Lee Myunghyun

1. Blood (Pee)

A gelatin barrier, or an extension at all costs, stretching endlessly from the blistered and festering tip of flesh. You cannot witness the natural pallor that opens without anticipation. You must call it the thing which has never been before. Stifled mouths slowly spread sound. What a corrupt night it is, caused by the undercurrent of torpidity sucked into the unbelievable speed of water. One must not be fooled. The sparkling of autumn leaves under the sun is of no mineral.

1. Apple (Sagwa)

Of the outline of a still life deprived of taste and color we shall hereafter say Apple. Object slices space with a subtle shaving knife. Apple, apple, apple. How grotesque the sound. Reversibly speaking, it isn’t strange to say that the apple crosses the body of the caterpillar. The time of meditation that delves into the gray carbon of cigarette fire is not kind. Apple…, the desire of Apple, the dream of Apple.

2. Earth (Jigu)

Why? I feel as if your head, harboring a panting smile and looking over, will explode while screaming a nice kind scream. Yesterday was salvaged from the trash can and today is the hour upon us. Dog-bollocks! Squatting on the ledge he and I instead of the cloud really joked. It was a stupefied laugh like the last human being emitted when she stood alone and small looking out over the cracking earth. On a floor with corners the corner is best. Perhaps it is the rusting screws’ fault but small crumbs form from time to time. Wind blowing in wet laundry and the crayons of sun, do they imagine a threadbare afternoon. Well and good, he is a repairman from another star so long as he recites the Apocalypse? Please take care of Earth.

3. A Vacuum (Jingong)

Await the signal. Cars move busily. The axis of the pendulum is pulled short and accelerates. Solid objects circulating within the body block the flow before my eyes. (Wherever is the face to be pulled to be found!) The obtuse things moving in the interior try to shoot out, and are again in stasis grabbing things that lunge forth, while once again passersby pass by shooting through the paused landscape. Either the air is thin or breath is catching. The vacuum is the wave’s potential. Above my forehead I watch the large crane’s steel pendulum swing to and fro like salvation. The man foregoes the justice of the vacuum.

4. Chains (Saseul)

A chain is a dangerous tool. The more so if the chain perforates human epidermis, for then it must be even colder and sharper. The heart becomes whole along with the sensation of digging into flesh. All around, a soft drape descends and ice flowers bloom. In truth there is no such chain. A chain is a tool used to tie people. If not used with care it can even cause displeasure. What’s to be done, then, hey? The arm of the person holding the chain is made up of chains. Like a snake coiling into itself the chain wraps its full form. I’ve used the word ‘chain’ eight times already. Let’s stop this now.

5. Pine webworms (Songchoong’i)

In Jules Renard’s Natural History there is an illustration of the pine webworm. There a bundle of thread with golden dots gnaws through the time of night and day. He uses language as precise and distilled as glass beads. To speak of him and there, I and here must be erased. “The pine webworm…” there is no such language anymore. At which layover did the vague hand pick up this book and throw it away? On nights when escaped visions chase after me I don’t remember where it was. Renard lived in a world from which language was not separated. Disappeared things, no matter where, invariably hide their subtleties and fly and enter into forever and become whole.

6. Being set adrift (Pyoryu)

Listen. On today’s hiking trail we had one falling accident. Personal information review revealed the age as definitely 00 years of age, and they’re said to have had an arrangement to jibe words with the detective that visited for the second time. When we try to speak when we chase after the origins of these words we fall into confusion. Well things change when a new atmosphere is born every day. If someone’s pointing at someone else and laughing does monetary compensation emerge even if it’s a tree after all? The gas burner stove on the site, you didn’t want to turn it on even before it became shabby. The boy that was standing under the rain, yeah. Posture is important. In the sky that opens up when you tilt the umbrella full frontal, sometimes rain clouds are letting peek their peekaboo holes, and if you take on the posture of one that throws the arm with the hand without an umbrella way out back and run like wild, the revelator evaporates after a single strand of death ray pours down from the hole poked in the clouds. My husband says our elder brother is the daughter I gave birth to. We all have proclivities for divinity. Can you hear? Is it strange that I’m saying anything.

7. Disappearance (Shiljong)

My eyelid lowers. You disappear… people that have gathered muttering amongst themselves, grasping frozen stares, among them some were stitching down eyeballs flipped over, every night full of claver and accomplice. Will I be able to find you. As for news unforeseen may it transform into joy and futility. Resignation that has lost content, already the wind shoves in innumerable footsteps. Leaving behind monotonous days and days that peter out like startled awakenings in the throes of sleep, spilling foggy presence every now and then you were disappearing. You don’t look back. Everything scatters. …rain water only erases the erasure of rain water. We were there, never mind all places and all time, filling up as endless loss. Becoming clouds and wooden barricades, layering rotten leaves on even the pebbles kicking at our feet.

8. A Journey (Yeoro)

(although in some circles it seems still misunderstood) It was around autumn of last year before the investigations were fully underway, when he left with stumbling step to dig through the luminosity of nauseous blossoming sunlight. Some furnishings were discovered, such as the crumpled bucket, but already his facial expression was formless. These are past things so why …

9. Novel (Soseol)

No matter how purposefully you squeeze stuff out it’s pointless struggling. To put it nicely there is no other way around it. The opportunity to speak has been swept from a nearly miraculous riot into a corner room. But the wind and moon and ages that were sweeping long since have remained and are snatching at living ankles. There’s nothing at all good about writing easy things in a pointlessly difficult fashion. But no matter how hard I try to relent, easy words are really hard. (How abstruse are the words in which it’s portrayed? This doesn’t really tell you anything either.) Obviously, even the simplicity of even the most final words has nothing to do with all the stumbling blocks of writing, and depends on things that aren’t even language. Who would believe it if you said a corpse is presiding over a corpse. But we are living in a world where money rules over money. Ah, I don’t want to fool people with this sort of word foolery, and I want to quit everything. The life that I have lived was so transient as to have nothing to do with any novelistic device. Ah is it really my own, presiding over yes, no less than a whooping full life of writing. Written lines what are you doing, to the narrator please at least divorce and banish the author. And the above few lines of gripe probably rose up like bubbles during an asshole cleansing session squatted on the toilet, the reporter having preserved them just like that for 8 days (or another hypothetical period of time that is phonetically allowed without much hassle.)

My name is Lee Myunghyun and I reside in Doksan-dong, Geumcheon-gu, Seoul. I am a grown man now entering my thirties and yet I am still a student attending university. How did this happen? Here many procedures and curvatures of time lie crisscrossed. What procedures do we endure while living our lives? This was written 6 years ago. We’ve since swam quite far. But Birkensnake’s submission guidelines allowed me to remember what I’d written long ago. I am expressing gratitude to the editors that allowed the opportunity of publication to my aged writing. All the time that was then spent will continue to remain within the fluttering heartbeat of the hand that grabs my pen today. And thus the content of what I then wrote will always be told by future time.

본인은 서울시 금천구 독산동에 거주하는 이명현이라고 합니다. 어느덧 30줄에 접어든 아저씨이자, 아직은 대학교에 재학 중인 학생입니다. 어떻게 된 것일까, 여기에는 많은 과정과 시간의 굴곡이 가로놓여 있습니다. 우리는 살면서 어떤 과정을 거치는 걸까. 이 글은 지금으로부터 6년 전에 쓰였습니다. 우리는 그때로부터 꽤 먼 시간을 헤엄쳐왔습니다. 그렇지만 비르켄스네잌의 이번 공모안은 제게 시간을 거슬러 이 글을 다시 떠올리게 해주었지요. 제 오래된 글에 출판의 기회를 허락해준 편집부 분들께 감사를 표합니다. 왜냐하면 저 시간들은, 오늘 펜을 쥔 이 손의 맥박과 설렘 속에도 계속해서 들어있을 것이기 때문입니다. 그리하여 그 내용들은 언제나 앞으로의 시간이 이야기해주게 될 것입니다.