Further notes toward South Korea
Like skin, leaf, wing, or cracks in a canvas. What thing can you only do in Korea? Militarization tour. lead dresses symbolizing those who must roam the world in an unborn state. Very Korean, militarization. Very sad, but very Korean. the ground of the human world. Barbed wire fences: curly q's on top of y's. the trees who are born. We have twelve people. Twelve people is not thirty. Because if we had thirty people, we’d need a big red bus. devices transform an object into a site for memory. Behind the globulared red, white, and green walled "camouflage" shacks lies North Korea, though I want to find a different verb for it. into and must return to the natural world.
It was raining and the sequins one my dress made me feel I fancied like a fish. Bobby's father, a wrestler, talks behind us to the passengers behind him about how stupid bush is. Last night in the taxi, bobby spoke a long time on the phone in Korean. The locker room at the discothèque was like an aquarium. The taxi driver had a cough. The local kids wore jeans and sweatshirts.
A toddler on the ramp pushes the number seven in its circle on the floor. If you don’t have your passport you have to get off at the checkpoint and wait for us. And have fun with all the soldiers. Thirty seven prisoners were exchanged on this bridge. The altar was built at the turn of the century to recognize the wish of north Koreans living in south Korea to honor the ancestors who died northward. Is that a cross behind the south Korean army base? Are you ready for brain wash? This illustrates again the two sidedness of north Korea. If you go off the road, you may hit a land mine that was dropped from the air so we don't know the exact location.
Down the ramp, a gentle decline. Trying to imagine digging this tunnel in the rock--what did they use, and what went through the minds--in the tunnel my mind swarms as we make ourselves smaller to fit--"he talls around in the grass" instead of praying I bend my head down slightly to look past the barbed wire to the inner wall beyond which "no one" goes or nature is preserved. "hello" say the schoolchildren. "Good money for nothing!" says a guy in the opposite lane. Not praying at the spot itself but giving a couple seconds--when I say please to something inside or outside I never know what the something is, unless I am at home, in which case I ask the land--but the great thing is, I don't need to know. I did not grow up in a religious household. I think of the turn of the century in personal forms, singing goodbye to 1991 in a baseball cap while sleeping the porch. (transcribing this I see I wrote "church." The most I thought of the new century in public terms was the worry over computers for the change to 2000.
When we resurface someone has collapsed and ajimas descend to fan her, guards shooing onlookers away. The longer we stay, the harder we get about unification. If you stand behind the yellow line 3 meters from the wall, if you're tall enough, you can take pictures of north Korea but not the military structures. Red buses line up. Bobby sleeps with his mouth wide open, as he always does on transport.
Thundery clouds, fresh breezes, pots full of beetles next to turning hot dogs. Once they get elected congressmen have fish memory for promises. Back to the city of new buildings jostling for weight, a city of orange against dark fog. Alone at the zoo. Toddlers look up with onyx eyes from where they hold on to their preschool rope. Connecting with grandpas who hand out candy to the monkeys, one of whom has the most enflamed vagina I've ever seen, a glazed pink donut. See the otters floating in the brown water with bread and lettuce floating. Forgive us.
Not the hope for unification--all those moments erected in hope for a gradual change The people who erected monuments arranged for their erection. I enter the public to recreate the personal--to go alone into the people and be remade by their perceptions. Stop motion style because you've been sleeping, but even so you know the ride to the plane takes too long--on a road, not just across the concrete air field. Tiny turtles wander in their bins. Turning in their yellow vests like little noodles. After reading I was sad and the conveyor belt moved me along. The thank you bow is starting to grow on me.