting for this gate, this time, this guillotine of the clock to slow into sludge, as if a blowtorch of God had been applied to every dead factory in Detroit to make it living again

Soldiers from the South Korean army special forces demonstrate their martial art skills before their colleagues re-enact the Battle of the Naktong Bulge near the Waegwan railway bridge in Waegwan, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. The South Korean soldiers re-enacted the 1950 battle, one of the key engagements as part of events to mark the 61th anniversary of the Korean War. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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