Poetry / March 2012 (Issue 16)

Literal Translation of Korean Ideograms

by Ricky Garni

th e hard working man has two
folding chairs in his lap.

sincere love dances
cross-legged with a
television antennae,
between them lies
a footless man.

the citizen is in a box,
his body parts fall
from his body.
he watches the
others who are free.

the father is a pair
of crutches who cross paths.

the rich box their plusses
and crosses. alternately,
they confine their zeds.

marriage lets the plusses escape
and light pours from their bottoms.
(zed, or nothing, enjoys
petit fours and dancing feet.)
pure, innocent, is merely
a rearrangement of
marriage. light still
shines from
their bottoms.

to take notice is to
be the shape of a square.

mother divides her top
from her bottom, one dot
atop, one dot below,
a larger square than that
which takes notice.

army military is a cross
beneath a frown under
a street light. the street light
protects it from something

it cannot comprehend.
I cannot comprehend it,
either. nor can you,
nor can language,

nor can books, nor country,
nor even just maybe, the world.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.