this is the iind in the series of haibun that i promised.
Kim Chi-ha makes an appearance, the rebel poet who tousled with the constraints of his generation, constraints applied by a corrupt, military dictatorship led by the strong man Park Chung-hee between the 60’s & late 70’s. he was the father of the current president Park Geun-hye. Chung-hee was assassinated by North Korea in ’79. some people were concerned Geun-hye would use the opportunity of her rule to get revenge, but that is yet to manifest.
Chi-ha was actually sentenced to death & motifs of confinement & yearn for release run through his work. in his confinement he seems to have developed a form of acceptance that approaches enlightenment, in which hope became the main springboard for his conversion to a spiritual mood in his poems.
if i am correct it was due to the efforts of poets & the public’s petitioning for his release. as his confessions were extracted under the pressure of repeated torture. he may in fact be Kesoo, who is the hapless farmer strung along by the police chief in Five Thieves.
두: an atmosphere of Kim Chi-ha
the give & take of stone & water : the water takes minerals it needs to purify itself & in return planes & buffs the stone a tongue to taste the minerals it packs inside itself / i sat where this has been occurring since before tradition began / on a
bleached with sun
a rug of moss
shook my bottle of fresh Muju makkoli / squeezed its neck with the noose of thumb & forefinger to settle the enzymes down / still they frothed in the bottle cap / vying for air / i poured a cup / gulped it like sand gulps beads of rain / the enzymes / lively as chiffchaffs in walnut trees / foaming on my lips & tongue & nesting in my beard / played doctor in my stomach so i took Kim Chi-ha’s Five Thieves from my rucksack & began to read / i needed makkoli to start / poor Kesoo / tortured / blabbed to the corrupt
whose words menaced
like a tiger fart
a poem that butts foreheads with Korea’s rife corruption following the civil war of ’50 -’53 / Chi-ha was mad again to write / even if he got paddled across the arse or once again got locked away where even starlight could not reach / i heard the stream form a sentence
사람이 man is
짐승이 not a
howled with the desperation of a man dragged against his interests for something he didn’t know he’d done / tried to piss my name in Hangeul on shriveled leaves / like yellowed pages ripped from a book / exhausted from long captivity by a season of snow / once my makkoli was finished
for a pillow
/ sun in my face / wind & water in my ears / i would follow the stream for better company & due it knowing
where it came from
where it must go