Remembering the day she discovered Kim Seung-hee (time?)


…The same day my period began
I discovered the poet Kim Seung-hee.
 
I happened on the book at lunch in the library
attracted by the title Life Inside an Egg

which me & a friend chuckled 
about because we'd had eggs for lunch

& because we knew a rumour that one of the girls
in the library had an abortion we didn't understand.
 
I skipped mathematics
to hide in a cubicle | sobbing as much
 
through my panties as my eyes.
Why hadn’t anyone told I’d bleed like this?
 
The cozy | walled interiority of childhood
bulldozed & the austerity of adulthood cusping me.
 
A teacher found me truant. I rebel-sulked their anger & disappointment
“Young girls who pay attention to such nonsense
 
turn into spinsters without prospects.”
It was a bi-lingual translation | I was as rapt
 
by the English as by the strength of Seung-hee
to mock the nonsense on TV & puzzle the interiors of eggs.
 
The teacher paid no mind to my cheeks blush-tracked with tears.
That’s the mentality of an all-girls school
 
with a religious chip on its shoulder
—it commands your attention while filling the air with ghosts….
 
 
 
 
 

5 thoughts on “Remembering the day she discovered Kim Seung-hee (time?)

    1. Not an easy one to write this, I was very unsure of the content. I tried something more graphic originally & it just felt distasteful so I pared it back.
      I am moving forward just like Gutenberg himself. Onward n’ up.

  1. I balk (part of me does) at a bloke writing about a first period, but I accept (part of me does) that an artist tackles what it is to be human. You tackle what it’s like to be Korean, so why not this.

    Mind you, I can talk: as far as my memory is concerned I went to high school, wore my first mini-skirt, had my hair cropped and feathered, had my first period, and kissed my first girl all within the same week, whereas in reality all of those happened over more than three years. I think.

    Keep going.

    1. It is very awkward but I did it & decided to stick by it as this was never meant to be a poem that made me confortable, it was a challenge & something of an experiment to determine how it would feel to write a woman character.

  2. Nicely woven together, Daniel, with the allegorical egg. In the past, what was called sex education, for males and females, was so scant, at least where I grew up, and my parents were no help. On the other hand, I sometimes wonder, whether for someone like me, who was very innocent and matured very late, how much is the right amount and when, and how far should the pendulum swing.

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