In Collaboration with CHIWAN CHOI

-The following pieces were created in response to and with-
my name is wolf (when the cold came)
by
Chiwan Choi

undone /// undoing /// it begins between bones between breaths lost to panic /// skin // sin /// how so much of what makes me is inescapable /// where is my forest / the place that annihilates / then soothes my body / on fire / with an endless winter /// undone /// untouched /// how will i recognize the life i have lived / scattered on pavement / cracking under the weight of all / that has been killed /// the flowers / in their second bloom // or the beginning of another loss /// undone /// unmade /// unforgiven /// we were happy / in a time and a place / that exists less each day / there are photos that tell me stories / that this story can be true /// undone // soon // undone /// you say my name / as if there is a lifeboat / between the letters / that have spelled me / wrong /// undone /// shattered across life / and lifetimes /// i don’t know where this goes /// i can’t remember how i began /// undone /// how do i begin to love myself / this thing so long /// undone 

these seconds that i lose

33 x 21 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

when you were a childNo.1

19 x 12 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

when you were a childNo.2

19 x 22 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

when i called your name – No.1

14 x 18 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

when i called your name-No.2

14 x 18 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

i walked into the forest

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

without a name as you howled

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

that my father told me

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

when you were a child

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

you learned to be afraid

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

when the cold came-No.1

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

when the cold came-No.2

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

she called opium

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

i knew how to love

6.5 x 5 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household on paper

wolf sings itself

10.5 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches
2021
sun dry clay, found branch, twine, raw aquamarine, hair, resin

as it holds you/up in worship

36 x 72 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

it begins between bones between breaths lost to panic

21 x 33 inches
2021
oil, pencil, charcoal, household on canvas

my name is wolf (when the cold came)

you learned to be afraid / before you ever had a chance to learn your name / they wanted you to believe / that death was the enemy / because it was your birthright. // you believed it when / the snow fell for the first time / and the winter came and / the dog hung frozen from the balcony / and you feared the invisibility of you / without a name as you howled. // i will lead you to your name / death will still come / because you will have earned it / and it will be yours as it always was. // we will begin with / what’s beneath your feet. / its name is soil. / this is land. / this is the ground. // this is the open palms / of the universe / as it holds you / up in worship.

*

when you were a child / they taught you about the winter / pointing at the dog hanging / frozen from your balcony. / now it is night in some year much later // and you have been standing / too long in the snow / that silences your life for once // but even in the deepest hours / buried in the cold / death remains visible / in front of you // sometimes it is a fire burning / sometimes it is just the memory of burning / and sometimes it is the form / of your mother tilting uncontrollably / to one side as she reaches for you.

*

this is how i think it goes — / find someone who will replace all the things i fear about dying, / until their bones too shatter in regret / as i step out into the first sun after winter and breathe. // my father, you see, is crying somewhere in LA because / his little brother has died in korea and he can’t fly there to mourn. / they were like twins. i mistook one for the other once before / they took me to the mountain and i then mistook grandmother’s grave for a mountain. // what i’m trying to say is that i walked through new york today like / a familiar ghost and turned left around a new coffee shop where / a person with brown skin once stood loving. // and around the corner were the trees and the silence and the snow / that covered the whole of it and winter / spoke to me again asking me to name my body / to name my mother to name the hours clutched in my hands / like such rocks scooped up from the bottom of the river.

*

when the cold came / I walked into the forest to die / because winter was always the season / I knew how to love // there was once a tribe / that was turned into a river / of blood, the current soaking my feet / until i chose to walk again hidden

from the sun. // it seems like so many years ago / that my father told me / one day i would learn to accept / loneliness and that there was a place for me where fruits ripen / on the branches that also hold up the sky / in anger. // there comes a day / when your eyes can no longer / stare at your brother at your sister / burying teeth into their own skin / to find a chance to escape the curse / of their bodies // maybe we don’t realize we have / walked away from our lives until / we are standing in snow falling / like childhood and front yards and your / first broken bone / learning that white was always the color of death.

*

they called it prison / but it was your skin. // they called it progress / while breaking your bones. // you said blame / but it was your heart. // i will call it today / these seconds that i lose / on your shoulders. // i will call her mother / who searches my face for her childhood // i will call it father / this body dissolving // where were you tuesday / when i called your name // i held on to her arm / before i knew to call it bridge // that was love in the front yard / that she called opium // you called my name / when i reached for the dirt.

the poet and his wife

36 x 72 inches
2021
oil, pencil, household, charcoal, on canvas

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