i made a recent hike up to ask the goddess for context. i wrote this poem a while back now, but as she answered my request i submit this poem, in genuflect thanks.
(all photos by yours truly.)
historical episodes from the life of Halla Mt
in her youth, she leaked supple magma from her tantrum head
that cut through ribbons of Pliocene cacophony to grow an island
of offspring. her lake of fire long extinguished, now a lake of water.
she is a docile old dame & curtained by fine dust, which airplanes
that land every 5 minutes coagulate around her once beautiful head
of flaming hair, helped by the ships that berth in the ever widening harbors,
ever themselves widening & leaking a dust spume of tourists,
hot with ignorance & pockets full of rubbish.
the primal cacophony is mechanized & lucky her hearing has
deteriorated while bird song blends or is usurped by smart phones
& the wind in the trees with the rubbing of Gore-Tex on Gore-Tex.
when she was young, womb full of child she spoke a brutal, savage prose
: she was impetuous, omitted formula for orgiastic nights with Buddha’s Generals
who turned to broody crows or jagged rocks that tourists photograph;
back then, when there were promiscuous nights, romping beneath a moon
not yet fossilized but fertile, a moon shaped like a child’s eyelash
& too there was the Great Bear, peeping tom through the key hole Cassiopeia,
who fondled with himself while she washed bare breasted in rains
of a young earth;- she knew that he watched & she knew the Generals would come
(& still she gave the Great Bear his show) horny after hunting albino roe deer
all afternoon, which she broke in for dressage, galloping through cypress forests with urgency. generals wiped their cocks clean with mint leaves that grew in her forests,
they ate amanita muscaria until they lost their minds & tore bits
of her flesh with their teeth which grew back with the seasons & gave
them strength to return each night. all the heirlooms of her profligate womb
have grown antique themselves, their mother long senile- they are helpless.
in her crepuscular years (pre-senility) she settled for a poetry that garnished
all her love sick memories with patronizing incidental details
: the way her breasts moved bare & how she quivered when the Generals
smothered her nipples with vibrato lips & bit her hip bone, how they came
with arms full of gifts & long hair combed into tapers like pine trees,
how they told stories of long wars without end they fought bravely in;
she wrote all this in the diary of her fluid metamorphic rock that if
you have the poetic sense enough to read her odd prose, you can find fragments
leaping into the sea. now her breasts are like plastic bags full of offal hung on a nail.
after the hysterectomy the Generals never came but changed to bitter crows.
the roped trails & the track used for carrying ramen to the shelter
at the foot of the peak have hogtied her & all her milk & honey has dried up,
been packaged for the gift shop. she is Jeju & Jeju is she.
& soon she’ll be a feast for pollutants, corrode into brine & waves.