Archive for September, 2009

Published by Koharu on 15 Sep 2009

Image Gloss: ‘Runaway Slave’



The runaway slave came to my house and stopped outside,

I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,

Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsey and weak,

And went where he sat on a log, and led him in and assures him,

And brought water and filled a tub for his sweated body and bruised feet,

And gave him a room that entered from my own, and gave him some coarse clean clothes,

And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,

And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;

He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and passed north,

I had him sit next me at table….my firelock leaned into the corner.

I picked this part of the poem to write on because it is the most distant to me. During the 19th century South, African Americans didn’t sit at the table to eat dinner or get clean clothes and they most certainly weren’t taken into the home of random Caucasians in the south for a week. They were hunted like criminals and had bounties put on their head. To house, bathe, feed and clothe a runaway slave was one of the greatest taboos of the time period.  It’s a testament to how different from everyone else Walt Whitman was.

Published by Koharu on 14 Sep 2009

A Random Poem (For Sept, 15th 09)

The topic of typesetting in class stuck with me for some reason, so I ended up thinking for a whole about Whitman’s life and the stark contrast between the Brooklyn of his time and the borough I know now. I drifted on it a bit (mostly to watch the MTV Music Awards) and came up with a poem (that I might continue later) called: ‘A moment in the life’. For the sake having a plot, imagine a random Brooklynite (not technically a word…) thrown back through the years to the time of Walt Whitman.
It’s not a complete poem yet (since I still have a lot of material to use and a few revisions to go through). I used Whitman’s job at the Patriot, the longer commute between work and home and some of his father’s alcoholic tendencies in this part of the poem, though I’m not sure how severe it was or whether or not his father was a violent drunk.

There’s no T.V.
I can’t text,
I can’t call,
I can’t Tweet.
There’s no electricity.
There’s no T.V.
How I got here is beyond me.
I’m printing homework one minute and the next time I look up?
I’m in another century.
On one of those ancient printing press thingies. How? Why? Don’t ask me.
Well…technically not printing…
More like making the ink.
I haven’t been here long, not more than a day.
But apparently I’m a printer’s apprentice.
The ‘Printer’s Devil’… what a name…
It’s not because the job’s evil… I think.
Maybe it has more to do with the fact you end up covered in that God forsaken ink.
At the end of the work day I let my feet carry me, as my mind drifts away.
It seems like hours…It probably was.
I’m spacey that way.
The lights around me are lit with gas, what with the lack of electricity.
I walk to the door of a nearby house and dig in my pocket for a key.
…I’m used to solid pavement, cars and trains…since when is my house surrounded by trees?
Judging from a sign on the corner, I’m somewhere in Long Island.
There’s still no T.V.
The smell of alcohol perforates the air.
There are bottles on the floor…
I don’t think I want to be here.
But my stomach grumbles- arguing otherwise and I can’t understand my sudden fear.
I mean, other than being in some foreign house in a strange time
Where you can buy expensive things for a dime
Where lights are lit by gas
Where printing is done by hand
Why ever would I need to be afraid?

Published by Koharu on 06 Sep 2009

Song of Amber

Come my children.

Come my biys and girls, and my women and household and intimates.

Now the performer launches his nerve….he has passed his prelude on the reeds within.

Easily written losefingered chords! I feel the thrum of their climax close.

My head evolves on my neck,

Music rolls, but not from the organ….folks are around me, but they are no household of mine.


These lines meant the most to me because they were the only ones I could find that related to instrumental music. Being a former band dork, I felt somewhat obligated to pick them. ^-^’


Published by Koharu on 01 Sep 2009

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