Suji Kwock Kim "Monologue For An Onion"
I don’t mean to make you cry.
I mean nothing, but this has not kept you
From peeling away my body, layer by layer,
The tears clouding your eyes as the table fills
With husks, cut flesh, all the debris of pursuit.
Poor deluded human: you seek my heart.
Hunt all you want. Beneath each skin of mine
Lies another skin: I am pure onion-pure union
Of outside and in, surface and secret core.
Look at you, chopping and weeping. Idiot.
Is this the way you go through life, your mind
A stopless knife, driven by your fantasy of truth,
Of lasting union-slashing away skin after skin
From things, ruin and tears your only signs
Of progress? Enough is enough.
You must not grieve that the world is glimpsed
Through veils. How else can it be seen?
How will you rip away the veil of the eye, the veil
That you are, you who want to grasp the heart
Of things, hungry to know where meaning
Lies. Taste what you hold in your hands: onion-juice,
Yellow peels, my stringing shreds. You are the one
In pieces. Whatever you meant to love, in meaning to
You changed yourself: you are not who you are,
Your soul cut moment to moment by a blade
Of fresh desire, the ground sown with abandoned skins.
And at your inmost circle, what? A core that is
Not one. Poor fool, you are divided at the heart,
Lost in its maze of chambers, blood, and love,
A heart that will one day beat you to death.
This poem is very unique in the fact that the speaker is personified as an onion. The onion speaks of how the human is crying because they are peeling the human. The human must then be foolish because they will never find the heart of the onion due to their not being one. The onion is tough on the human, but unbeknownst to the onion, the human is not searching for its heart but rather to eat. The onion finishes stating that humans are divided at the heart, and it will one day beat us to death. The onion believes this information on false pretenses. This poem was chosen because I like the way Kim personified the onion in the poem. I enjoy different aspects to poems, and this one has that strange factor for me. I like how rough the speaker is, and seems slightly rude at times. This poem gives you much to think about for the views of other objects on humans.