Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Kim Yideum

COUNTRY WHORE

Even if there were a lot of kisaeng in Jinju
It is said that we had none in our family.
Though they say the Jinju kisaeng under the skirts of Mt. Jilisan have the longest kisaeng history in this country
Our family may have had many chaste women, but never a kisaeng.
Saying that we were nobles and scholars with no peasant, slave, or merchant origins, Father recites the family tree.
In the afternoon when we were watching the Jinjukyobang shaman dance in the front yard of Chukseokru
I met eyes with a women performing a sword dance wearing socks. She had both her hands covered with the traditional cloth.

It’s odd that there wasn’t a single kisaeng among our family ancestry.
That there is no governmental slave aunt who plucked a gayakeum with a floating heart when the moon rose by the window
And that there is no grandmother who killed herself because she didn’t like attending to drinking parties
And that there was no slave girl mother that was beautiful
And that there was no uncle to cross rivers to sell colorful silk
And that there was no peasant grandfather who pulled out his sword because of contempt and scorn
Is so disappointing.
That there was an ancestor who saved the country every time we faced an insurrection, but there was not a single daughter who was sold off to be a kisaeng is really depressing.

Where did the kisaeng in my mind come from?
Tonight by the river, wanting to serve inspiration
What should I do with this decadence? For just a single line of a poem, decadence would sell my soul.
Which star is that gene stuck to? My adult entertainment, sword dancing every night.
I am no different than a physical whore strapped to the indenturement of a private loan. 

I am a kisaeng. I am not a girl sold off for her sick mother. I am a voluntarily obscene and debauched emotional whore. With the feeling of doing it when I wake up from sleep, I puke and drink and with the feeling of doing it again, as I shake my ruffled hair, with the feeling of the party saving the life of the mood, in a mess, I write something.

Again I walk the south side of the Jinju river. It is the night of the Yu-deung festival. On the riverside, at the night market, drunk people talk to you. Multi-national flags painted on paper lamps float above the river. As they fall down they get tangled in the wreckage below. Amongst the filthy breath of people who spill out, the country market lights are the light of the life at night.

Disheveled, I pull out my pen. Sleepily. Biting the pen, not knowing that the ink brimming from the lips is spreading, I sit by the riverside and write something, sniffing my nose. I am tied to the couple of lines of poetry I wrote. I am a madwoman that finally believes she is bound to poetry.

The devil pulls down his pants in front of my eyes.
I’ll give you a line if you give me a suck.
Even if he is the devil, I feel like I will suck and suck and suck and suck and suck.
I sleep and wake and walk outside without desperation, without shame
Biting a big pen, I suck until poetry cum.
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 my ancestors. My dad said, there was never bad blood in our family like you.
Stroking the pen, I delicately shook.
Right now I feel like I have become an old filthy whore on a moon night when the country festival is booming. I am dancing, a sword in each of my hands.

PLATTELANDSHOER

Al stikte het in Jinju van de kisaeng
toch moet ik geloven dat onze familie er nooit een heeft gekend.
Daar aan de voet van de Jirisan genieten kisaeng de rijkste historie van het land
maar onze familie telt enkel kuise vrouwen, geen kisaeng.
Vader loopt de stamboom af en noemt enkel edelen, geen boeren, slaven of gepeupel.
Die middag keken we in de voortuin van het Chokseokru Paviljoen naar de sjamanistische dansvoorstelling van de Jinjukyobang.
Ik keek in de ogen van een vrouw met hoge kousen en kleurrijke doeken om beide handen, terwijl ze een zwaarddans danste.

Het lijkt me sterk dat geen van mijn voorouders kisaeng was.
Geen tante de overheidsslaaf die met harde tepels in het maanlicht op een gayageum tokkelde.
Geen oma de dienares die zich van kant maakte omdat ze bij drinkgelagen weigerde te worden betast.
Geen moeder de dienstmeid, uitverkoren dankzij haar uiterlijk.
Geen oom de koopman die woeste rivieren trotseerde om bonte zijde te verhandelen.
Geen opa de slager die zijn zwaard trok omdat men neerkeek op zijn beroep.
Teleurstellend om dat te moeten aanhoren.
Spijtig dat mijn voorouders het land meermaals voor ondergang hebben behoed, maar dat er niet één dochter als kisaeng werd verkocht.

Waar komt de kisaeng in mij vandaan?
Als ik ’s avonds langs de rivier zit, op zoek naar inspiratie
wat doe ik dan met deze perversie? Ik zou mijn ziel verkopen in ruil voor één regel poëzie.
Aan welke ster is dat stukje DNA vastgenageld? De drang om elke avond een zwaarddans te willen dansen.
Ik ben niet meer dan een voluptueuze hoer, vastgeketend aan de afwikkeling van een persoonlijke lening.

Ik ben een kisaeng. Niet een meisje dat omwille van haar doodzieke moeder wordt verkocht, maar een kisaeng in hart en nieren, van nature obsceen en losbandig. Ik heb er zin in als ik wakker word, ik kots, ik drink door en ik heb er weer zin in. Ik schud mijn warrige kapsel los, moet het feestje in leven houden, lekker stuk tuig dat ik ben, en dat is hoe ik schrijf.

Weer loop ik langs de zuidoever van de Jinju-rivier. Het festival met de drijvende lampionnen wordt vanavond gevierd. Langs de rivier staat een avondmarkt met dronkaards die je constant lastigvallen. Lampionnen beschilderd met de vlaggen van allerlei landen drijven op het water. Zodra ze zinken blijven ze steken in de chaos op de bodem. Voortgestuwd door de stinkende adem van de toestromende mensenmassa zal deze boerenmarkt nooit rusten.

Afgepeigerd pak ik mijn pen. Ik ben kapot. Ik bijt op de pen zonder te merken dat hij lekt en de inkt langs mijn lippen stroomt. Ik haal mijn neus op en schrijf verder, zittend aan de waterkant. Ik ben vastgeketend aan de paar regels poëzie die ik op papier heb staan. Ik ben een maniak die eindelijk gelooft dat ze in haar eigen poëzie gevangen zit.

Voor mijn neus trekt de duivel zijn broek naar beneden.
Hier zuigen en je krijgt een regel.
Ik weet dat het de duivel is maar ik wil zuigen, zuigen, almaar blijven zuigen.
Ik slaap, word wakker en loop naar buiten zonder wanhoop, zonder schaamte.
Met een enorme pen in mijn mond zuig ik tot er poëzie klaarkomt.
Ik ben een gevoelensslet. Als ik me als dichter aan iemand voorstel voelt het als een bekentenis dat ik een hoer ben. Geen van onze voorouders heeft zichzelf verkocht, zei mijn vader. Onze familie heeft nooit zulk slecht bloed als het jouwe gekend.
Ik trek de pen af, trillend op mijn benen.
Met het festival in volle gang in het nachtelijke maanlicht voel ik me een vieze oude hoer, terwijl ik dans met in elke hand een zwaard.

시골창녀

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

Close

COUNTRY WHORE

Even if there were a lot of kisaeng in Jinju
It is said that we had none in our family.
Though they say the Jinju kisaeng under the skirts of Mt. Jilisan have the longest kisaeng history in this country
Our family may have had many chaste women, but never a kisaeng.
Saying that we were nobles and scholars with no peasant, slave, or merchant origins, Father recites the family tree.
In the afternoon when we were watching the Jinjukyobang shaman dance in the front yard of Chukseokru
I met eyes with a women performing a sword dance wearing socks. She had both her hands covered with the traditional cloth.

It’s odd that there wasn’t a single kisaeng among our family ancestry.
That there is no governmental slave aunt who plucked a gayakeum with a floating heart when the moon rose by the window
And that there is no grandmother who killed herself because she didn’t like attending to drinking parties
And that there was no slave girl mother that was beautiful
And that there was no uncle to cross rivers to sell colorful silk
And that there was no peasant grandfather who pulled out his sword because of contempt and scorn
Is so disappointing.
That there was an ancestor who saved the country every time we faced an insurrection, but there was not a single daughter who was sold off to be a kisaeng is really depressing.

Where did the kisaeng in my mind come from?
Tonight by the river, wanting to serve inspiration
What should I do with this decadence? For just a single line of a poem, decadence would sell my soul.
Which star is that gene stuck to? My adult entertainment, sword dancing every night.
I am no different than a physical whore strapped to the indenturement of a private loan. 

I am a kisaeng. I am not a girl sold off for her sick mother. I am a voluntarily obscene and debauched emotional whore. With the feeling of doing it when I wake up from sleep, I puke and drink and with the feeling of doing it again, as I shake my ruffled hair, with the feeling of the party saving the life of the mood, in a mess, I write something.

Again I walk the south side of the Jinju river. It is the night of the Yu-deung festival. On the riverside, at the night market, drunk people talk to you. Multi-national flags painted on paper lamps float above the river. As they fall down they get tangled in the wreckage below. Amongst the filthy breath of people who spill out, the country market lights are the light of the life at night.

Disheveled, I pull out my pen. Sleepily. Biting the pen, not knowing that the ink brimming from the lips is spreading, I sit by the riverside and write something, sniffing my nose. I am tied to the couple of lines of poetry I wrote. I am a madwoman that finally believes she is bound to poetry.

The devil pulls down his pants in front of my eyes.
I’ll give you a line if you give me a suck.
Even if he is the devil, I feel like I will suck and suck and suck and suck and suck.
I sleep and wake and walk outside without desperation, without shame
Biting a big pen, I suck until poetry cum.
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 my ancestors. My dad said, there was never bad blood in our family like you.
Stroking the pen, I delicately shook.
Right now I feel like I have become an old filthy whore on a moon night when the country festival is booming. I am dancing, a sword in each of my hands.

COUNTRY WHORE

Even if there were a lot of kisaeng in Jinju
It is said that we had none in our family.
Though they say the Jinju kisaeng under the skirts of Mt. Jilisan have the longest kisaeng history in this country
Our family may have had many chaste women, but never a kisaeng.
Saying that we were nobles and scholars with no peasant, slave, or merchant origins, Father recites the family tree.
In the afternoon when we were watching the Jinjukyobang shaman dance in the front yard of Chukseokru
I met eyes with a women performing a sword dance wearing socks. She had both her hands covered with the traditional cloth.

It’s odd that there wasn’t a single kisaeng among our family ancestry.
That there is no governmental slave aunt who plucked a gayakeum with a floating heart when the moon rose by the window
And that there is no grandmother who killed herself because she didn’t like attending to drinking parties
And that there was no slave girl mother that was beautiful
And that there was no uncle to cross rivers to sell colorful silk
And that there was no peasant grandfather who pulled out his sword because of contempt and scorn
Is so disappointing.
That there was an ancestor who saved the country every time we faced an insurrection, but there was not a single daughter who was sold off to be a kisaeng is really depressing.

Where did the kisaeng in my mind come from?
Tonight by the river, wanting to serve inspiration
What should I do with this decadence? For just a single line of a poem, decadence would sell my soul.
Which star is that gene stuck to? My adult entertainment, sword dancing every night.
I am no different than a physical whore strapped to the indenturement of a private loan. 

I am a kisaeng. I am not a girl sold off for her sick mother. I am a voluntarily obscene and debauched emotional whore. With the feeling of doing it when I wake up from sleep, I puke and drink and with the feeling of doing it again, as I shake my ruffled hair, with the feeling of the party saving the life of the mood, in a mess, I write something.

Again I walk the south side of the Jinju river. It is the night of the Yu-deung festival. On the riverside, at the night market, drunk people talk to you. Multi-national flags painted on paper lamps float above the river. As they fall down they get tangled in the wreckage below. Amongst the filthy breath of people who spill out, the country market lights are the light of the life at night.

Disheveled, I pull out my pen. Sleepily. Biting the pen, not knowing that the ink brimming from the lips is spreading, I sit by the riverside and write something, sniffing my nose. I am tied to the couple of lines of poetry I wrote. I am a madwoman that finally believes she is bound to poetry.

The devil pulls down his pants in front of my eyes.
I’ll give you a line if you give me a suck.
Even if he is the devil, I feel like I will suck and suck and suck and suck and suck.
I sleep and wake and walk outside without desperation, without shame
Biting a big pen, I suck until poetry cum.
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 my ancestors. My dad said, there was never bad blood in our family like you.
Stroking the pen, I delicately shook.
Right now I feel like I have become an old filthy whore on a moon night when the country festival is booming. I am dancing, a sword in each of my hands.

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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