meta haiku about cloning and the dis/embodied sensation of floating Before the Razor of "To Those In Childhood Who Once Drew a Cornflower Blue Coffin That Was Secretly a Spaceship To Bypass Heaven"

Click here to read “To Those In Childhood Who Once Drew a Cornflower Blue Coffin That Was Secretly a Spaceship To Bypass Heaven” by Ed Bok Lee.

This short poem was the epigraph to a play I wrote, *Glow (2004), which was about clones from Korea, who get resettled in America. In general, I like to write epigraphs to help me crystalize the themes when working on a longer project; themes, such as, in this case: memory beyond death, the body as a container/something to be contained, grades of alienation within otherness, mono no aware, the nature of “inborn” talent, and the human urge to materialize scientific laws, principles, and conceptual containers only to ultimately long to render these things obsolete, to shatter them. Beyond many of the expected moral, ethical, and viscerally emotional conundrums that cloning evokes, the play attempts to ask where the concept of a “soul” fits in if a body exists again (and again) after it has already died once (let alone again and again). A couple of years ago, I realized that this and a few other epigraphs I’ve written to help me with longer projects might also be able to stand alone as individual poems. This one is short and doesn’t really have a beginning, middle, and end, but it does, I think, attempt to speak to the human drive to comprehend the infinitude of space and one’s place in it, in the mode of, say, a meta haiku about cloning and the dis/embodied sensation of floating through, existing in space in perpetuity. *(The play was originally presented at the New York Theater Workshop in 2004, followed by public performances at venues such as the Pillsbury House Theater, Mu Performing Arts, and the National Asian American Theater Conference at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2008.)

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