By Suji Kwock Kim
for my grandmother
Crush my eyes, bitter grapes:
wring out the wine of seeing.
We tried to escape across the frozen Yalu, to Ch'ientao or Harbin.
I saw the Japanese soldiers shoot:
I saw men and women from our village blown to hieroglyphs of viscera,
River of never.
River the opposite of Lethe,
dividing those who lived from those who were killed:
why did I survive?
I wondered at each body with its separate skin, its separate suffering.
My childhood friend lay on the boot-blackened ice:
I touched his face with disbelief,
I tried to hold his hand but he snatched it away, as if he were ashamed of dying,
eye grown large with everything it saw, everyone who disappeared:
pupil of suffering.
Lonely O, blank of an eye
rolled back into its socket,
I was afraid to see you:
last thoughts, last dreams crawling through his skull like worms.
One more by Kwock Kim, this one a companion piece to "Occupation", very dark and vivid and powerful.
My children have started school for the year. They both came home in reasonably good moods, though younger son is unhappy that he is being forced to read three books a month in a genre not of his choosing (he wants all fantasy all the time, his teacher had historical fiction in mind for September). This year older son has a more balanced schedule; his middle school alternates hour and a half classes on odd and even days, and last year he had both gym and chorus on odd days while his even days were jam-packed with academic subjects, which I am convinced really worked against him in English since he had it after math, science and history. I remember how depressing first weeks were, and I remember how incredibly long each day seemed particularly in elementary school -- it felt like forever between the beginning and end of a school year, and I wish I understood how the time-sense evolves as we age because now time moves so quickly that I don't understand at all where it goes.
I had a relatively quiet day, caught up on chores, folded laundry, wrote articles on Kate Mulgrew pontificating on aging, vulnerability and striking a blow for women in Las Vegas (this from the woman who announced at her first convention that she was not a feminist), Leonard Nimoy saying he has casting approval for any new incarnations of Spock (fascinating if true, that he had that put in his contract - considering that he directed The Search For Spock
and presumably cast that kid who didn't look like him), and the future release of the original Star Trek in high-def for syndication and DVD, which no sooner had I posted from one web site than another webmaster who has more than once written before to say "I knew that first!" wrote to tell me that the other web site only knew it from overhearing him talk about it at WorldCon. Reminds me of the times we've had people from actor web sites write to complain that they told the news sites we cited about the articles to which we linked, as if we could somehow magically know that. There are reasons we cover certain actors more often than others at TrekToday...
In the evening we somehow stumbled upon Batman and Robin
on cable and watched the first half of it, mostly because of the Schwarzenegger and slash factors, and were enjoying it a lot until the endless motorcycle chase stuff. Wow, Batman and Robin are gay together! I mean, I knew that, but sometimes I forget how gay! At least until Uma and Alicia show up. I wanted to turn it off at that point anyway because In Good Company
was on and that's been on my to-see list really since it was in the theater where I missed it, since I usually like Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson a lot. What a sweet boycrush story! I thoroughly appreciated Topher Grace's adoration of Dennis! He so only wanted to marry the daughter so he could be the son-in-law. It's not like he was as upset by the breakup as he was by Dennis being angry at him. And Dennis' misplaced jealousy, where he couldn't decide whether he was having a reverse Oedipal crisis over his daughter or wanted his protege all to himself, to such an extent that he got all distracted from his wife and her pregnancy...Marg Helgenberger was really not a good choice for that role, I didn't think, because she looks so plastic-surgery stretched to me, and I really didn't see Dennis being married to someone like that; they'd have done better with someone much more earthy. But
I loved the movie, which was one where my kids initially rolled their eyes when they saw what was on TV, then sat down and started watching and requested to stay up to see the end, which amuses me. Now I really want that Iron & Wine song "The Trapeze Swinger" that they played over the closing credits, but freakin' iTunes will not allow downloading of any of the Iron & Wine music on the soundtrack -- you have to buy the whole album, and I already own the David Byrne and Peter Gabriel and other stuff I like from it!
I don't know whether I've ever blathered in this journal about how Amelia Earhart novels are a guilty pleasure of mine, particularly ones where she falls in love with Fred Noonan, for which I blame Rutger Hauer and Diane Keaton in The Final Flight, not to mention Voyager's "The 37s." I know it sucks that she is as famous for disappearing as she is for her achievements. But I would be remiss not to recommend I Was Amelia Earhart (upon which I once very loosely based a piece of Voyager fanfic that I am sure remembers all too well).
The above is Earhart's Lockheed Vega, sold to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in June 1933 and displayed there until it was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in September 1966. You can see the manufacturer mark on the tail. Earhart flew this plane on several of her historic flights, transcontinentally and to Hawaii.
Here is a model of the Electra in which she and Fred Noonan disappeared during their attempt to fly around the world.
And this was Earhart's trophy chest.
Tuesday I have to go to Target and return the underwear I bought last weekend because one pair of panties shredded the first time I washed them, before I had even worn them because I always wash them first! Graar!