August 24, 2013

Ode to My Passport

Ode to My Passport

8-14 -15-13

OH not-so-golden-ticket to freedom
I don't know where I'd be without you
Actually that's not true
I know exactly where I'd be without you

but I don't know who I would be

Because of you I have discovered

more of who I am
And I found that definition
supersedes and transcends
home sweet home
overbearing barrier codes
or flagrantly self-serving flags

while still taking a little from each

Traveling has stretched my mind out

It uncoils my conditioning
Has shown me that we are all cocooned against our will
The more we are taught to ignore our wings

The less we navigate our bodies

from the comfort of the chrysalis

OH weathered flipbook of worldly administrative wonders

because of you I am a stamp collector
but I use them to mail myself around the globe
And though I've only been to 11 of the 196 countries
on 4 of the 7 continents
those fractions have made me whole
a more human being
I realized the lines inside my head that seemed
to be sensible borders
were cracks
causing crevices in my understanding
Keeping me from connecting
with the universal parts of us

OH magical object in my life
that isn’t really magical
since it’s just a little leathery booklet
that nobody can even read
The fuller you get the more fulfilled my life becomes
You are like my portrait of Dorian Gray
but you keep me young in the most beautiful way possible
by conjuring my spirit out its shell
to dance the flamenco with flamingos in Brazil


I haven’t done that but…
it sounds fun
Sounds like a good example right?
I could do that if I wanted to because I have a…
Never mind
lemme try again

OH future tracking device for the NSA

You keep me young in the most beautiful way possible
By conjuring my spirit out of its conical shell
To dance on beaches
Jump off bridges
Float with rivers
Cave open caves
Hike up glaciers
Chase down penguins
Fly off motorbikes
Sit on the ocean’s floor
Swim through a crowd of sweaty people
Pray for a “real toilet”
Succumb to pristine chapels and beehive malls
Climb ancient history to watch the latest sun set
Love a people or a culture I would have never known
Laugh with children I share no words with
Hang motionless by a rubber rope
in the middle of a canyon
like a spider from its web

That’s how many of us are now

Spiders dangling from a thread
looking up at this marvelous creation
going, “Huh, look at that.
That looks pretty cool.
Wonder where that came from.
Maybe I should go check it out.
I’ll just hang out here.
Gotta save some money anyway.”


All of you too averse to traverse our private speck of universe
for longer than it takes Venus to run around the Sun
I beg you to reconsider
Go sit with the beggars in Cambodia
Go meet the thieves in Rome
Go eat the strange food of supposed strangers
and taste their native tongues
Fill your pupils with all this colorful disco-ball
shimmers and shutters with
Our world is not what you think
It is incredibly what it is
And there’s no way you can
wrap your mind around that
until you have unwrapped
the scar spangled bandages
banded over your eyes

Once you do that

you will behold from such great heights
You will know nomads
and bond with vagabonds
wherever you may roam
You will finally understand
as you gaze into our existence
that this is our Never Never Land
But you should never say never



OH hallpass of safe passage through airy ports of absurd security
I want you to know
that I never get front row seats at concerts
but I always get a window seat when I fly
because every time I look outside
at the endless supply of beauty
known as planet Earth
I count my lucky stars
in the nebulas of citylight
in the clusters of cumulus cloud emitting iridescent white
To be here living is itself
an Ode to Joy
And I am thankful
that like the clouds
I am caught
in an invisible current
carrying me out
to see

All the pictures (except the first one) are my own and were taken in various parts of Thailand, my home for the past 7 years. God bless it! 


Fei said...

Good stuff. Although I am currently cursing my passport, and all the bureaucracy that comes with trying to get a visa that allows me to work somewhere other than the United States.

KJ Ink said...

Yeah, that I look forward to doing without. Thanks for the comment though!

Marsha said...

Outstanding piece that speaks of places and people I have only dreamed of. Vicariously, you have taken me around the world with your ink and for that I thank you!

Grace Olguin said...

Do you know of any open mics/poetry venues in Bangkok?

Liz Taylor said...

I like the 12th stanza best. Especially the internal rhymes--e.g. averse/traverse, run/sun. And the alliterative "scar spangled bandages banded over your eyes"--oh yeah. I guess the photographs are meant to bring pause, but I found them distracting--just me, I like to watch the words move into each other. so grateful to have time to do some reading on your blog.