Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mommy Must Be A Fountain of Feathers

There's a great review of Kim Hyesoon's Mommy Must Be A Fountain of Feathers over at Bookslut by Olivia Cronk. Here's the beginning. Yes, I realize there's a hipster in there, but I won't bother you with any more discussion of that. This is the beginning of the essay:]

By morning all is quiet— he must have left
Mommy finally gets up and breathes
Mommy bites and kills each one of us
for giving off a suspicious scent from last night’s terror
She kills us then eats our intestines,
grinds her teeth against a wall
then digs out our eyeballs to eat
then there is no one
As always, only Daddy and Mommy are left
It looks as if Mommy is expecting another litter

--Kim Hyesoon, from Mommy Must be a Fountain of Feathers

Stars are whores.

I weave pubic hair for dolls and frogs naively lit by your orange lamps. If cloth is meat, what is blood? Try weaving shredded wrists, decapitated hearts.

--Don Mee Choi, from “Weaver in Exile 2” in La Petite Zine

Terror deserves a special place in poetry. Of course we live in a mutual assured destruction world. Of course modernity as we know it is dying. Many of us still delight in Kafka and Beckett, though the cultural weight is lighter and lighter all the time. We could all turn to hipster writers who slickly reveal, while boot-lickingly accepting it, the emptiness of this permutation of reality. We can eat Hot Pockets and watch The Simpsons. Or we can take a cue from Action Books: Terror, Horror, Cruelty, Disgust, all made lovely; Villain-making, shit-spewing Decadence in the Face of Despair -- this is the right response to our times. Such antics will save us -- in a way -- or will, at least, act as salve.

Kim Hyesoon is a feminist South Korean poet. Her translator for this text, is Don Mee Choi, also Korean, also a feminist poet. Their work is anything but “antics,” but this book fits nicely into Action Books’ taste as I know it (Lara Glenum and Aase Berg were my introduction to the Notre Dame press)


Blogger Kent Johnson said...

>Villain-making, shit-spewing Decadence in the Face of Despair --this is the right response to our times. Such antics will save us --

Inside those "Times," that's a pretty big "Our."

9:22 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

Yes, but some ideas call for big "our".

If you read the entire review, she does qualify it as well.

I think it's kind of daring to suggest that a poet writing in large part under our imperial dictatorship actually can tell us something (not just the other way around).


12:15 PM  

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