A Solar Visor And A Song To Sing

Preliminary materials for reunification

“Today, the DMZ has become a viable tourism resource. It is an eco-tourism spot created by the bio-diversity of the perfectly conserved ecosystem . . . There are several security tour courses along the armistice line of the Iron Triangle, the Dam of Peace, the Punch Bowl, and the Unification Observatory.” — Korea Herald


                                        Listen! So little is done in so little time. This is the general rule. The lowest common denominator is usually the right one. Coins are expressed as fractions. But what is a silent commotion? Is this the place for revolt? This map is so perplexing. One always needs tools. A knife, some fish, a bit of rope, a drop of vanilla extract certainly can do miracles. Trust me, I’ve been there. And I wouldn’t go back. There is so much to see and to do. What happened to Kodak picture points? Do you remember them? It was always so much excitement. Here comes a call. I’ll sell you a nickel for the cost of a dime. You know you have to say please. Those dictators do grow on trees. Does the pope shit in the woods? It’s anybody’s guess. I could go on forever. So could you. We wouldn’t even know it, it’s just that thing we do when we get together. There is so much thinking to be done. It’s really quite exhausting. I try to be pleasant. We wonder about the weather tomorrow. Cows move in herds. I always find it suspicious. Now they scatter azaleas. One day I know you’ll tire of me. The most delicious eels are those that are neutral. This isn’t the same as bland. My son is very handsome, my daughter very successful, but of course this is all ideology. Three in five netizens agree. We can’t live without his care, his distance-shrinking magic. Now this is the story of our first love. It’s impossible to talk about sex without class. It’s so hard not to be complicit. And I do try to be pleasant. Please sign our petition. Here, take a picture. Take a look at my cards. There’s nothing to do here but say cheese. Surrealize your potential. Surcharge your life. Close your eyes and think of home. I’ve been saying this from the beginning. Don’t worry, it will all be over soon

Sons & Other Strangers

“Two girls stand in line at the coffee shop wearing prairie sundresses and red lipstick, trying to remember the lyrics to a song.”


“In my room is a map of the United States where black dots mark the places I’ve been, black lines the roads I’ve taken. America, enmeshed in a net.”

The Hotel

From The Hotel Years; translated by Michael Hoffman