and
Four Poems from Kim Hyesoon’s ‘Autobiography of Death’

1 May 2015


Jacket image from Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream, by Kim Hyesoon.

Kim Hyesoon is one of the most prominent poets of South Korea. She lives in Seoul and teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Her most recent books in translation are Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014) and I’m OK, I’m Pig (Bloodaxe Books, 2014).

Photograph
               --Day Three

How’s your doll?
How’s your doll’s health? 

You speak into your doll’s ears, It’s a secret! Shut your mouth for life
As you pluck out your doll’s eyes, You liked it too, didn’t you? That’s it, isn’t it? 
As you cut off your doll’s hair, Die you filthy bitch 
As you set your doll on fire, You’ve forgotten about your past life forever 

When you leave the house, your doll stays behind 
When you leave the house, your doll comes back to life 
When you leave the house, your doll opens the window and looks out 
When you leave the house, your doll leaves the house 
When you leave the house, your doll leaves the house and pretends it’s an orphan 
That thing, it can’t eat in front of people for some reason
That thing, it never dies
An empty thing
That thing keeps your ghost in its eyes

Your doll is walking over there, its armless arms come out then go back in 
its legless legs come out then go back in 
like someone who’s left her legs behind on her bed

Crumpled paper from its legs scatter 

Your doll walks
Your doll talks

Drops its eyes inside itself
crying till its neck turns all the way around

It may come back to life when you die

Anyhow you can no longer make your doll stand
Anyhow you can no longer make your doll walk
Anyhow you can no longer make your doll laugh
You are now disconnected from your doll

Dear Doll: You still need someone to put you to bed every night and close your eyes 

You wail whaa-whaa as you write.
사진
               --사흘

네 인형은 안녕하세요?
네 인형은 건강하세요?

네가 인형의 귀에 대고, 비밀이야! 평생 입 다물어
네가 인형의 눈알을 뽑으며, 너도 좋았지? 그런 거지?
네가 인형의 머리를 자르며, 이 더러운 년아 죽어버려
네가 인형을 태우며, 너는 전생은 잊은 거야, 영원히

네가 집을 나가면 남아 있는 것, 인형
네가 집을 나가면 살아나던 것, 인형
네가 집을 나가면 창문 열고 내다보던 것, 인형
네가 집을 나가면 외출하던 것, 인형
네가 집을 나가면 외출해서 고아 행세 하던 것, 인형

남 앞에선 왠지 음식을 먹을 수 없다고 하는 것
죽지도 않는 것 
텅 빈 것
눈동자에 네 귀신을 모신 것

저기 저 걸어가는 네 인형의 팔 없는 팔이 나왔다 들어간다
다리 없는 다리가 나왔다 들어간다
마치 침대에 두 다리를 눕혀놓고 온 사람처럼

다리에서 종이 뭉치가 흩어진다

네 인형은 걷는다
네 인형은 말한다

몸속으로 눈동자를 떨어뜨리고
모가지가 돌아가도록 울던 저것

네가 죽으면 다시 살아나올지도 모릅니다

그러나저러나 너는 이제 인형을 세울 수 없게 되었다
그러나저러나 너는 이제 인형을 걸릴 수 없게 되었다
그러나저러나 너는 이제 인형을 웃길 수 없게 되었다

너는 이제 인형과 줄이 끊어졌다

인형에게: 너는 아직 저녁마다 침대에 눕히고 눈을 감겨줄 사람이 필요해.

네가 엉엉 울며 편지를 쓴다.




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