Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lydia Kang Takes The Dare


Okay, so way back when, April asked me to do a truth or dare, and I picked a dare. This one, to be exact:

Go to a cemetery at dusk and write a poem.

I put it off for months! But the time came, and lo and behold, it was Friday the 13th last week, so it was meant to be. I drove to the Bohemian Cemetery in town, prayed I wouldn’t get arrested or maimed by the dead, and did the deed. Actually, I did the deed several times, as you can see. I also have pictures to prove that I went.  See? (in one of them, I found a 4-leaf clover looking thing. I think the spirit of the Lucky13s was with me. J)





Here are my poems. Yes, I wrote a bunch. The dead, the robins, and the mosquitoes kept me company.


Cemetery at Dusk

In the quiet of the cemetery,
I heard the mourners.

The ones who wept a lake,
and the unmoving, those who screamed inside themselves

for Anna
for Charles
for Vaclav and Mary.

I heard others who laughed with shameful spite
happy to be parted with the freshly dead.

And those who cried because,
dearest,
they’d wished they’d had more time.


Antonia’s grave

Antonia said she disliked lace.

It makes me sad, she said.
Bury me in clematis vine
in lapis and gold leaf
with a water veil
and the perfume of an angry woman.

And so he did.


A Question of Death

Will you say goodbye
to the firefly and the cicadas,
the angry words and the scent of violence?

To salt and caramel and regret,
To love so keen it bores like a parasite?

I ask you this, knowing there is no answer,
knowing there is no choice.



Lydia Kang is an author. A part-time doc. A salt-lover. A geek-girl. A hyphen addict. She is represented by Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency, and her YA sci-fi novel, CONTROL, will be out with Dial/Penguin in the summer of 2013. Find her awesome blog here.

Next up: Natalie, this Friday. Send her truth and dares.


48 comments:

  1. Lydia! I love these poems. So much mood and atmosphere. (Also: I am very jealous of your four leaf clover. I have never EVER found one :( )

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    1. Thanks Erin! Okay, confession: it's not really clover, but it looked so much like it that I thought it was at first. :)

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  2. In truth, I love cemeteries. It never occurred to me to write in one though. I may have to give that a try. Your poems put me there. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Liza! You should try it sometime. I had no idea it would inspire me so much.

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  3. I love this dare! How cool, to write poetry at a cemetery. And the poems are great.

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    1. Thanks Megan! It was a fun dare, even though I totally stressed about it!

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  4. I wondered how this went for you, Lydia. Looks like it turned out well! Glad you shared with us.

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  5. Great job! and love the poems. I think being any setting - esp. a graveyard - would be inspiration to a writer.

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    1. Thanks Laura! I agree. Setting can do so much for the imagination. :)

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  6. Wow! Beautiful and haunting. Cemeteries can lend themselves to so many different emotions. The gamut, for sure.

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    1. Thanks Barbara. It was really very emotional when I first stepped through the cemetery, but then I mellowed and felt weirdly welcomed.

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  7. Brave AND poetic? Lydia, you rock!!

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    1. Thanks Elsie! As for brave, I have one thing to say. "Facetats."

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  8. You did good, Lydia! And found a four leaf clover to boot.

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    1. Thanks Alex! It was an almost four leaf clover, but I'll take it.

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  9. To salt and caramel and regret. I want that on my gravestone. Thanks for doing my cemetery dare, Lydia. You're a pretty-word-writing warrior.

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    1. Aw, thanks April! I was pretty tortured about this dare until I actually did it. Thanks for giving me the excuse to get my poetry writing back in gear. :)

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  10. I take off my hat and bow to your determination! Very well done!! :)

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    1. Aw, thanks DL! And thank you for stopping by!

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  11. These poems are great, I love them !!

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    1. Thank you Leanne! I'm glad you liked them!

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  12. Those were truly evocative and lovely poems.

    It got me to thinking that each of us carries a graveyard in our souls, repositories for the loving words we should have said when time was our friend, or crypts for the hateful words when our tongue was our worst enemy, or haunted homes for the ghosts of our good intentions that died for lack of our will to carry them out.

    See what you started inside me? By the way, it was the four leaf clover that got you out of that cemetery in one piece! LOL.

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    1. LOL! So happy to spread the inspiration around, Roland. Those are some lovely words there!

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  13. Lydia!! You brave woman - yay for you!! And you got your inspirations for these beautiful poems!! Double yay!!! Take care
    x

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    1. Thanks Old Kitty! Say hi to Charlie for me!

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  14. Wow! Gorgeous poems AND pictures! Awesome, Lydia! :)

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  15. Thanks Jenn! And thank you for stopping by!

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  16. Those are wonderful poems. Love the pictures as well!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed the poems and picts!

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  17. Oh, I love the mood of these! I'm especially in love with the second verse of Antonia's Grave. Beautiful!

    Also, congrats on surviving! :D

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  18. April, thanks for hosting this. Lydia, "perfume of an angry woman" makes me shudder for some reason. Nice.

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    1. Always happy to elicit shudders from readers. ;)

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    2. "Perfume of an angry woman." Yeah, that's brilliant.

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  19. Awesome Lydia!! What a cool experience. This line picks at my brain: Antonia said she disliked lace. :)

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    1. Thanks Coleen! It was totally cool. I highly recommend a hang-out with the dead.

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  20. Love the pictures. Love the poems. What a cool dare!

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  21. Thanks Kasie! It was a cool dare. Sometimes I can't believe I took April up on it. :)

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  22. I love that you did it on Friday the 13th, too! You are super brave and the poems are awesome. Maybe you should do it more often:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  23. Love.
    You're now the Truth or Dare Poet Master!

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  24. When I saw, "Well, I did it..." and a picture of a graveyard, my immediate thought was that you spent the night in the graveyard. I'm glad it was only poetry at dusk. ;)

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  25. Wow! Simply wow! So very amazing, Lydia. I wish I had poetry talent but that, like the artistic one, has passed me by...

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