by Kyong-Mi Park

translated by Sawako Nakayasu





A loosening inclination to talk. Dangling a teabag. We’ve not spoken in a while. A brother-like person asks is this purple flower a kind of primrose.

The leaves of the flower are pale. Full of emotion, I am far on the other side of the window. Here I see pigeons and crows. Because there are always cake crumbs. The tea is not fragrant but it is hot and I am steeped in it.

I saw his small feet first. I was there at my sister’s delivery. I made him cry. Fun-ny. But I couldn’t relax until he clamped down on her breast. The baby’s gotta cry.

A beautiful gaze only for a moment. Reflecting very much my inclination to talk. People’s words flow, the way water has weight. Brown eyes, unable to go through with these careful words, I only see myself.

Very relieved. Very. Something to smoke sitting on the bookshelf in the room. Enjoying himself, throwing smiles at his siblings’ conversation. The leaves of the flowers are pale. The potted obconica closes its eyes, opens its ears. Babyishness of the baby boy.

Mustard color suits you, a hand-me-down jacket from my brother, this is very good, such a cute little brat. We always ran slow, but we weren’t being chased or anything, us girls. The inclination to speak, very much wanting to laugh. Pigeons and crows, a man, my eyes are near.

The yellow sets, a deep brightness, it’d be fine to be crushed while living. Push your eyes out of the way now. I’m carefully breaking apart. Are you full of emotion. I am far on the other side of the window. Here I look at one petal of Mexican Violet at a time, still here.


Kyong-Mi Park (b. 1956) is a second-generation Korean living and writing in Tokyo. Since publishing her first book of poetry Sūpu (Soup), in 1980, she has continued to publish numerous works of poetry and prose in major Japanese publications including La Mer, Waseda Bungaku, Ginka and Asahi Weekly. She is noted for her translations of Gertrude Stein: The World is Round (1987) and Geography and Plays, (co-translation 1992). In addition to other translations such as Over the moon by Mother Goose (1990), and a collection of essays The Guardian Spirit in a Garden: Words to Remember (1999), her most recent collection of poetry is titled Sonoko (That little one) (2003). In 2001 she participated in the exhibit Dialog 2001: Artists in Banff (Canadian Embassy Gallery, Tokyo). Park’s work has been translated into Korean and English, and she currently teaches at Wako University. Her most recent publication is a collection of essays, Itsumo toriga tondeiru (There are always birds in the air) (2004). 

Sawako Nakayasu writes poetry, prose, and performance text, and translates from Japanese to English. Her first book, So we have been given time  Or, (Verse Press) was published in 2004. Other works include Clutch (Tinfish chapbook, 2002), Balconic (Duration e-book, 2003) and Nothing fictional but accuracy or arrangement (she (e-Faux, 2003). She edits Factorial Press and the translation section for HOW2.

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