A toast to Katherine

A toast to Katherine

A Poem by Ban Heo

A toast to Katherine

 

Cheers to chain-smoking Virginia Slims

On Saturdays alone in your motel room

With a bottle of Brunettes at your night table

Watching Gilligan’s Island like it’s 1964.

 

To choking down prescription medication.

One from each compartment like it’s 1940

And the cute boy from school gave you a box

Of See’s famous candies for Valentines Day.

 

Cheers to Mondays when rent is due.

To the Oriental family that owns the place

That let you stay two weeks before

Their son wrote up an eviction notice and

 

GOD bless that bed in which you slept

And occasionally used as a latrine.

The putrid smell of old s**t and piss that

Made me thank GOD for cigarette addiction.

 

GOD bless that dress I helped you pack as I

Stepped over expired food you’d forgotten

The one you wore to college homecoming

That blue one with the stripes you can’t seem to forget.

 

GOD bless Jimmy who you’d call by name

And your 40’s ingrained racism for Mexicans

For occasionally calling me a Chinaman

As the maid and I gathered your things.

 

Bless that car we cleaned and filled to the brim

With boxes of canned foods and old letters

With clothes that you don’t seem to wear anymore

And bless you Ms. Griffin for holding on

 

To that photo you held in your hands

Crying yet smiling as you drove on by.

© 2013 Ban Heo


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Featured Review

I agree with Anjelica - I was captivated immediately by the first stanza. Very vivid and textured... I hold the cigarettes in my fingers and see the TV flicker.
This really tugged at something within me - you have a great dichotomy going on with your "Cheers to" and "God bless" phrases mixed with the terribly sad events you describe. Mostly, I'm struck by how alive this is to me, and I think it's mostly thanks to your specificity and descriptiveness.
Just a few places where different spellings or grammar tripped me up, but it didn't stop me from appreciating the complex feeling this gave me - a strange mixture of pity, sinking, heartbreak, and love, some kind of cherishing despite all else. Great job, in my opinion.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ban Heo

8 Years Ago

can you point out those grammatical and spelling errors? thanks for the review btw
Jessica M. Lundquist

8 Years Ago

Sure -
I noticed that you have "chocking" where I think you meant "choking"
In the line,.. read more
Ban Heo

8 Years Ago

haha thank you. The "chocking" is definitely a spelling error.



Reviews

Nice presentation here. You have a good choice of words. You explained well how your story began and ended not in ordinary manner. You are creative.

Good job!

Posted 8 Years Ago


I agree with Anjelica - I was captivated immediately by the first stanza. Very vivid and textured... I hold the cigarettes in my fingers and see the TV flicker.
This really tugged at something within me - you have a great dichotomy going on with your "Cheers to" and "God bless" phrases mixed with the terribly sad events you describe. Mostly, I'm struck by how alive this is to me, and I think it's mostly thanks to your specificity and descriptiveness.
Just a few places where different spellings or grammar tripped me up, but it didn't stop me from appreciating the complex feeling this gave me - a strange mixture of pity, sinking, heartbreak, and love, some kind of cherishing despite all else. Great job, in my opinion.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ban Heo

8 Years Ago

can you point out those grammatical and spelling errors? thanks for the review btw
Jessica M. Lundquist

8 Years Ago

Sure -
I noticed that you have "chocking" where I think you meant "choking"
In the line,.. read more
Ban Heo

8 Years Ago

haha thank you. The "chocking" is definitely a spelling error.
Well done. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Raw and real, comes to mind...you had me with that very first stanza, it tells a very sad story, you wrote it so eloquently. I love See's candy by the way. This is a favorite of mine, it's going on the shelf.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is absolutely amazing. I'm stunned. I don't often find poetry of this caliber on here. It's fantastic.
First of all, your first stanza is absolutely captivating. I was committed immediately. Your writing is very clear and concise.
Every stanza is strong. You don't have anything bad here. I'm trying to find something to pick at, but I really can't. I'm impressed.
I'm also a sucker for cigarettes in poetry. I love that.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
this has a real feel to it...despair, life run down, broken...i really like it...i would have used "feces" in that one part...the wording there i believe takes away from the poem a bit...and seems out of place with the way the rest of the poem is worded.

but overall...you capture something very real here...and very sad.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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6 Reviews
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Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on May 7, 2013
Last Updated on June 7, 2013

Author

Ban Heo
Ban Heo

Boulder, CO



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I'm a creative writing major and I'm here to get some additional constructive feedback on/share my writing. more..

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