perhaps it may be that nail in the wall getting stuck
or we don’t know what we don’t know might gradually deepen
when we look from this side
it’s just a nail sticking into the wall, but
when we see behind the wall
in the middle of the dark
inside time, several centuries pass
and I can’t touch the nail in empty space, quietly floating
when wind sinks into the wall, is the nail rocking
the dimness of empty space like the naked bough hiding the tree’s inner life?
I understand the nail at night gradually deepens
from this stuffed pocket I deliver nails
at any motel I know of
and in that high motel room I take off my wet body
and my body twists until, gently, crawling out my mouth
one red spider
I know why the nail at night secretly twists and bends
nobody really owns the wild beast they raise
until they learn to cry
Kim Kyung Ju has written and translated over ten books of poetry, essays, and plays. His work is heavily anthologized in Korea. In 2008 his poem “The Pattern Of The Knee” won the Writers’ Pick for best poem of the year, an award judged by peers in the field of poetry. In 2009 he was awarded Today’s Young Artist Prize by the Korean government and the Kim Su-yong Contemporary Poetry Award.
Jake Levine is a former Fulbright fellow and the author of a chapbook of poems, The Threshold of Erasure (SPORK, 2010). He is a KGSP fellow in comparative literature at Seoul National University and edits poetry at Spork with Richard Siken.
Jung Hi-Yeon is a doctoral candidate at Sejong University and works as a freelance translator.