Poetry by Taeyin ChoGlueck

Our series featuring writing by Firsts! contest finalists continues with poetry by Taeyin ChoGlueck. Her manuscript 집:jib was selected by judge Bhanu Kapil as the runner-up in our 2017 contest.

excerpts from jib

Cow beside itself on the white kitchen floor.
The outsideperson whistling outside his parents’,
‘Tis a done deal, because they’ve birthed him long ago.
Now he must go
Inside, become the outsideperson indoors
And inside.
Home sweet home, a familiar tune. Ploughing may need it.
Persimmons drop to the ground outside the house,
outside of sight, but cow knows when it does.
Calf is weaned too soon so its eyes bulge with daze.
Cow press them in.
Setting the table,
Insideperson lets the goldspeckled pear roll
off the table, blinded by the diagonal sun inside.
Prints on the glass catch her eyes.
Wiped, they must be, before outsideperson returns.
Stop eating so much. An overturned bowl spills
grains and pebbles that the outsideperson does not pick up.
Sniff, sniff, the outsideperson tests the plates,
Have you not learned? They go splattering,
a scattering of what could have been.
Calf hold breath.
All rot
a way.
Cow course stays. Cow chops and dices days.
Nothing rumbles.
A dead, ossified weight on the desk, the outsideperson doesn’t mind and sometimes minds
the one that had been, of the one that should
have been.
Outsideperson pointedly blames.
Cow watch insideperson tear a shed of herself.
Work as much as you’ve eaten, clanks the outsideperson.
The spoon,
calf puts down.
in the kitchen
for calf, since calf, until calf, by calf.
No, says calf to self.
Calf kneeled, reflecting on hooves, gathers and sprouts
thoughts of own.
To own thoughts in calf world
for calf, since calf, until calf, by calf.
Taeyin ChoGlueck is a playwright, poet, and writer. Her experiences range from immigrant to second generation, from Korean to Korean-American and Minnesotan/Midwestern identities. A large portion of Taeyin’s life is being the Co-founder of InterAction, a diversity catalyst nonprofit. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Margins, Juked, Ricepaper Magazine, Kyoto Journal, and others.

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