Kosal Kheiv

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Kosal Kheiv

A poet, tattoo artist, and survivor of the Us prison is what Kosal Khiev was known for. He was born in a Thai refugee camp. After the Khmer Rouge war he moved to America. As a young sixteen year old, he had been involved in violence which led him to Prison and had been arrested for murder. While he was in prison, he majorly got inspired to express his emotions and experience through poetry.In 2011, after he had been released government had sent him to Cambodia. After being in prison for 14 years, Kosal said that poetry had motivate and helped him through his worst times. He shared his experience, at university and in public. As an exiled American, he hoped that the U.S will sent him back to he with his family

Kosal Kheiv

EMBERS OF ASHESby Kosal KhievMentally tired but the fire’s still burningi’m hard wired so i feed off my yearningslearning a new life is somewhat disconcertingcause the life i left behind is somewhat still lurkingsometimes at night i wake up reminisce and hurtingwishing i never would have put that dirt inbut thats spoiled milk and now i find myself workingtowards a better me cuz the old me wasn’t workingi use to flirt with death but now it’s life im courtingrealizing that life is more important so i cherish it in small portionssee,I see the world through the eyes of an orphanand wonder if he dreams of another life very often.

However, Khiev is does not usually write love poems - he focuses on topics like abandonment, exile, grief, different types of equality, and uniting people together. He writes about truth, about the nitty-gritty, difficult experiences we as humans will come by in life. This Cambodian-American poet’s style includes lots of vexed words stemmed from experiences of social inequality and discrimination about his race, skin color, and childhood. He is also earnest, admitting that he has made mistakes in the past, but pursues the idea that he has overcome those mistakes in his poetry. Finally, his style is audacious - he has taken a modern spin on poetry by using text slang and interesting punctuation to imply how he intended to be read, such as the use of repeated periods after one word to imply stuttering, like in the excerpt above (Spoken Kosal).

“i was kept in a haze like that first day u came my waymy heart flutteredmy speech stutteredi.i.i.i was utterly dazedbut somehow i mustered the courageand though i was nervousi said what i had to sayexcuse me missur smile is blissand i would really like to know ur name”

TWO WOLVESby Kosal KhievHow can i be anything other than meWhat lies beneath lies a soulA spirit that continues to unfoldas life continues to role like an epic movieSo i move to a rythm that moves meScenes of untouch beauty that can somehow soothe meTaming of the beastTwo wolves that sleeps and to whomever i feedOne hates,the other lovesHow can i give the other one upCause when i was lowHe was the one that kept me warm when the world was coldSheltered me from the stormsWhen my world just frozeAnd he held me in his hatred when i felt so aloneGave me the strength to fightWhen i was so far from homeSo instead of hateI came to love himbut he never knew loveSo it came to bug himbut he never knew loveSo it came to bug him

Khiev is “a poet, tattoo artist, and a survivor of the US prison system,” as it reads on the biography of his website, Spoken Kosal (Khiev). He has an interesting story, to say the least, and his poetry is even more incredible. Kosal’s style is entirely blank-verse: he uses no rhymes, but puts the poems to a distinct rhythm - his SoundCloud account is full of snippets of himself reading his poetry aloud. His website includes samples of his poetry, where he uses very informal versions of spelling and punctuation, like in this excerpt from his poem, “Earthy” (Poetry):

Source "Confessions of Ignorance." : Cambodian Son--or Why I Still Love Television. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.Khiev, Kosal. "Poetry: Words." Spoken Kosal. Studio Revolt, 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.Khiev, Kosal. "Spoken Kosal » About Kosal." Spoken Kosal. Studio Revolt, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.


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