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A landmark feminist poet and critic in her native South Korea, Kim Hyesoon’s surreal, dagger-sharp poetry has spread from hemisphere to hemisphere in the past ten years, her works translated to Chinese, Swedish, English, French, German, Dutch, and beyond. In A Drink of Red Mirror, Kim Hyesoon raises a glass to the reader in the form of a series of riddles, poems conjuring the you inside the me, the night inside the day, the outside inside the inside, the ocean inside the tear. Kim’s radical, paradoxical intimacies entail sites of pain as well as wonder, opening onto impossible—which is to say, visionary—vistas. Again and again, in these poems as across her career, Kim unlocks a horizon inside the vanishing point. -Action BooksView playlist
You can’t cut a cross-section of the Action Books catalog without getting covered in the radical, political, visionary, gorgeous, grotesque poetical blood that runs through our veins; you can’t map the international span of the Action Books roster without turning the globe in every direction. We are extremely proud of these impossibilities. This playlist is culled from some of our recently released books from here and afar, from the translated collections we’ve published in the past by groundbreaking Korean poets Kim Hyesoon and Kim Yideum, and from two of our upcoming releases, THIRD MILLENNIUM HEART by Ursula Andkjaer Olsen (Denmark) and ADRENALIN by Ghayath Almadoun (Syria).View playlist
These are just a few poems that make clever, heartrending, enigmatic, and startling uses of the second person. I am fascinated by you--the second person pronoun--because of its capaciousness and changeability. There is the you that refers just to you, the singular you; but then there's the plural you, the group of you, the masses of all of you; there's the you you that is all of us or all of them at once; there's the you that is actually a part of me. I love second person address because it seems to lay bare the communicative thrust behind all acts of poetry. To invoke you in my poem calls attention to the fact that--whether you are out there and listening or not, whether you are specific or general, living or dead, human or nonhuman--you exist, I remember you, and I am trying to reach you.View playlist
Why Can't Weleave Buddha alone? We make Buddha ride an elephant like the way a village boy rides on a man’s shoulder, and we let the Buddha run and play, then make him cry, and we make him couple blissfully with a buttery woman and call it Tantra, but then we make him smile by himself in emptiness, make him sit, lie down, make him be born from the waist, then teach him how to walk right away, and we question him when he lies down to sleep You said this and that didn’t you? And we braid his fingers, cut off his nose and swallow it down with water, then dress him in gold, but then we cut his throat and sell his head at a store in Insadong, and we lock him up inside a cave on top of a mountain, and as if that weren’t enough we keep him inside a rock, starve him, paint his skin gold so that he can’t even breathe, have him stand faraway on top of a mountain and caress him slowly as we approach him by boat, and beneath his feet we beg him to beat us up. Why can’t we leave him alone? We build a house on a cliff overlooking a bleu river and lock him up and a bunch of us go together to gawk at him. We pummel him, crush him, and push him over, then we come home and write a letter of apology in blood from our pierced fingers, and we pull his teeth and divide them up into numerous pouches and give them out to the whole world, and why do we go near him and bow on our knees till they are raw and look once into his eyes then return home with our downcast faces?
FaceThere is another you inside you / The you inside you pulls you tight into the inside, so your fingernails curl inward and your outer ears swirl into the inside of your body you would probably leave this life the moment the you inside you lets go of the hand that grabs you / Your face stays frozen in motion as the you inside you pulls you hard at times, that face leans towards mine outside of you and I can feel the you inside you looking at me from the inside of your eyes; but the you inside you has never once let go of the hand that grabs you as always you are pulled tight now your face has deep creases from the strainopen_in_newwww.poetryinternationalweb.net