Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture www.scene4.com

Trace,

Momentary,

Slack,

 

Seongho Haam

 

Trans. Jake Levine (2016)

 

  

Asgard Fossil

 

I exist through the imagination.

 

A forest that wobbles forth from the meditation of a god,

How long did those empty fields

Think of flowers in full bloom

Before they got to the mediation of those trees.

 

(How long did that bird have to concentrate on its body

To have wings light as air?)

 

How long did the body have to think about its roundness?

How long did the star have to think about its light?

How long did the daisy have to think about its center?

 

Without enduring death’s will

We will never be able to peep at this hypothetical system,

This madness, this secret of this cold-blooded beauty,

This paradox of cold commonality,

This thing that doesn’t exist, yet is filled to the brim.

 

Time waits for us like an old flagpole and

Because nature has no manners,

We are allowed to stare

At those scales of the sea flashing brilliantly.

Look at the dream the desert dreams and

The wind pushing a pattern against the grain of water.

I am your hypothesis.

 

When I was thinking of the five flower petals

Of the tree brightly blooming

Where were you?

 

 

Sympathy for Disease

 

 Mom lies sick on the refrigerator.

 

(I made this in 8 channel surround sound, but for this get-better-soon visit, I switched to a 5.1 channel version.)

 

I sprinkle salt thinly, the way a brief snowfall covers the ground, and sense the sound waves of mom's snoring.

Things cured with salt change into the sound of the MP3 player that hides inside the volume pedal.

The pedal is connected to the VOX amplifier and it changes mom's worried sighs into a soft sound.

 

Opening the L├╝shiChunqiu, I follow the recipe the ancient Chinese king used to pickle his courtier, Maebaek.

 

Seongho Haam | Scene4 Magazine - August 2018 | www.scene4.com

 

The mackerel snoring

 

The mackerel snoring

 

The mackerel snoring

 

The mackerel snoring

 

The mackerel snoring

 

I guess the mackerel was trying to serve me grilled mom.

I ate the bones picked out of the blood.

 

(Especially for this part, the malfunctioning CD player skips, delicately chopping the music into something like music made by a sampler even though no sampler was used.)

 

On the same CD I will play you another track.

Confucius and mom are shaking their heads

 

Goohoo’s daughter was lustful, but the ancient Chinese King didn’t like that so he turned her into jerky and salt-cured Goohoo. When Akhoo protested, the ancient Chinese king chopped him up and turned him into jerky too.

 

          Mom lies sick on top of the refrigerator.

          like fermented flounder, like shikhae

          like fermented flounder, like shikhae

          like falling eyes suppressing cries.

 

 

Unable to Come Back

 

I liked that flooded coast

so I went to go to that flooded coast,

alone through that flooded coast, into that flooded coast

solo through that flooded coast, into that flooded coast.

 

I really liked that flooded coast

so I went out to that flooded coast,

alone to that flooded coast, through that flooded coast

solo to that flooded coast, through that flooded coast

 

I liked that flooded coast

That I saw. 

 

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Seongho Haam is an award-winning poet, architect, comic critic, curator and installation artist, described as holding “a unique position in Korea’s world of poetry.” His activity includes writing residencies in the U.S., India, and Russia, an architecture practice and Art exhibitions.

©2018 Seongho Haam
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine

 

 

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August 2018

Volume 19 Issue 3

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