Old Ladies

My Old Ladies have become my inheritance.


On Classon Avenue

As a youngster I didn’t think about how I was on the road to old ladyhood the minute I came out of my mother’s uterus.


Still on Classon

The “good night” that Dylan Thomas was writing about is some serious shit.  I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because I am afraid of dying.  I know I am dying.


Three Hats on the go

What the fuck.

Another summer gone, the hills burned to burdock and
thistle, I hold you a moment in the cup of my voice,
you flutter in the frail cave of the finch, you lean to speak
in my ear and the first rains blow you away.
–Philip Levine


Use Your Noodle

I can barely go a day without having noodles.  Can you?


Make mine noodle

I am full of noodles as I write this post.  I had somen noodles for breakfast.  I whooped it up with sesame oil, sesame leaf and kombu broth.   And yesterday I had fettucini with artichokes and pine nuts at Quartino, a sweet little spot on Bleecker Street.


And more noodle

And the evening before we had a spot on spaghetti with meat sauce at home.


Even more…

But I am an equal opportunity eater of noodles as I will consume instant noodles with just as much verve and pleasure.  Treasure.


Dried kimchi flakes

I got this instant ramen bowl at a local bodega and was beguiled by the promise of kimchi.  Well, it’s really kimchi “flakes” for what it’s worth.  But I slurped that shit up like there was no tomorrow.

My DNA is noodle.


Noodles with Sesame Leaf

1 bunch somen noodles

3 sesame leaves, julienned

2 cups broth (dashi or anchovy)

soy sauce

sesame oil

sesame seeds

  1. Fix noodles as directed,  al dente.
  2. When noodles are done, pour hot broth over the noodles.
  3. Add sesame leaves and add soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds to taste.



Grandmother Badass

How badass my grandmother had to be to live her life.

Jiwon wgrandma.jpg

Jiwon and Grandma, 1972

There were so many goodbyes in her lifetime: Loss of children,  husband, and home.


My father’s mother

She had grit galore.   The notion of “grit” has become trendy in these recent years, but really it’s what we’ve had to have in order to live through shit.  Like a war.  Sorry, you don’t get to claim you have grit until you’ve had to overcome bad shit.

departure 4

What grit looks like

If you are claiming you have grit because you got over breaking up with your lover, losing your favorite shirt or not getting invited to brunch, let’s find another word for you:  Oh I know, how’s about “pettifogging”?


and please not another sob story

about your dog, pony or wife…

it’s time you learned to grin

and bear it

-––excerpted from “Koreans in Proverbs: Expect a Petulant God” by Jiwon Choi

The Animal of Truth

Louise Glück wrote that the “woman’s body is a grave.”


The Animal of Truth

You’ll get no arguments from me.

I’ve been watching my aunt sink ever more into it.



In this light

I can see the animal of truth

become you

unleashing equal parts delirium

and deliverance.

What can Time take

that you have not already

let go?  Sight, sound, taste

returned to the next in line.

How expert you have become

in looking into the space

behind your eyes.

— “Animal of Truth” by Jiwon Choi