두: an atmosphere of Kim Chi-ha

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.

kim chi ha
an actual tortured artist

 

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

stone pad
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

police chief
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
아니다 beast

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

napped with
Chi-ha’s poems
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

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I like it, especially the ending. I can feel the warmth of the sun and the sound of wind and water as I read those lines.

    Also, check out my latest post and tell me what you think about the rendition of Chopin on a guzheng (last video of post), I feel it is quite distinctly excellent.

  2. You really know how to write. I learn so much from even a single sentence!

    1. you are a very kind man. but i am glad my efforts fall on such responsive ears. i seriously couldn’t have revised these without your comments. i was unhappy with these, but i am quite pleased with them in haibun form.

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