Caveat: Tree #484

This tree on the left foregrounds a view of Gobong, a prominent hill in Ilsan, my former Korean home. You can see the distinctive radio tower on the mountain. Nestled at the foot of the radio tower is the Yeochan Temple, which I often visited. I took this picture in Jeongbalsan Park a few blocks from my apartment in October, 2015.

Caveat: Art #4

This ink drawing is of the fountain in the backyard of my paternal ancestors’ old home in San Marino, on California Boulevard. I drew this when living there in 1992. The house was torn down a few years later.

Caveat: Poem #1369 “Curtailment”

The rain had washed the world all clean:
  from the trees' branches hung blinded eyes,
    but mud-scrubbed stones held the road.
A bird sang suggestions, remained unseen:
  a purple fog had captured the skies,
    but a sun peered through a mist that flowed.
I walked up the gravel road a ways:
  feeling as if reduced in size
    by the looming trees with their secret code.
That rain had fallen for many days:
              time's old load.

– a curtal sonnet. I’m not sure how well I did. I tried to imitate the form invented by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, with a four-foot “sprung rhythm” and 10 1/2 lines.

Caveat: Art #3

This is one of my many vaguely architectural drawings. I think I drew a whole series of these “imaginary modernist churches” in around 1989 or so. The titles were often quite whimsical: this one is called “Sunshine Sect Church of the Renewable Love of God (Reformed Church of Contractual Christianity of the USA.)”. Note the “future date” I attached to these at the time of composition, which is now in the past.

Caveat: I’d make a deal with God

What I’m listening to right now.

Meg Myers, “Running Up That Hill.” This is a remake of the old Kate Bush song, which was once-upon-a-time a major part of my day-to-day soundtrack. This version has a very nice animated video made with the assistance of thousands of children who were given some crayons.

It doesn’t hurt me
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?
You, it’s you and me
And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
See if I only could, oh
You don’t want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware I’m tearing you asunder
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts
Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don’t we?
You, it’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy
And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
Say, if I only could, oh
It’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy
Oh come on, baby
Oh come on, darling
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on, angel
Come on, come on, darling
Let’s exchange the experience, oh
And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems
Say, if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems
So if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems
Say, if I only could
I’d be running up that hill
With no problems

Meanwhile, have some greenly growing lettuce.

Caveat: just one more post about books of poetry…

I’ll post this one more time. I’ve made the second volume of my collection of poetry “official” now, too. I made a little “Books” page on my professional website, which I’ll reproduce here.

I have published two volumes of poetry. Paperback copies are available on Amazon, on my author page. The prices are set based on cost of printing – I am not out to make money from my poetry.

I had originally intended to also publish Kindle (electronic book) versions, but Amazon was making that difficult, and so I decided that if what you really want is to read the poems cheaply or electronically, I’ll give them away for free. Here are PDF versions of both volumes:

Here are the paperback books on Amazon.

Caveat: Poem - Volume 1: Mostly in Korea - Book CoverCaveat: Poem - Volume 1: Mostly in Korea - Book Cover


Caveat: Poem #1367 “Time”

Frogs and horses, why are they?
Time is inescapable.
A burden. We cannot ever
escape. A child knows not time
but they make him learn.
They throw it on his back,
and he never notices
until one day,
then it is too late,
and they are happy.

– a free-form poem. This poem is a “guest post” from my own past. A distant past. I wrote this while in high school, in December, 1981. I remember writing it… vaguely.

Caveat: Art #1

It’s become clear to me that I enjoy enumerating things. I have been enumerating poems and trees with some success.
So recently I (re-)discovered the consolidated giant pile of my undifferentiated artwork, dating back to as early as 1971. I had shoved all the “portfolio cases” containing this stuff under one of the many beds Arthur maintains in the attic, and was reminded of them recently when he and I were looking for something and tearing the house apart.
I’ve been hanging on to all this material over the years, and adding to it occasionally, too. I want to make sure I have digital copies of everything. And what better way to catalog it than to blog it?
I’ve therefore decided to introduce a new enumerated topic for this here blog. I enjoy the fact that I’m living here with my uncle Art (Arthur), but that he has nothing to do with this series.
These will be scans (low-tech, i.e. done with my phone camera) of my artwork over the years. Some of it is from my childhood. These are not meant to represent great or even good art. These are mostly just memories. I’ll attempt to estimate a date of composition for each one presented. I will not attempt any kind of system or order of presentation.
There is one specific subset of my artwork that will not be included here under the Caveat: Art heading: my many hand-drawn maps and geofictions. I will post these Paper Geofictions in a different series, over at my other blog, which is specifically – though pseudonymously – dedicated to my geofiction activity.
Here is the first one. It is a picture of my dad’s car. I think I painted this around 1972 (age 7).

Caveat: A Philosophical Comic

I have a vivid memory of having posted this before. I drew it in 2009, I believe, or late 2008. I can’t find it on this here blog, and I ran across the paper copy recently in some old papers I was going through. So I’ll post it again.
I’ll also post the text of it, this time, so that it is more “searchable” in the future.

Teacher says: “I’m going to use these last minutes of our class to give you some advice. Please listen carefully.”

Student 1 says: “Why?”

Student 2 says: “Oh Teacher! No.”

Teacher: “I have made the realization that happiness is not a mental state. It is not something that is given to you, or that you can find, or that you can lose, or that can be taken from you.”

Student 2 thinks: “뭥미?” [What is this shit?]

Teacher says: “Happiness is something that you DO. And like most things that you do, it is volitional. You can choose to do happiness, or not. You have complete freedom with respect to the matter.”

Student 1 thinks: “이상한 사람이구낭.” [Jeez, this guy is weird]

Teacher says: “There is a zen saying that goes, ‘Leap, and the net will appear.’ I have followed it many times.”

Student 3 thinks: “오, 배곱하…” [Ugh, I’m hungry… (I’ve misspelled the Korean)]


Teacher thinks: “I will search for my purpose.”

Teacher says: “Oh guru, what is the meaning of life?”

Guru says: “I don’t know. The computers are down.”

This comic is the origin of the “distillation of my personal philosophy” that appears at the end of my little “author bio” that is in the right-hand column of this blog’s current incarnation.

Caveat: Tree #480

This is a redwood tree. In fact, it is what is called metasequoia, or “dawn redwood,” a strange variety of redwood that loses its needles in winter. They are planted all over Seoul, though not native there.
I took this picture in January, 2009, in Goyang, Korea, a few blocks from my apartment.
picture[daily log: walking, 1km]

Caveat: Tensegrity

How did I not know about these fascinatingly engineered doohickeys?
They use tension on flexible pieces in balance to create an illusion of “hovering.”
This guy built a stool suspended, from below, with lengths of chain. Interesting.

And here is a video showing how you can build one with Legos.


Caveat: 지리산 포수

Here is an aphorism from my book of Korean aphorisms.

지리산 포수
Jiri-Mountain hunter
[That’s like] a hunter at Jiri Mountain.

Jiri Mountain, in the south center of the peninsula, long ago was famous for being inhabited by fierce tigers. So a hunter at Jiri Mountain probably never returns, but is killed and eaten by tigers. This is said of someone who is lost forever, perhaps due to his own foolishness.

Caveat: Let’s

The problem with growing in a greenhouse is that you still have to water your garden even when it rains all day.
Let’s look at lettuce. It’s growing well.
Juli said (on the phone) that lettuce and onions shouldn’t be next to each other. I didn’t know that. I told her it was too late. The lettuce and onions seem okay so far – but times are early to judge success.

Unrelated nonsense…
“This sentence has seven syllables” has eight syllables
“This sentence has eight syllables” has seven syllables

Caveat: to sell them the world

Good Bones
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
- Maggie Smith (American poet, b. 1977)

This poem reminded me of my mother for some reason.

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