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  • 11 O’Clock Sunday Morning, and: Dreams of Four Seasons, and: Seoul, and: June 2008, and: In the Subway: Yellow October, and: To Pigs
  • Choi Young-mi (bio)
    Translated by Seunghee Jeon (bio)

11 O’Clock Sunday Morning

God, dumped by Europeans, Picked up by a stubby Asian hand, Thrust into a speaker [End Page 199]

Dreams of Four Seasons

Some dreams don’t grow old, They simply congeal on the windowsill. My wish to run beside him Either on land or in the sea Hasn’t been fulfilled.

Some dreams were so stupid I couldn’t wake up from hibernation even when spring and   summer came.

Some dreams were so private I couldn’t take them out of my pocket.

Some dreams were so sweet They melted as soon as they touched my tongue Like ice cream on a summer day.

Some dreams grew old so quickly I forgot what I gave up Even before the fall breezes arrived.

Some dreams were so fragile They instantly flared up and died like cigarette smoke Without even inscribing their names in winter trees.

I don’t hold onto wishes that can’t be fulfilled. I’m afraid of falling asleep And of waking up, But petals still fall whenever seasons change,

Even if I cannot fix dreams of spring days in the fall . . . . [End Page 200]

Seoul, June 2008

Old photos, blood-smeared newspaper clippings are hanging on the   wall in the square, And the songs ringing out of speakers, Wow! They are the same songs that we heard twenty years ago, But the leaflets they leisurely hand out in the main road Are printed better on thicker paper. Printed in the IT powerhouse of the twenty-first century, The red exclamation marks look elegant, And the faces of those gathered Aren’t distorted by rage, Unlike in the 1980s when we protested against the military   dictatorship. Lights in their eyes are as gentle as candlelight burning safely   within the paper cups they are holding, Their healthy lips don’t risk their lives, They don’t know slogans they would shout and die for. Unable to stand anonymous arms bumping into my shoulders, I handed my candle to a young man next to me, and went to the   underground.

How handsome the young men escorting the baby carriage unit were!The breed of Korean men brilliantly improved.History progresses like this, you know. Chattering with a friend in an Italian restaurant, I slashed raw salmon meat with a knife. Without holding the foam of a guilty feeling in my mouth . . . . [End Page 201]

In the Subway: Yellow October

October Revolution

Yellow October is Coming, Tiburon TGX

Fastest in the Country, the Birth of a More Progressive Sports Car

Revolution now exists only in an advertisement. The ten dancing characters are stirring up a storm In your heart, when you are stealing a glance at the newspaper   beside you. Confronting the speed of only dashing and looking forward, You would rather blow yourself up. Children are playing in front of you, shooting toy guns. Stirring up yellow dust, yellow revolution Attacks you from the headline on the front page of the newspaper. Pierced by a sharp autumn sunray flying into the train across the   windowsill, I close my eyes and snow-covered Russia is soaked in blood in   October.

Until red October became yellow October, Until Lenin’s face is overlapping with a Hyundai car, What have we been doing?

Yellow October, amazing October, is rushing in. Buy me, turn-of-the-century capitalism! Wake me up from my long sleep spanning from red October to   yellow October! Please shake me up—the lowest-speed-in-the-country safety engine   is attached to me! [End Page 202]

Looking at wet lips lying, I feel like indicting them, but there’s no court. Scattered, each and every broken rock remains silent. [End Page 203]

To Pigs

Once, on an afternoon when I was really exhausted, I gave a pearl to a pig.

Jumping up and down with joy, he ran to the other pigs And bragged that he got to own my pearl. But it was a cracked pearl. He doesn’t know...


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pp. 199-206
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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