The New Yorkher

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Image of Kiyomi taken from her blog, The New Yorkher

Meet Kiyomi.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know her very well, if at all. She and I lived in the same wing and on the same floor of our freshman dorm. I only have two clear memories of my interactions with Kiyomi: being stranded along with her at the Getty Center on a college field trip and when my former roommate, Momo, and I visited a trendy sushi restaurant in downtown LA where Kiyomi was a hostess. On my second day in LA, we both went on a field trip to the Getty, which was arranged by the counselors of Thematic Option, an honors writing program that was the alternative to USC’s regular general education classes. I think it was an attempt on the program’s part to show us that LA does have a little bit of culture and beauty before we became jaded by the dirtiness of LA. It might have worked if I were properly dressed. Since it was my second day in LA, I foolishly thought that LA was always warm– I forgot about the existence mountains after I left Montana at the age of eleven.  Kiyomi and I bonded over being incredibly cold and spent the six hours we were stranded on the mountain art museum chasing the sunlight for warmth. During our conversations, I learned that she was a creative writing major.

My second memory of her took place in the last days of my life in LA, which I think is coincidentally fitting since I met her during the first days of my life in LA. She was a hostess of a trendy sushi restaurant in downtown LA called Octopus on the day Momo and I walked by the restaurant and wanted to try out the food. Momo was craving salmon. In catching up with Kiyomi’s life, four years later, I learned that she was debating attending graduate school to study poetry or putting it off a little longer to enrich her life experiences so she could be a better writer when she did eventually attend graduate school.

She’s in New York City now, being inspired and shaped by the city as she writes The New Yorkher.

I’ve never read her writing until yesterday when I found her blog and was intrigued by the content. She pairs fashion show images with her poetry that was inspired by the line. The writing is not about the designer or the clothes directly; instead, the words are tangential and deviate in such a whisper of a way that to see the connection she makes between her poetic strings and the images is illuminating. The writing is gorgeous.

Two samples:

Inspired: Rag & Bone/Vera Wang Spring 2011

Hold Tight, Kernel of Sadness


When we boiled things down

there were no bones.  That shiny shrink-

wrapped feeling was simply wisped

into the atmosphere, mere vapor.

Now it’s everywhere, everywhere

propagating. Inhaled and ejaculated,

changed, shaken, but elemental.

Inspired: Jason Wu/Jason Wu for Tse Spring 2011

Suspension of Disbelief

Someone once told me,

in a dream, perhaps,

that we are only allotted

a certain number of heartbeats.

Every exhilaration,

every moment of panic,

every love

which quickens our pulse

beckons death.

If only I could be still

I might live forever.

If only I could be still.


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