from I Am a Season that Does Not Exist in the World

Kim Kyung Ju

The Ganges In My Walkman

          on lonely days I touch myself

          the music roams the empire of my inner and outer body
and yet I wonder whether it lives

          the blue campfire in the radio I've smoked since the night I turned 12 and the blurred wind flickering, it picks up white noise and waves it goodbye; just now, dimming the moist light under the low lamp I think of one echo flying to the opposite side of the earth
          and from that farthest side of our planet, opposite to myself, is a postcard named the soul that I wait for

          I guess tonight is about an impossible sensibility, I remember a certain artist's saying, in this alley buying 20 cigarettes I might've thought the Buddha's cold eyes came and left, not remembering his home, leaning against the wall in shivers; and because the Buddha's one eyelash seems to have fallen somewhere, from just the idea, I barely become music

          among Buddha's accomplishments I love wandering most; wandering is just so. crouching, one's life trembling, on the day love and the heart break I wake in the attic where I used to quiver. when I think of this my eyes smell of the river

          for several thousand years the Ganges wind and turn in the ears of my Walkman. rising through a tiny crack in the window, the smell of the dreams that dead people on the river are dreaming. it is either that or they are alive and can't dream the smell of dreams which draft through every window in this city. either way, why does this goat tied to the post outside the inn cry all night?

          from so many constellations rooted in the sky the goat might remember one single expression people call loneliness; at night, perching from the windowsill of the Baba Guest House, young Buddha bites his bloody finger. peering down into the black water there is life when the cries of my body's foreign lands wish to write, and in my eyes, slightly trembling, the tears are a fever

Touch Of

                    for Lee Ahn

          I must speak with a critical lens about dusk as a pattern in my eye— I will talk of a pattern as an interval that you hold and that grips you

          Between the chamber inside the elapsed tree and alley where a dead bird lives, there is a wind wedding them that is missing silence— and because I meet you, the wind dispersed the street within the night's scent and grief swept people through the deep sleep of time— here I will write a word; wind is an orphan

          I will talk between the bicycles I discard and the bicycles I lose— the inside we ride is being well groomed— birds without ears like snow falling and the white snow dipped in the sea, it injures the color— on that day I must endure the snow and bring back my love to the home I have known

         The cloud hangs a red stomach on the mountain gate— around that time, lying on some desolate rotation, I think of the relationship of the earth in the key of snow exorcising a star

         Because the sound of water inside falling snow is dark around the time of winter, dark grows bleak in the wave of my eyes— today you stand and sleep— silence wishes to return my deep abnormality in the scales of the stone and shadow, for when shadow and river stone become one, it is of a single darkness that wetly relates.

translated from the Korean by Jake Levine and Jung Hi-Yeon