- Four Poems
Between Heaven and Earth
At the basement caféa late lunch alone,stuffing down lumps of lettuce-wrapped rice,solitary photosynthesis.
29th floor bathroom,sluggish Han River's distant downstreamstartles me back from the toilet bowl,the sea's Han River mouthopening so far upriver.
Outside the window,a puff of cigarette smokegets sucked away into the stratosphere.
It's all a direct connection. [End Page 223]
All of a sudden feeling something beautiful,thinking how great if someone were by my sideand how if a face came up, yourswould be the one I love.
Profound landscape.Before a properly flavorful meala person who never thought of anyonetruly, that is a strong one,or perhaps a truly lonely one.
To send the bell sound even fartherso must the bell be made to hurt even more. [End Page 224]
wwwcabbage patch drizzle
roots all grab the heelcabbage insides openwet soil from soil breaking apartcabbage flowers letting the wet butterfly golow atmospheric pressure going lower yetgone on and looking backthose things my eyes long ago opened to
wwwcabbage patch rain, falling,clear, online [End Page 225]
Poet and Farmer
Between the mouth and the food,that space is most immense
In the space between mouth and foodthe entire universe
no one, noenlightenmentcan close the space between mouth and food
circle of the universecircle of the bodyare cut fromthe space between the mouth and the foodwhile between arse and the earthno connection
that betweenthe food and the turd,between turd and the foodis blocked [End Page 226]
Lee Moon-jae, born in 1959 at Kimp'o, Kyŏnggi-do, studied Korean literature at Kyunghee University. His poems first appeared in Siundong in 1984, and he has published four collections of poetry and an essay collection. He was awarded the Kim Talchin Literary Award, the Si wa sihak Young Poet Award, and the Sowol Literary Award.
David R. McCann is Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature at Harvard University. He has translated the work of many Korean poets-including Kim Chiha, Sŏ Chŏngju, Ko Un, and Kim Namjo-and is the author or editor of many books, including The Columbia Anthology of Modern Korean Poetry and The Way I Wait for You, a collection of his own poems.