Filling in the blanks— a poem about Kim Yeong Gap (김영갑) 1st of 2 posts

this is one poem written in 7 sections, but i have decided to split it into 2 posts with accompanying photographs. i recommend seeking his work out, he is a treasure of Jeju, his death was a loss to Jeju & Korea, a singular, sensitive mind.

Filling in the blanksa poem about Kim Yeong Gap (김영갑)

filling in the gaps

if i typed his name, mangled it
into a search term for Google
to forage concrete dates & details from his life
would i learn the length of his stride
or topography he trampled on a single day
the membrane of his scent that holds
still in the memory of the sky & with the palm of the wind
leads the inquisitive to the garden of his genius
how many times the sun fluttered
its eye lashes at him, how he sipped hot tea
dressed on dim early mornings, held chopsticks
or broke into laugher the first time
his wrist jerked & he catapulted a lump
of rice at the wall scrunched his eyes
scratched his nose?—will they list the to-dos
in his head the whole man or half of him?
—would i be going about it right?
i think not: Kim Yeong Gap
knew nothing of search engines & so…

process

i’ll rather turn & read the braille of weather, hieroglyphs of plant
rock wave & how he flung open their arms with aperture
taught them swiftness of foot with exposure, expertly waited out

the wind’s thumb to smear the pliant cloud a frill of reeds
light & dark—foreshadowed the inevitability of ideal moments
analogue eye patient to fluctuations in the sped frames of life

& brisk as a lizard—click— the wind captured in the wetness
of eye the raw red of knuckle & forehead the dither of bone
a thread of moment tethered to a convex lens—you followed…

 

 

subject object

what to find in the sick face the children learning read & write
or playing on the swing that oscillates in the same motion of their smiles
& fullness of their tummies— the old naked Haenyo scrubbing salt
from her hair skin eyes who heard the shutter snap & click open
felt the cold glass lens, a moist eye on her cold blemished skin & no
second thought, shuttled him out her yard toward the mackerel grey sea
with curses in dialect & a buoy helicoptering above her head for use
as a weapon to shoo the peeping Tom? later over cups of makgeolli
she laughed it off & slapped his back with such ferocity the scaffold
of his flesh could barely handle the hammering of her bleached bone blow.

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful writing. Another DPM masterclass on how to compose music with morphemes!

    1. thank you as always Daniel. took some work this one, i tend to flood the poems these days then have to drain them back otherwise they’d be an ocean & that isn’t what i want, i want length & brevity, how daft does that sound? (he says shaking his head at his own impossible wants)

      1. There is nothing daft about having a process that works driven by an ideology that produces such great writing. If you need a contradiction to drive you, it just means you are the master artist you dare not call yourself.

        I’ll name you if you won’t!! 🙂

  2. Tender & puissant as ever Daniel. it is worth writing poems just for you alone to read them.

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