Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From this semester, I draw pictures for my articles in the Preface…
just I would like to share… I know that they are a little bit silly but enjoy…

Monday, September 29, 2008


I hear a minuet. My cat sleeps on a couch.
A pianist plays Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Ravel composed it for his friends.
They died in World War I.

She hums the phrase and whispers to me,
“Funerals two thousand times in my country.”

Home: pieces of blocks
under the soldiers’ boots in her smallest

country, Georgia. No place to return. Refugee:
other people call her. Her cousins went to war.

“Where are the all caskets?” I ask her.

She keeps playing the minuet with a metronome
and its short repeated sound.

All the corpses are hidden under the borderline
like spring water: blood.

A withered gerbera on the piano.

There is no graveyard for prayer.
She cannot cry in front of it.

I say, “I brought a cup of tea and blueberries.”

She huddles the warm
cup and picks up a blueberry. It lightly rolls

down the table to the floor.
The cat plays with a cricket

pulling off its leg.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Empty Suitcase:
Six Unspectacular Things about Me

The IU South Bend writer’s community connects with each other on the internet. They share creative stories, art, and poetry in their blogs and some professors like Sally Smits, Clayton Michaels, and David Dodd Lee communicate with students through blogging. Also in the blog, IUSB Creative Writing, Professor Kelcey Parker makes all kinds of announcements such as writing events and submission opportunities.

I deeply belong to the blogging community and this column also started from my blog. I got a columnist opportunity from a former Preface editor— blogger— Eric Gingerich.

Last week, I was tagged— tagged to share an enjoyable writing topic with other bloggers— from a poet, Professor Michaels. He tagged four IUSB bloggers to write about “Six Unspectacular Things about Me.”

Blogging is about personal confessions but a writer is somehow expecting that someone reads the confessions and respond to them. I set up Sitemeter— a tracking and counter program for the blog— it is good to have the program because I know how many people read and where they are from. In addition, it may prevent plagiarism, but art is still all about stealing and creating my own art world from it.

I check my Sitemeter once a day because only thirteen or so people read my blog. I secretly begged a person from Michigan who sometimes comments on my blog while I was thinking of the “Six Unspectacular Things about Me.”

I am thinking; perhaps, maybe writing for pleasure, I scratch the right side of my head and count how much hair falls. When I was in junior high school, I used to have a collection of any kind of good falling hair— a perfect fibril, smooth cuticle, and shiny hair— and my mother found it one day and screamed. I do not collect hair any more but I walk between a computer and trash can hundreds of time with falling hair while I am thinking. Obviously, I cannot write in public; especially, in a coffee house.

Maybe because I am not clean or maybe I am just not healthy, I am easily infected. While writing this column, I suffered from an internal infection. This time, green tea from my grandmother could not prevent the invasion of bacteria into my body— I drink 1500ml of tea every day— perhaps, my cat hears my screams of pain from the bathroom these days.

I cut my fingernails exceptionally short when I think about writing. Cutting nails is on an unconscious level— I have no idea when I actually cut my nails. I even carry a small nail clipper in my pocket— so my nails are always short and actually showing skin underneath the nails. I used to practice playing piano for more than five hours every day. Longer nails make noise on keys so I always kept them shorter but maybe too short now. I still have the habit even though I do not have a piano.

No longer practicing piano for five hours, I like listening to music-- Jurassic Park and Hook-- when I write. My father gave me the CD, “John Williams Greatest Hits 1969-1999,” on my nineteenth birthday. At least, the music makes feel that I am writing a meaningful column about unspectacular things. While I am listening to those dynamic compositions, I forget about myself— myself— an unspectacular creature.

While I finish up writing this column, rice is ready on the stove. I eat it with pickles before a class at 3:00pm on Wednesday. Sometimes, I accidentally eat my hair. From my stereo, themes of Jurassic Park, I am ready to go an urban jungle, Jurassic English class. A stone implement tool, a pen, is in my backpack.

I would like to tag...
Terri Vega
Rachel Custer
Eric Duenez and
Talia Reed

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FGWC (the Writer's Meeting)
Wed. the 17th, 7:00 p.m., The Oaken Bucket

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Empty Suitcase:
Surgical Complication with Every New Skirt
My actress friend visited me from Maine last weekend, so I picked up her in Chicago. I looked for a girl with a white scarf at an arriving gate in O’Hare International Airport. Before she took off at her last layover, she text-messaged me, “I am wearing a white scarf, just like you always wear a hat.”

I am always wearing a hat especially on sunny days, I even store a folding hat and sunglasses in my car. In my closet, I have collections of hats— straw, cowboy, and regular hats, Chicago Bear’s caps, and even witch-like pixie hats with a variety of colors— since I have a slightly complicated skin condition, I cannot soak up sunshine for more than 15 minutes.

If I stay under the sun without shade, in the worst situation, I lose my eyebrows. My eyebrows had been lost for my entire time in junior high school because I was in a tennis club outside. “Why do not you have eyebrows? Did you shave them?” those questions were always surrounding me. But it was hard to answer because losing eyebrows was something similar to forest fires. It is a menace under the sun in dry weather.

Driving back from Chicago, we had a few stops by the Magnificent Mile— Guess, Banana Republic, Express etc— making a shadow with my white hat and streams from her scarf. I got a short jeans skirt, which was pretty with leggings from a store, a trendy style this autumn.

When we came back to my apartment, we had our own fashion show going on. We posed at the TV screen and turned in front of my black cat; and then she realized— the cashier forgot to take off the security ink tag— a round plastic button was stuck on the short skirt just like a tail bone.

If we took off the tag, blue ink would spread all over the skirt, so I called the store. But a cashier said, “I’m sorry, Ma’am. Just stop by next time,” with a young cute voice; perhaps, the sound of bubble gum in her mouth. The store was obviously too far away for an emergency surgery of taking the tail off, so I went to stores at University Park Mall for help, the treatment.

The security tag proved to be working very well. My tail waggled out of joy every time it set alarms off. It beeped piercingly when I went inside stores in the mall; beeping until the cashier or security came. “I’m not a shoplifter!” I was wearing a black cap and sunglasses to preserve my beloved eyebrows. Showing a receipt, I explained the problem with the security tag over and over in many stores. They were helpful but the tail did not exactly match the machines, just like different blood types cannot accept certain blood no matter how other people are supportive for the patient.

There were actually many types of security tags— small, medium, short, or long in any color of tags like earrings pierced on the edge of the clothes. At the last store in the mall, I beeped again, so a floor manager who was just like an ER doctor with a measuring tape around her neck came right away. She listened to my explanations quickly; and as if she had said, “A scalpel,” the tag was gone like breaking a wishbone, my dream came true. The tags at the store looked different than mine but somehow the manager took it off.

I wore the skirt to work the next morning. My boss beeped at the skirt. She told me the skirt was not appropriate. It was too short. I wondered what she would have said if I worn the tail at work with it. At least, I would lash my tail from side to side cheerfully.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Empty Suitcase:
Call for an Art Director for Analecta

On September 4th I represented Analecta, the IU South Bend English Magazine at Art Beat in downtown South Bend. 250 copies of past issues were gone after two hours and it was a great start for introducing Analecta this year. Someone might hear me saying over and over like a broken record player with Japanese accent, “Hello, would you r-ike to keep a f-lee art magazine from IUSB?” Somehow, many people asked me how long I have been in America instead of asking about Analecta. “I have been South Bend for five years…it is not too long and I love this beautiful town, South Bend,” which I responded.

Anyway, I am so excited to be the editor of Analecta as an international student for the 2009 issue. Analecta has been published since 1988. Professor Nancy Botkin, who teaches creative writing at IUSB, is one of the earlier award receivers and her book, Parts that Were Once Whole, was published in 2007. Former editors such as Talia Reed (2007) and Vince Bauters (2008) flourish in their creative careers more and more after editing the magazine. In addition, other writers and artists take the great first step in the creative world through Analecta.

Anaelcta is an annual art magazine from the English Department. All IU South Bend students have a chance to submit their fiction and nonfiction stories, poetry, plays, and visual art to the magazine. All past issues are available at the English Department, on the third floor of Wiekamp. All creative story submissions are considered for the Lester M. Wolfson Poetry Award and IUSB Creative Writing Awards. Writers and artists will celebrate their publication on April 11, 2009 with a guest writer, Susan Choi. Information about story submission will be announced in the middle of this semester by fliers.

One of my goals as the editor is that I want local and international writers and artists to share their creativities in Analecta and create something, something, like an explosion of modern art. I am really looking forward to seeing Analecta as a more phenomenonal art magazine in South Bend.

So I am currently looking for an art director. The art director has a chance to design cover art for the magazine and select art for an individual’s creative story. From the past issues, talented young art students such as Jason Cytacki (2007) and Danl DuRall (2008) deigned the cover pages with oil paints and digital arts. Also Dr. Micheline Nilsen who teaches Art History and other art professors are supportive to all students in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Submission Guideline for Visual Art and Art Director
Please use IUSB email address. All students receive a personal email address from the university. If you do not have an IU email account, the IT Help Desk in Wiekamp will help to establish your email address. In addition, I will not open any files from other email domains due to computer issues.

Please send your one to three visual arts from September 10 to December 17. And also please write the subject title as “Art Submission.” I will personally contact individuals in the spring semester, 2009 regarding the position as art director. The art director must be able to make a time commitment for Analecta until April 11, 2009. In addition, all visual arts are considered for publication of Analecta. Please send your arts to: analecta@iusb.edu

ATTN: Story submission will be announced in the middle of this semester by fliers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Introducing Analecta at Art Beat in South Bend Downtown was very successful. After only two hours, 250 copies of past issues of Analecta, fliers, and the Preface were gone! Thank you very much for people who stopped by the booth, thank you Ann and Rachel! Special thanks to Charmi, Jason, and Dane who helped me to set up the booth, and Professor Parker who gave me advice and printed all the fliers!
September 4, 2008: Art Beat 2008 is moving indoors to the Century Center. The Art Beat Steering Committee made the call this morning due to today's weather forecast. The Century Center staff has graciously offered the use of their facility for today's event.

We hope that you will show your support for the arts and downtown South Bend by not cancelling. The local media is being contacted regarding this change so the community is aware. Please help spread the word through emails or calls to friends!
Please note that despite the call for rain on Thursday, September 4th we
have no plans to cancel the event, Art Beat in South Bend Downtown. The event will only be cancelled in case of severe weather which is currently not the case. Chances are that the weather will be fine afternoon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thursday, September 4th 4:oo to 8:oopm
South Bend Downtown

Introducing Analecta, FGWC, and the Preface!

Charmi (the coordinator of writer's meeting at IUSB,) Jason (the editor of the Preface,) and I will meet at the English Department Office (3rd floor of DW) at 2:45pm.

Everyone is welcome!