“The constellations were covered by the smoke”

The constellations were covered by the smoke

Of your cigar, and as I squinted at Cygnus,

“What’s so amazing about stars,” you spoke,

“That keeps us gazing at night?” For Polaris

We chase no more down the banks of River Tuul,

And we’ve never understood the astronomer’s charts.

But someone once said, “Make a wish and you’ll

Be answered.” So lovers and thinkers sat in parks

In Lisbon and Kyoto watching swans

Glide on long pearled lake lights and thought

How gold and clear the sky shines at dawn

And constellations connect more than just the dots.

That might be why – When we part to places new

I know we’ll keep on stargazing then too.

Written December 31, 2018.

Parameters: Shakespearean sonnet, memories of this past year

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Ripping Away The Calendar Pages

It’s that time of the year again where I tell myself that I’m going to strike it rich, get six pack abs, and marry a hot K-Pop star. Usually by the time January 3rd rolls around, I look at my empty bank account, get the gin, and get annoyed with men, then say, “Looks like I’ll have to try again next year.”

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“You threaded your fingers through my hair”

You threaded your fingers through my hair, kissed my jaw, and said,

“It’s a shame time was too short, space too long.” I was hushed

By your butterfly lips that quivered on my neck, and shushed

By your weaving arms around my waist. I wanted instead

For you to say, “No matter the oceans between us to tread,

No matter what storms, crowds, chaos be spread, I’d rush

Through the cosmos to reach your side. I’d crush

The hourglasses to shards and sweep the sand, so I could dart ahead

Of time itself to the point where our lines once more converge

For when we are together, timing doesn’t matter.”

Yet when your hands tangled in mine I cared not about forever,

But rather if you thought that then was right and meant to be as well?

With a knotted kiss and coiled legs, the chance and urge

To ask fluttered away, and now, only time will tell.

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詩歌: 繋がらない

青い目が

鳥居の途中で

神社の外

散る葉を見る

「お祈りしようか?」

Approximate Translation:

Blue eyes, standing in the middle of the torii gates, watch the falling leaves outside the shrine. “Shall we pray?”

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“When we said goodbye on Beacon Street”

When we said goodbye on Beacon Street we hugged.

I smelled must on your jacket, lemon-mint in your hair.

I would have sighed, nested my chin in your shrug

In another universe, but all I dared

Was smile before walking away. In another universe

It may well be that we’d’ve kissed as lovers will,

Embraced, laced hands, awoken side by side, traversed

Deserts, mountains, planets, and shooting stars until

We’re at the moon river’s end, just to go back and return

Again. In another universe, maybe

We’d hug and not go, or we’d never have met and I’d not yearn.

But in this universe we said goodbye on Beacon Street

And though in another universe, I’d be a lover if I could,

Perhaps in this universe, “goodbye” is just as good.

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Life on the go: Montreal

It’s been about three weeks now since I came home from Mongolia, but it still feels like I’ve been constantly moving about. These past couple of weeks I’ve been snaking my way back and forth between the New York countryside and the city via train. This past weekend, my mother and I also hopped aboard Amtrak and darted through upstate NY straight into Montreal for a short 5 day getaway. While I was exhausted from constantly traveling, when I arrived in Montreal it quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world. Here are some ramblings about what I did on this trip.

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Racial identity in Mongolia as a foreigner

My final article at the UB Post, unedited version. My boss requested that I write an article detailing particular impressions I had of Mongolia as a foreigner, but this wound up being a piece on Asian-American identity and the ambiguous place of Asian adoptees in ethnic communities. Link to original is currently unavailable.

When I first arrived, I hopped in a taxi with a Mongolian cab driver who spoke no English. He was a cheery fellow, blasting and humming along to 1960s radio tunes.

While we were waiting in traffic, he asked me something in rapid Mongolian. I shook my head and said I didn’t understand. He said more slowly, “Bi, mongold. Chi?”

“Bi mongold bish,” I replied, the only sentence I knew at the time. He demanded, what was I, then – Japan? Korea? Mexico? I told him, “American.”

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UNFPA battles domestic violence with family planning and education

Article from earlier this summer containing an interview with Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative of Mongolia. Original can be found here

Recently, the UNFPA released both its “Breaking the silence for equality: 2017 National Study on Gender-based Violence in Mongolia” and a statement on reproductive resource availability by Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative, at the National Consultative Meeting on Reproductive Health and Family Planning. In the following interview, Kitahara discusses the progress of Mongolia in the areas of family planning and reproductive health, as well as the responses, challenges, and future plans of the UNFPA in regards to gender-based violence and human rights.

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Young Mongolian entrepreneurs ‘activate’ the economy

Unedited version of an article on the UNDP’s Activated2030 initiative in Mongolia to bolster the economy in a sustainable manner. Original can be found here.

In late 2017, the UNDP launched Activated2030. This program identifies prevailing attitudes and entrepreneurial tendencies among young Mongolians. The UNDP hopes to improve general perception of startup culture and to encourage youth entrepreneurship.

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Bayarlalaa & bayartai

I’m very sad, for today I’ll be leaving Ulaanbaatar.

At the UB Post, I wrote an article on my first impressions of Mongolia for my internship. For that article, I concentrated on my overall experience and addressed it from the a racial perspective. However, I didn’t address many other things that shaped my experience here, such as the people, the food, and outside trips/locations. There was a lot of good and admittedly there was some bad, but overall this has been such an empowering experience that has helped me grow and flourish in unimaginable ways. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this happen again – you guys are amazing! Here are some highlights of my trip that I feel were key in making the experience what it was.

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