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Jim Goar

My Poems come in sets and the sets come from questions. Whole Milk wanted to know what poetry was w/o its most obvious tool, the line break. Whole Milk also contained everything I knew. That book dried me out. After Meng Chiao came about two years later. It wanted to explore what line breaks could do that punctuation could not. Both of these books could have been written anywhere. The location was in my head. Boulder, Brevard, Bangkok and Seoul played little part. In 33 Times Before Sunrise, I wanted to change that. I wanted location to be key. I also wanted to see why words with a left margin and uniform spacing would not work as a poem, but those same words, when spread over the page, worked well. I used old tools and new tools to write 33 Times. It dealt with space and the ground under my ass. It ended when I left Seoul.

After spending the summer in the States I am back in Seoul. I wonder if 33 Times is picking back up in this series, or if this series is something different. These poems seem to be dealing with the same formal questions, but the location of the writing and the circumstances surrounding the writing have changed. I no longer write on a computer or at a Buddhist monastery. Now I write on a bus or outside Sang-yeon’s office or on my bed. The only thing consistent with this set is the notebook.

North Korea conducted a nuclear test just before I returned to Seoul. The thought that a missile could be in the air right now, though irrational, is present. The Bomb is never far away from these poems.


Oct 27th


Sean building







A yellow coat

                     a keyhole

  & I can leave                       Sunday morning

         jellyroll               let me

    a green light walk

silently     next door



Above the March


coat her belly

     rainy day


and parents alike

danced    and did not

sing to keep dry



High Noon

(oct 23rd)


Here we have

   the world

                                          on ice

                                            my darling

                   aghast without

                   gas are you

where letter blocks don’t

          tell me

  sew buttons around

                     yr door no more





When I stop drinking

(oct 24th)


Angel pants the ether

no stop light     be drunk

supine moon double shot

the sun into its grave



No laughing matter

(Seoul. October 25, 2006)



        and hair



                                                            miles away

                from the                     bomb

debt in                debt out

       sky                  night sky

                    my lung

            bruised and mosquito bite

                                                                            I am

                              in love

                                        I hope

I do not



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