SEOUL

Thursday night, and
Planet Hollywood in Seoul
is dead, more smiling
staff than diners,
the bar a well polished
wasteland, no lines
in the gift shop,
the Penguin mask
staring out over
the almost empty
dining room.
As we leave, having
consumed half a bottle
of soju between us
to the blare
of the endless videos,
they thank us and bow,
neatly arrayed in a row.
I can write my name
in Hangul and
smile in Korean.

CRADLING NIGHT

Last night the moon hid
daring the stars
to give chase
across the void
but they preferred
their slow procession.
I looked long,
hard for her
but she was master
of this game.
I looked for her
behind the neon signs
blazing from
countless buildings
electric grave stones
marking the resting place
of peace on a Seoul night.
I chased her shadow
behind the giant
bowling pin atop
the bus terminal
but she was fast
this moon, gone
before I could get her.
I asked Orion
if he had seen her
but he responded in Hangul
“I would not know
I seek my mother, the dawn
under the watchful eye
of my seven daughters.
Cassiopeia turned away
cradling Andromeda,
a mother she whispered
has no time for games.
I searched on
seeking from her
only a spell
to cast out my beloved
even now looking
at the cresting sun
half a world away.
Last night the moon hid
daring the stars
to give chase
while Seoul
and slowly I
slip into sleep.