Poetry: Yohnmean Yoh
Sa (funeral koans)
Secretary of State Dean Acheson actually greeted the invasion with relief, as it justified massive military appropriations that were essential to carrying out the vision of American pre-eminence outlined in the top-secret National Security Council Report 68 of April 1950.
—Jeremy Kuzmarov, “The Korean War: Barbarism Unleashed” (2016)
… rhetoric would not have been sufficient to spark and sustain support for such a large defense buildup. … Seen in this light, the start of the Korean War on 24-25 June 1950 was a godsend.
—Steven Casey, “Selling NSC-68 : the Truman administration, public opinion, and the politics of mobilization, 1950-51” (2005)
Korea came along and saved us.
—Dean Acheson (July 9, 1953), Princeton seminar
… in the Korean people are certain bad traits that cannot be overcome except by actual experience of their evil consequences …
—William Langdon, U.S. Department of State (Nov. 1945)
… the average town Korean … lies on the ground and sleeps, with his nose over an open drain from which a turkey-buzzard would fly and a decent pig would turn away in disgust.
—George Kennan, “The Korean People: The Product of a Decayed Civilization,” Dec. 21, 1905 essay published in Outlook magazine
Liberate us from your liberation.
—Thich Nhat Hanh, 1968, addressing an international conference in Montreal; from Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh (1999)
Whoever is listening, be my witness:
I cannot accept this war.
I never could, I never will. […]
“Beware! Turn around and face your real enemies—
ambition, violence, hatred, and greed.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, “Condemnation” (1964)
firmament’s blanch-blew as the brew
moonless blight caw caw
luna-moth blizzard: ‘geezer snail home!’ sizzled
da sling. duck cannot quack.
‘tis a feckless, faultfinding nom de
guerre—there’s no turning back.
stink, asshole, stink
non-embellished run-of-the-mill neocolonial blood-spattering
imperious flatulence, shit-lists, Bacillus anthracis courtesies of
Your Heinous’s (DID IT FORGET TO VOW?!)
westerly uh oh
them straight-faced ordered matricide
them licking glum lips. to stultify indigenous
populace’s stuff; li-
zards, irreconciliably din.
‘raped slaves shall, after all, rape slaves’ broadcasts His
Heinous’s psychic spleen. in the interest of
for the Chosun few.
concerning art of the derivative variety
dim rustling within the aftermath
of the genuine article
obstinately sly turds so-and-so disdained to flush
sowing that stratosphere with darnel (Lolium temulentum)5,
toward wasted centuries.
gnatcatchers, irony police:
may I have a word with you (3x).
O unpretentious stool (i.e., some dupe’s poop):
we be specks upon this monument to sheer psychosis.
The disney war machine smirked and said ‘consent’ for us
flailing arms make for formidable crowds. Win a trip to
Penultimate piss, Muse’ll relinquish thee with this hiss:
Slavery is ended via the prudent application of force;
Yo Barfs Back (snarky, shrill, impious)
haranguing unsavory speckled pieces
within neoslave eyes.
decrying, frothily, Chosun’s immortal/beyond-redemption predilection
for collectivist self-slaughter (ergo them needs partitioning)
(“too much inbreeding!”), neocolonial annalists doth speech; and
“Trouble is the way of Hell-Chosun’s uninformed rabble from time im-
perplexed by the absence of agony,
yellow hordes gravitate towards War
as moths to the Light.”
wraithlike machete, specialized for the back = suggestion (rape-under-
dragon-snot, cultural stereotypes = Hilter (sic)
simulated pendulum stings.
Till dormant, pre-delimited consciences are sufficiently roused,
tumble unchurched ultrastructures up,
X’ing the charade for finality (i.e. irrevocable
with nil regrets.
rock-pet 4 hire (Dada’s ululation)
Life’s a gas
While Starvation Rages
rock-poet for hire (pass the vomit barrel, if you will)
Mr. astute derides the west (meh/ bah/)
arms race nausea (psychosis’s prerequisite/indispensable/sine qua non)
humdrum n deadly interwoven destiny (woof KABOOM!)
into the (blood–)red eye of some kinda future
We fly their kites
Three steps en route
life after death
racialist-machiavellianists who define insanity (for their history
Hitlerite (count them: uncountable millions vanished unfeelingly! less
than items! less than target-practice!)s
Yohnmean Yoh (여연민) is a writer, laborer for peace, and avant-garde musician based in South Korea. His poetry has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review. If he were granted two wishes, they would be for South Korea’s unequivocal apology/willing payment of reparations towards the people of Vietnam—for atrocities committed over the war (circa 1964–1973)—and for Korea’s reunification.
1. 사 (sa): four.
2. 일어나라 (ironara): arise.
3. 비밀 (bi-mil): secret.
4. “the lower world; Hades” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
5. “a weedy rye grass … with poisonous seeds, often found in grainfields” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)