Dearest Reader:

The world is a busy place. It’s home to some 7 billion walking, talking maelstroms of white-hot consciousness and complexity. Think about it.

–The Writers

Seoul Tall Sign Building

“Cross Walk” by Charles

The collar-clad crowds, washing about the streets—they have no single color but the faces from afar blend into undifferentiated, opaque visages, puzzles unto themselves. Short black hair, flat tan faces, pinprick dark eyes. Heads pile atop each other in the flow on either side along Baekbeom-ro, the black avenue. Cars pour down. Box cars, K cars, load-bearing mopeds, solid green or red caterpillar buses, little compressed delivery trucks like a child’s toy made life-sized and autonomous. Signs project all along the edges. 음식, 재미, 게임. To me their forms are faces caught in expressions, winks of beckoning and longing. 휴 hyu, in bright blue. Just the symbol of a moon and a star.  A tall building extending, every floor a new sign, a new color. 호텔 white on a black background; 봉 smoothly green; 보드개풸 each figure a different color; PC 방 solid yellow all the way through. 형제갈비 on faux bamboo above a terracotta roof fringe. The clustered, colored signs branch off like so many truncated arms. One appendage stretches long and vertical, whose corpus houses entire enfilades of computer screens and egg chairs and fanciful ambient lighting seen through the storefront windows. It glows neon orange in the rushing surge of traffic, the sign does. 소주 soju, beer, whisky. In white; Beer SKY Beer. Kwang. Skin Food, Italy’s Favourite Coffee, Red Mango, DVD, PC, Hot Sun, Krispy Cream, 7-Eleven. A stoplight on the corner by the old arts building across from the city bank flashes, a frameshift mutation in the direction of things. Unwinding, rising and falling again. In the crowd there walks a woman in red with lip stick on, lilac eyeshadow, cutting mascara, a furred purse. Across the way is a man with tattoos. Two steps left a grainy, spotted-skinned woman wearing a flattened and conical laborer’s hat. A young man entranced in all of this just standing with his glasses glimmering in the red stoplight’s glow sticks his hands into the pockets of his charcoal trench coat. His cheeks reddened by acne specks, his jet-black hair draped around evenly. He is breathing heavily and looking through cross-directional currents to the vertical sign glowing across the street. He looks through windows, through everything. What are all of these beyond codices? The texture of them is coarse. There are some things in this place to be made sense of. Some simply are.