This poem from the Yoon Yong series is probably a personal anxiety of my own showing through the tissue paper of personality. I think all poets (I cannot speak for translators) have some such concern as this in their transmogrification of reality & experience into the poetic. The solution: not apologizing for seeing, trying, relying & relishing what is out there to relish, rely on, try & see.
It’s probably for the best I never became a poet or translator: a poet has the anxiety to write
something new |to transmute so much mundanity into a coagulation of symbols that raises bpm
—else they must make a life busy with happenings | dilemmas & so much heart ache & madness.
The translator must be at the beck n’ call of this poet of happenings this force of nature
prone to the altercations of time & the motions of weather with such acuity it makes my cells itch.
& isn’t the outcome of the translator |jealousy? No permit by the public to be reckless & intense.
The poet gets to be the eyes of God. The lodestone of the universe.
The precious birth of atoms damming space & time. There’s no need for me to be a poet.
I need to be plain & pleased with the me that I am. If I’m not what then…?
During my last few weeks in Korea, I made one final push to photograph the environment I called home for so long. Despite my tone of voice of late, I am making valiant efforts to reorient myself, this mostly involves going to the pub, as well as quaffing a few foaming ales, my reorientation includes finding work, making friends, reestablishing friendships, taking very long walks in the nearby forests, filling in obscene amounts of online forms, going to the bank, the Job Center, calling receptionists with pretty voices, talking to a bank customer services adviser about D.H. Lawrence’s free verse poetry & the difficulties of studying this & banging my head against the wall until I suffer semi-concussion. Such are the joys of no longer living in the 4th dimension.
Still trying to get my head on straight, I have the neck thread into the shoulders, but maybe the thread has worn on the fixture or on the head. Toggling, wiggling to get the thread in place, the satisfying couple of the track of the thread so that the light bulb blinks on into full, hard light. The wagging struggle is on going.
Thought I’d compensate with a poem from the Yoon Yong series, not as daring as the previous one, but more formally different & in its form, akin to my current state of mind. In addition, & a bit late, but better late than never, thanks & congratulations to Linda Wolff for including my poem Moonlit Migrations in issue#1 (The Ache of the Pen) of her Wolff Literary Press & the best of luck in a long run into the future.
The title is a dead give away for this post. Been sitting on this set quite awhile & finally got round to having a dabble with them.
I was visiting my pal Omar, a musician from Morocco. I happened to, at this time, meet a very interesting man called Saad, also from Morocco. We met outside Omar’s lodgings around 7 a.m. & proceeded to continue talking until around 4 a.m. while we flaneuered Seoul, taking in the sunshine & putting the world to rights. It was very interesting to watch Omar & Saad converse, as they would oscillate between perfect French, Arabic & English. One would ask something in one language & the other would respond in a different language. This was not done boastfully but in a almost absentminded, organic manner, which was joyful to watch. Saad was very pleased with my curiosity.
I don’t usually write short poems, I always get carried away. Marie Marshall & Bob Okaji persuaded me to try my hand at something short, so thanks must go to them for the encouragement & extra to Marie for including me at my most unsure. Writing short poems is so difficult. It’s a neat little showcase Marie puts together, worth a bit of your day to have a browse, go here to do so. Also, worth a browse for the Man Ray photos.
“ There, I am desperately free and naive; but knowing this oh dear happiness, dear misery; there is no distinctive sign except that one tearing one’s heart, and a smile destined to nobody(...)" E.Stachura