An Angel of English: Pusan, South Korea

Author: • September 24, 2018 • Poems

An Angel of English flooded my room this morning

with sweetness & light & a disturbing request:

She wanted to know what we Earth Huggers

down here make of the state of our Native Tongue

at this late date in the decline of just about everything.


Angel, I said, do you mean you want to find out

if people are happy with their vernacular

if they feel it’s still providing them with sufficient

creative opportunities to express themselves

if there are any peculiar words they would rather

not have around any longer

if the spelling is still too tough

if they fear vulgarity is on the overall gross increase

if there are enough euphemisms & other circumlocutions

available for them to negotiate their way through

the many tricky thickets of potentially embarrassing

social encounters

if lies are on the rise & what they might be able to do about it

if people worry they are telling the ugly truth without

realizing it too often these days

if they still believe, for instance, in crap like Freudian Slips

if the vocabulary of daily commerce is holding steady

or diminishing or becoming just too damn unwieldy

if the Language of Love is still as hyperbolic & insipid

as it has always been – that kind of thing?


Yep, She said, you get my drift. Now tell me—


O Angel, I besought, don’t task me to come up with any more

such hard questions about our devilish & beloved English.

I’m just an expat scribbler with too much beer on his morning

breath & too many years away from his native shores.

These days I just go on & on & nobody here or

anywhere else gives a pig’s whistle about the words

I use to map the dominion of heartache, Angel,

across the domain of our mundane chance enchantments

with mere flesh. I’m nothing but a crumb bum poet

& you know it & I know it & we all know it.


Crumb Bum, She ejaculated in my ear (yes, Angels do that too).

I haven’t heard that one since 1955. Old Man, you made my day.

Now let me make yours. And with that – POOF – she vanished

& this poem was finished & my day was made.

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About the Author

Cecile's Writer: Robert PerchanAuthor: Robert Perchan

Country of residence: South Korea

Nationality: American

Mother tongue: English

Robert Perchan was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up there.  After finishing grad school he taught college English courses aboard, deployed on U.S. Navy ships for a couple of years, and later joined the faculty of a university in Pusan, South Korea, where he remained until his retirement.  He has published two poetry chapbooks and a full-length poetry collection, as well as a flash novel.  He still calls Pusan home.  Find him at

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