Artist Profile


Johnny Tee

Johnny Tee

Artist Profile


I started keeping a journal when I was around four; I was an only child so this was my way of talking to myself; it was a way to check in and reflect.

I spoke Korean at home; English was difficult to learn; I didn’t understand the grammar until I was about fifteen. I got into goth music, punk rock, Edgar Allan Poe—I read “The Raven” and wanted to write just like him. 

When I was 15, I submitted two poems to an Oakland Youth Poetry competition. One of them was a strangle little poem that explored every detail of a snow globe: how it is a contained artificial world that can be knocked over and shattered by an observer. The other one was about my first relationship, a you and me against the world kind of thing, exploring what it was like to be in love while having god-fearing parents. I became interested in Korean literature and poetry; I focused on the alphabet and how it sounded. 

Silence and secrecy are important themes to me. I realize now that it is because I am talking to myself and confirming that these experiences and feelings are happening. I can’t stop writing about lingering feelings of loneliness; haunting experiences, having to re-live those experiences; PTSD.

I am focusing on healing my previous poems’ narratives. I start with the memory of what happened; I describe it and try to remember everything I felt and didn’t want to say; I go back and re-read it out loud, I take out some words; editing is a very physical experience—working and working on it until it gets weird. 


excerpt of Golden Hour Glare


excerpt of Golden Hour Glare

Issue 5: Energy

Euna’s Art

Golden Hour Glare


I felt    you
early in the morning
trying to hold   on
to the body I stay in.

Remember looking at

Gold underneath your
eyes when the sun looks
through our window,
blue moves across your
neck as stars follow us,

When You Leave - Euna Bonovich - Lauren Dougherty - Rough Cut Press
excerpt of Golden Hour Glare

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