August 23, 2014

On Kim Hyesoon's Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream

I wrote this short piece for a feature on Kim Hyesoon being brought out by Action Books/Asian American Writers' Workshop - The Margins:

Kim Hyesoon's Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream is a companion for grief. It startles the wounds out of your own soul and you find yourself rubbing your collarbone in a spot a white bird has appeared. And rain.

The poet/translator/text/reader takes into her own body the wounds of the world or shoves her feet into the wound, small ribs break off, yet she continues to walk. The small pieces of cloth that make up the garbage quilt of this poem are never quite enough to cover us, and they are. "Are you vacant? I'm vacant." These "dirty writings" hold the urgency of shadow, cold sweep of desolation, broken glass. How many are brave enough to stay in this room of loss outside modernity's schedule, getting licked all night long? How many are brave enough to let these things enter them?

Hyesoon brought to us via Don Mee Choi is willing to take the ice, the media of seeing into her mouth, and this lending of herself is what makes rain, water, sea, salt, so necessary to cry, this barking water that holds both our past and our future.

While you were typing
I couldn't stop the rain

As Sobonfu Some puts it, grieving is a matter of life and death. Open to grieving and read Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream.

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