Ji Yoon Lee 
Translator

on Lyrikline: 2 poems translated

from: корейский to: английский

Original

Translation

시골창녀

корейский | Kim Yideum

진주에 기생이 많았다고 해도
우리 집안에는 그런 여자 없었다 한다
지리산 자락 아래 진주 기생이 이 나라 가장 오랜 기생 역사를 갖고 있다지만
우리 집안에 열녀는 있어도 기생은 없었단다
백정이나 노비, 상인 출신도 없는 사대부 선비 집안이었다며 아버지는 족보를 외우신다
낮에 우리는 촉석루 앞마당에서 진주교방굿거리춤을 보고 있었다
색한삼 양손에 끼고 버선발로 검무를 추는 여자와 눈이 맞았다

집안 조상 중에 기생 하나 없었다는 게 이상하다
창가에 달 오르면 부푼 가슴으로 가야금을 뜯던 관비 고모도 없고
술자리 시중이 싫어 자결한 할미도 없다는 거
인물 좋았던 계집종 어미도 없었고
색색비단을 팔러 강을 건너던 삼촌도 없었다는 거
온갖 멸시와 천대에 칼을 뽑아들었던 백정 할아비도 없었다는 말은 너무나 서운하다
국란 때마다 나라 구한 조상은 있어도 기생으로 팔려간 딸 하나 없었다는 말은 진짜 쓸쓸하다

내 마음의 기생은 어디서 왔는가
오늘 밤 강가에 머물며 영감(靈感)을 뫼실까 하는 이 심정은
영혼이라도 팔아 시 한 줄 얻고 싶은 이 퇴폐를 어찌할까
밤마다 칼춤을 추는 나의 유흥은 어느 별에 박힌 유전자인가
나는 사채이자에 묶인 육체파 창녀하고 다를 바 없다

나는 기생이다 위독한 어머니를 위해 팔려간 소녀가 아니다 자발적으로 음란하고 방탕한 감정 창녀다 자다 일어나 하는 기분으로 토하고 마시고 다시 하는 기분으로 헝클어진 머리칼을 흔들며 엉망진창 여럿이 분위기를 살리는 기분으로 뭔가를 쓴다

다시 나는 진주 남강가를 걷는다 유등축제가 열리는 밤이다 취객이 말을 거는 야시장 강변이다 다국적의 등불이 강물 위를 떠가고 떠내려가다 엉망진창 걸려있고 쏟아져 나온 사람들의 더러운 입김으로 시골 장터는 불야성이다

부스스 펜을 꺼낸다 졸린다 펜을 물고 입술을 넘쳐 잉크가 번지는 줄 모르고 코를 훌쩍이며 강가에 앉아 뭔가를 쓴다 나는 내가 쓴 시 몇 줄에 묶였다 드디어 시에 결박되었다고 믿는 미치광이가 되었다

눈앞에서 마귀가 바지를 내리고
빨면 시 한 줄을 주지
악마라도 빨고 또 빨고, 계속해서 빨 심정이 된다
자다가 일어나 밖으로 나와 절박하지 않게 치욕적인 감정도 없이
커다란 펜을 문 채 나는 빤다 시가 쏟아질 때까지
나는 감정 갈보, 시인이라고 소개할 때면 창녀라고 자백하는 기분이다 조상 중에 자신을 파는 사람은 없었다 ‘너처럼 나쁜 피가 없었다’고 아버지는 말씀하셨다
펜을 불끈 쥔 채 부르르 떨었다
나는 지금 지방축제가 한창인 달밤에 늙은 천기(賤技)가 되어 양손에 칼을 들고 춤춘다

© Kim Yideum
from: HYSTERIA
Moonji Publishing, 2014
Audio production: Haus für Poesie, 2022

Country Whore

английский

My hometown Jinju had many kisaengs* throughout the history,

but I’m told we had zero kisaeng in our family line.

Jinju, located under the skirts of Mt. Jiri, has the Kisaeng history that traces back the furthest,

but I’m told our family line had only chaste women, never a kisaeng.

Declaring that our lineage only contains noblemen and scholars,

no peasant, slave, or merchant,

father proudly recites the family tree.

In the afternoon when we were watching the Jinjukyobang shaman dance in the front yard of Chukseokru gazebo

I made an eye contact with a women performing a sword dance.

Her feet were covered with the white silk socks, her hands, the long and colorful silk sleeves.

 

I don’t believe that there wasn’ a single kisaeng among our family ancestry.

It is so disappointing to be told that there was no governmental slave aunt

who plucked a gayageum harp with erect nipples when the moon rose by the window,

no servant grandmother

who killed herself because she didn’t want to be harassed at the drinking parties,

no slave girl mother

who was just exquisite,

no merchant uncle

who had to cross rough rivers to sell colorful silk,

no butcher grandfather

who pulled out his sword, when he faced contempt and scorn for his profession.

It especially saddens me to hear that our family ancestry contains many heroes

who saved the country every time there was an insurrection,

but not a single daughter who was sold off to be a kisaeng.

 

Then where did the kisaeng of my heart come from?

Where did this impulse to serve my sugar daddy, muse by the night river come from?

Just for a line of a poem, I would sell my soul; what should I do with this debauchery of mine?

From which star did it come from; this gene of ecstasy that dances with swords every night?

I am no different than a voluptuous whore tied down by the loan sharks’ interest rates.

 

I am a kisaeng. I am not a girl sold herself off to pay for her sick mother’s treatment. I am a voluntarily obscene and debauched emotional whore. I feel like doing it when I wake up, I puke, drink, and feel like doing it again. I shake my disheveled hair, gotta keep this party going, I’m a hot mess, and just like that,

I write.

 

Again I walk the south side of the Jinju river. It is the night of the floating lanterns festival. At the night market that’s taking place next to the river, drunk people harass you. The paper lamps with multi-national flags painted on float down the river, only to crash into each others, getting tangled up. High with the festival goers’ filthy breath, the country market never sleeps.

 

I pull out my pen. I’m sleepy. I bite the pen; the pen leaks, and the ink dribbles out of my lips, but I’m oblivious. I sniffle, and write by the riverside. Finally, I’ve become a madwoman who fully believes she is tied down by the couple of lines of poems she wrote.

 

 

The devil pulls down his pants in front of my eyes.

I’ll give you a line if you suck my dick.

I know he is the devil, but I still feel like sucking him. I will suck and suck and suck and

suck and suck.

I wake up from my sleep, walk outside. I don’t feel all that desperate, I don’t even feel humiliated. I just suck with a big pen in my mouth,

until poetry cums.

I am an emotion slut. When I introduce myself as a poet I feel like it is a confession of my whoredom. There was no one who sold themselves among our ancestors. My dad said, there was never bad blood in our family like you.

Stroking the pen, I tremble in ecstasy.

Right now, I feel like I have become a filthy prostitute on a moon night when the country festival is booming.

I am dancing,

swords in my both hands.





*Kisaeng refers to women whose job was to entertain aristocrats through various fine arts—including music and poetry—, and sexual service in premodern Korea. Even though kisaengs’ poems were regarded as sophisticated in its form and ideas as the aristocrat intellecturals’, kisaengs were still considered secondary citizens, and their art inferior. One of the rare instances where a kisaeng was regarded highly was when the kisaeng performed a patriotic act, like Nongae, an iconic kisaeng who killed a Japanese general by embracing him and jumping off the cliff. The narrator of the poem refuses such value system, resists the erasure of the powerless, and instead chooses the ecstasy of art and pleasure.

Translated by Ji Yoon Lee

푸른 수염의 마지막 여자

корейский | Kim Yideum

나의 열쇠는 피를 흘립니다 내 사전도 피를 흘립니다 내 수염도 피를 흘리고 저절로 충치가 빠졌습니다 내 목소리는 굵어지고 주름도 굵어지고 책상 서랍의 쥐꼬리는 사라졌습니다 소문대로 난 일 년의 절반 지하실과 지상을 공평하게 떠돕니다

나의 눈에서 물이 흐릅니다 한쪽 눈알은 말라빠졌습니다 두 다리의 무릎까지만 털이 수북합니다 음부의 반쪽에선 생리가 나오고 오른쪽 사타구니엔 정액이 흘러내립니다 백 년에 한 번 있는 일입니다만

하하하 농담 그냥 여자도 남자도 아니고 죽은 것도 산 것도 아니라는 말을 요즘 유행하는 환상적 어투로 지껄인 겁니다 말도 하기 귀찮다는 예 바로 그 말입죠

자자 내게 제모기와 쥐덫은 그만 보내시고요 이가 들끓는 가발도 처치곤란입니다 도려서 얹어놓은 과일들 이 모든 쓰레기는 충분해요 머리맡에 양초든 향이든 피우지 마세요 죽겠네 정말 꽃무더기 따위 묶어오지 말라니까요

죽은 장미가 그랬죠 너는 아름답구나

지금은 뼈만 남은 늙은이와 놀다 쉬는 참입니다 매일 한두 명과 그러고 그러지만 어떤 날은 여자애들이 한꺼번에 들이닥쳐 정신이 나갑니다 공동묘지로 허가 났나요 전기가 끊어지고 수도관이 막힌지도 한참 됐어요 하긴 정신차린다는 말의 뜻도 모르지만 제발 축언은 닥치고요 축복도 그만 좀 주세요

지하실엔 매달 공간이 없답니다 정원에도 파묻을 자리가 없구요 누군 나더러 불러들였다는데 제 발로 찾아와 발가벗는데 난들 별 수 있나요 공평하게 대할 수밖에

내게 없는 걸로 주세요 가령 고통이니 절망 허무랄까 뭐 한 번도 경험하지 못한 사전에만 있는 그 말의 뜻이 통하게요 안 될까요 그럼 견딜 수 없는 같이 흔해빠진 문구를 써먹을 수 있는 어쩌구 저쩌구 혹은 질투라는 단어에 적합한 대상을 보내주세요

누가 봤을까요 나도 못 봤는데

그러나 나는 아름다워요

© Kim Yideum
from: CHEER UP FAMME FATALE
Moonji Publishing, 2007
Audio production: Haus für Poesie, 2022

Blue Beard’s Last Wife

английский

My key is bleeding. My dictionary is also bleeding. My beard is bleeding and my bad teeth fell out for no reason. My voice got thicker, the wrinkle got thicker, and the rat’s tail in the desk drawer disappeared. Just like in the rumor, I wander around, spending equal amounts of time in the basement and above ground, fair and square.

 

One eye tears up. The other eyeball is dry as a bone. Both my legs are covered with hair, but just up to the knees. Half of my genitals have blood trickling out, the right side of my crotch has cum trickling down. This happens maybe once every hundred years.

 

Hahaha, just kidding. I was just rambling in a fantastical voice that is neither feminine nor masculine, neither alive nor dead, it is trendy to speak like that, you know. Yes, exactly, I am too lazy even to speak.

 

There, there. Stop sending me hair epilators and mousetraps. I don’t even know what to do with all these lice-ridden wigs. All these fruits, carved up and arranged. Enough trash. Stop lighting scented candles or incense beside my head. I’m gonna die. Really, I told you, no more lumps of flowers tied up in a bundle.

 

A dead rose once told me, You are so beautiful.

 

 

I am on the way home from playing with old people who are all bones. I do this and that, usually with one or two people a day, but other times, all the girls swarm in and I lose my mind. Did this area get zoned for a cemetery? It’s been a while since the electricity got cut off, and the pipes got clogged. I don’t even know what get your shit together means, but please, shut the fuck up, no more words of blessing, stop with the kind wishes, too.

 

We don’t have any more places to hang the bodies in the basement. We ran out of space to bury the bodies in the garden also. Some say I lure them here, but what can I do, when they voluntarily come here and take off their clothes? I have to be fair and square, treat them equally.

 

Give me something I don’t have. Such as pain, despair, or meaninglessness. Something I’ve never experienced, the kind of stuff that only makes sense in a dictionary. Please? Well then, give me a situation where I can use unbearably trite expressions, or someone to call jealous.

 

I wonder if someone saw me. I couldn’t even see myself.

But I am still beautiful.

Translated by Ji Yoon Lee