Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Swelling like good songs, Strummer gone acoustic

spanish optimism, calming a steady breeze

curling inwards, patter past the pit

in your gut still clouds bang horizon

darkness towers forever

over us, all of us, struggle sharply instinctual

suicide, when it’s hard red eyes

frozen by the beat, clear blue

shattered with a ball peen

strike at the center mass, nothing of a cushion

underneath, shards will rain

over everyone on both sides

opposite the split, the river will run

red as the sclera screeching

from the blood shot, unplug in emergency

if at all like this, they’ve won already.

 

But they haven’t a knowing smirk

painted left to right like a comet trail

in the dawn light over the plain, booming a shattering

pulse throughout all reality, it seemed at the time

or must have had I been there, overconfidence

shaky fencepost complicit swaying

this and that, hesitance may be

a symbol of the soul or time ravaging

footprints in the sand, showing the way

enlightenment presents to us

going in circles, seeing blank horizon

everywhere forever on, footpads placing

pleasantly in the sand, it is warm

sustaining hilarious resonant contemplation.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Poem: Inscrutable Wisdom

Dream of having nothing at all, and think

what you’d be, fossilized snot bubble, skipping light

curmudgeon complaining, casting darts on the lawn in formation

spelling “THAT’S IT” or “THIS IS IT” just to fuck with people

in the morning

on their day off, they can’t read it

at first as they haven’t the angle, it takes time

to understand the meaning

of a disappointing slime leaking, it’s nothing.

 

at all dummy, this is nothing just like everything.

But people loved it, they went crazy

chanting intricately in column formations

and shit, assuming it’s a warning, filling a hole

with wishes written down and set

aflame, until a pit of ashes in its place

raked by an elderly Chinese man

wondering what the words had meant

becomes the sole symbol, showing that shadow

obscures nothing of note, and mystery is wanting

not finding a solution, the search itself is.

 

Poem: Inscrutable Wisdom

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 3

Secrecy is pleasurable, in itself by definition

inherent, being a sneaky little guttersnipe

shines a joy for the ages, saying “I did this”

knowing full well that you didn’t is a carnival

festival drunk in daytime new year Christmas day

funeral of a bastard that we all loved, singing drunky loops

by the jukebox, swaying with our fists in the air,

that’s the kind of fun to be found in a lie, especially when

it doesn’t mean anything, because you’ll get it

done before the “authority” knows

the difference, and the pace is yours to decide,

so the fashioning of progress reports is the pit of a port-a-potty

at burning man, all hell smell and maggot

spirit clusters, which, to each his own but is not my idea

of a good time, so I need my box of trinkets

pills and hand-held mirrors, remnants of a freedom

long lamented, kept in a safe and buried.

 

To say lying is never moral is a lie, catch 22

Kant you motherfucker, intellectual Circe

looping logic like olympic rings, writing

as an asshole, but his ideas make weighted

sense, vitally decisive, that which is

categorically imperative, showing logic

is the only law, act only in such a way

that the maxim by which your actions are directed

should become a universal law, for the benefit of all,

which might be true, though we’ll never know

after all is pronounced, because people suck

the big one when it comes to self

control, so laws like these, carefully considered

though they might be, may never survive

the span of a three-day weekend, because

I dream of right angles, straight lines

easy choices just, for they are not

we must consider them, watch yourself.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 3

Poem: Philosophy Volume 2

Poetry is forever vague, or merely thinly visible

like a fog, by the sense of it, unstructured

is the only way to be floating

cotton candy clouds, so like that

they point heaven’s way, maybe

this will be useful, to be beautiful

in pace and form, syllable structure

staccato, wise and deeply considered, flowing alike

a face first waterside, whooshing a’ la wave wind

whiskers, whatever again, point is

I can get distracted by the language, I apologize

for nothing, as this may come to a head

but I don’t care, because that would be the point.

 

Not yet however, as this is only volume

two, of how many I don’t know

there will be in the end, if one ever comes

like it will to everything, because topics may reveal

themselves at an accelerated rate, and probably

never finish, but I wonder what

I’ll uncover, and I’ll die in the attempt

to see the truth, so be it, for the destination

is a journey questioning existence?

 

Is it true that every journey, grand day out

tennis tournament and tea party, refutes the supposition

that we live in a Skinner box, prodded cattle through

holes in the sides, of course not, for as freedom

resides inside, you see in yourself that the matrix

is real after all, perhaps being the only solution

to be hoped for, there is no reason to peek

behind the curtain, really, as there is

no air in the open, either.

Poem: Philosophy Volume 2

Poem: Philosophy Volume 1

Living in a boarded-up brothel, casting no aspersions

at all and ever on, or prayers to the holy

father casting judgement, for He has no hands to feel

eyes to see or heart to beat, being only

a fact of existence, that He’s done

what He did is a world worth living

for after all, I resent

the magic of it, the love expressed

among the infinite variations on one

three-chord structure, emotion seeped

in splattered paint, subliminally experienced

fractures of society, family and personality

existing as the background noises

of life, living is the background behavior

of death, whatever, the fact is

it’s fascinating to be alive, whatever happens

to this planet, so just pay attention.

 

While present, vigilance is warranted

for in the end, the truth,

it burns like a scar forever

joyous, horribly lovely

screeching pain forever, mangled organs

parade across bleating elephants

put butt-to-butt, but it’s funky

which is all that matters, because, joyful tranquility

is a salve, not a solution, the only option

available is a bullet, to speak truth

he loudest way possible to the powerful,

life and death being the only

things they understand, by the truckloads

we must die, randomly in tragic

happenstance or poisoned

by the groundwater blood, flood of death

come through merciful, hopefully

we’ll have made it count, in the end.

 

So if as we’ve surmised death is rendered

senseless by the fog, and our limbs could separate

at any moment, so to speak, or literally

because things that crazy have happened,

pointless chaos is the writ, but hope demands

clergy bound strong, chaining penitent

to the sky by their eyes is the way

to retain subservience, perhaps happy

songs jump to the ceiling, but as one

all dance alike in the church, into the future

without armor, knowing there is but one

way to be, hotshot, vulnerable

open and recording, for memory is all

that exists in the mind, malleably unreliable

as it is, existence can appear as a torture

storm or not, for the end is a mirror

of the past, showing that happiness

is a lie to yourself, until its not

behind you anymore, for it is always

there, just open the door to your soul.

Poem: Philosophy Volume 1

Poem: The First Chapter

Gangrenous is our sense of society, everyone knows

what is wrong can’t be spoken

because all we have is a sense of it, the sinister

in every smile, watch out, young man, watch out you’ll crack

thumper him on the head, down to a standing eight

count at least, a wallet richer

inspecting the contents, shattered by emptiness

cracking a ribcage with no facial feeling

just because you had a bad day, the dark of it

which spread from the knowing it could happen

someday into the world was born, hoofbeats patter

through the window from the street.

 

Perhaps is his name and he broke

free in the market, spreading the stench of war

unspoken, my neighbors fear my skin

as well, causing shouting at town halls

message boards full of misspelled capitals

exclamation points and question marks, all meaning

nothing at all important, but the electric mania

is what I call it, as well as the beginning of the end

possibly should things continue the way they are.

Poem: The First Chapter

Movie Review: Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy (2003)

Director: Park Chan-wook

Writer: Garon Tsuchiya (story), Nobuaki Minegishi (comic), Park Chan-wook, Chun-hyeong Lim, Jo-yun Hwang (screenplay)

Actors: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Hye-jeong Kang

Available now on Netflix

When I first saw it in 2005, Park Chan-wook’s seminal standout Oldboy knocked me on my ass, enrapturing me in a world of heretofore unrealized filmmaking potential.  It seemed so alive.  From the first scene of Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) yelping in drunken rage from a bench in the police station, it was plainly evident that this film was the work of a master.  From the exquisitely crafted set pieces to the relentless movement of the action scenes, it is easy to see why this movie, which was not originally submitted for competition to the Cannes film festival, ended up winning the Grand Prix (unofficial second place).  Though at it’s heart, Oldboy is in many ways a horror movie, and the squeamish might do themselves a favor by staying away, for those with the stomach for it, there is scarcely a better movie-watching experience to be had.

At the beginning of the movie, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), a nondescript, drunken Korean office worker, is kidnapped and imprisoned in what seems like a shabby hotel room.  He is kept prisoner in this one room for fifteen years.  In these fifteen long years, while he trains himself obsessively, he also becomes increasingly unhinged.  When he is unexpectedly released inside of a suitcase on top of a high-rise, he has only one goal, to discover what happened to him.  This is a very compelling plot line, and though I believe it would have been engrossing enough to hold my interest whoever the performers were, Choi Min-sik does a superb job of making his character seem genuinely deranged.  When he is released on the skyscraper’s roof, he stops a man from committing suicide, only to break into a wide grin as the man finally does kill himself moments afterwards.

As the plot twists its way through various insane and unseemly revelations, Park Chan-wook fills the movie’s running time with unforgettable scenes and sequences, creating an entrancing head-trip of a movie.  One scene that is undoubtedly the movie’s feature attraction, a three-minute fight scene where the hero dispatches with a hallway full of faceless thugs using only a hammer, is only one of the notable scenes in Oldboy.  Choi Min-sik devouring a living octopus whole, as well as the villain (Yoo Ji-tae) clad in a gas mask and hazmat suit spooning a naked Oh Dae-su are two more examples of the enthralling artistry on display in this movie.

As the particularities of the plot reveal themselves and the story delivers a sickening denouement, the true intricacy of Oldboy reveals itself.  As the movie ends and each character’s path finds its own twisted conclusion, a message finally makes itself clear.  This is a movie about obsession, showing the way that vengeance, especially when taken to its greatest possible extremes, brings only evil into the world.  Through his use of ecstatically inventive filmmaking, Park Chan-wook has created an unflinching, deeply entertaining, and philosophically relevant work of art.

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Movie Review: Oldboy (2003)